Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pennsylvania Research Trip, Adams County Historical Society

The Adams County Historical Society is located in the midst of Gettysburg. The Civil War is all around. The rolling hills are dotted with monuments. However, I was looking for information about a hundred years prior to the war. I was looking for Johan Adam Dick (1709 – 1785) & wife Anna Ottilla Knack (1711 – 1782) and family. Johan and Anna are my 6th great grandparents, through my paternal grandmother.  I know very little about the Dick family. Johan Adam Dick was born in Germany. He died in Berwick in Adams County.  He and his wife are buried in Mummerts Meeting House Cemetery in Adams County. I have visited the cemetery and photographed the tombstones. Because the couple ended up in Adams County it seemed a logical place to attempt to learn more about them.

The Adams County Historical Society has unusual hours, Wednesday through Saturday: 9-12 & 1-4 PM; Thursdays: 6-9 PM. On the day I visited there I had already been to the Snyder County Historical Society and St. John’s Black Oak Ridge cemetery. Therefore, I did not arrive in Gettysburg until the evening hours. I had only three hours to uncover data. When I entered I spoke to a librarian, letting him know who I was looking for, and he immediately took me under his wing. He brought me a pile of cemetery cards and another pile of vital record cards, both for the Dick surname. There could have been many relatives on those  cards. However, since I know so little about this branch I could only match a few.

Holdings at the Adams County Historical Society are extensive. County records include: Estate Papers, including Orphan's Court documents (1800-1999), Marriage license applications (1885-1970), Marriage returns, Birth register (1893-1905), Constable's returns (1808-1901), Tavern license records, Deed books, 1800-early 1920s with Indexes, Warrants/Patents, Surveys, Borough & Township Tax records-1800-1960. On a previous visit I had found Johan Adam Dick in land records, in the book:  Hively, Neal Otto. Original Pennsylvania Land Record Series: Berwick, Oxford, Hamilton, Reading, Tyrone, Huntington and Latimore Townships. Volume 2. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania: 2009. I purchased three volumes of HIvely’s books. I also found some of my Wolf ancestors in those books.

On this visit, thanks to the knowledgeable librarian I had access to the estate papers of Johan Adam Dick. I am anxious to look those over carefully to discover his heirs.

This was my last stop on my Pennsylvania research trip. Now that I am home again I have my pile of information, sorted by the repository where I acquired the information. I will compare my discoveries with the information I have already gathered in my Family Tree Maker computer program. Hopefully it will match up with and extend my knowledge of people in my trees. It may lead me off in new directions of research, including further trips to access information in person.

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