York Town Square

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York County genealogical research: An exhausting endeavor

I receive several queries each week from genealogists and researchers who are trying to figure out how to get started in their study of many-layered York County and its interwoven families. Some researchers are simply trying to bore through a box canyon and need a bit of guidance.
Sometimes, they have a question about availability of newspaper microfilm. Other times, they are seeking census information. Often, I’ll direct them to the vast resources of the York County Heritage Trust archives, as I did with my response to a query from a frustrated genealogist on Tuesday:

“Cynthia, have you used the resources of the York County Heritage Trust, www.yorkheritage.org, 717-848-1587, 250 E. Market St., York? As you point out, you’re dealing with prominent York families and the archives there would have family files — paper files — containing obits and other documents collected over the years. They also have records indexed on a computer. I’m pretty sure — you’ll have to check — that the archives have the Democratic Press on microfilm for several years. Also, the Heritage Trust has indexes detailing county deaths going back many years. The Heritage Trust archives are a real treasure trove. Staff there do searches for a fee or, if you can visit, you can check out the archives for maybe $5 a day… .”

The point of all this is that the researcher should first exhaust the seemingly bottomless Heritage Trust’s archives. Indeed, given the magnitude of those archives, that effort might first exhaust the researcher.
For background, see: Availability of microfilm an oft-asked question.