First Families of Pennsylvania

Well it finally happened.  It was a long time coming, lots of research, but I finally made it into First Families of Pennsylvania through the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania.  It is a wonderful program that honors the Pennsylvania ancestors and preserves your research.  There are 3 levels of participation:  Colony and Commonwealth: 1638-1790; Keystone and Cornerstone:  1791-1865; and Pennsylvania Proud:  1866-1900.  I was awarded a Colony and Commonwealth certificate for proving my 8th great grandmother, Sarah Shoemaker, came to Philadelphia in 1686, with her 7 children and bought 200 acres of land in Cheltenham area.  She must have been a very hardy soul.  Her son, George married Sarah Wall, who inherited a house from her grandfather, Richard Wall.  The Wall house still stands in Elkins Park, PA and is owned by Cheltenham Township.  You can tour the house on Sundays or just relax in their lawn any day.

What have you done lately to preserve your history?

10 Replies to “First Families of Pennsylvania”

  1. Almost ready to apply for my own First Families of Pennsylvania certificate! Great to see that you made the effort to gather all your research way back to 1686. My family came to Pennsylvania later, and settled in Schuylkill County during the 1840s, so I qualify within the Keystone & Cornerstone category.

    1. Congrats. How about any Rev. War ancestors? I’m heading to Phila. today to HSP so will probably run into some of the reviewers for 1st Families. It is an exciting ceremony when you get your certificate. I think that usually happens in March, so maybe I’ll see you there.

  2. searching for any information on Peter Cleaver (Kleaver or Klever) mid 1600’s in Germantown. Have information that he was a weaver.
    Thank you!

    1. Look for the book “Acta Germanopolis. Records of the Corporation of Germantown, Pennsylvania 1691-1707” by J. M. Duffin. published 2008. There are many references to Peter Cleaver. It was originally in German but is translated. Colonial Society of Pennsylvania published it and it is probably available on line.

  3. I was just notified today that I was also accepted based on m 3xggf, Johan Jacob SToebener into te keystone and Cornerstone group. So happy to have done this! Recognizes his sacrifice and my heritage!

  4. I’m almost there for Colony & Commonwealth! Funniest thing, I realized when I was getting the paperwork together that I had nothing that showed my father (B. 1905) was really the son of his parents – no birth certificates in 1905 and I could not find his name on a list. I finally contacted the Diocese of Pittsburgh and they found his Baptism record. Although they did not send me a copy of the original certificate/record, they did send me a letter with his name, date of birth, date of baptism, names of parents and names of sponsors. I guess that should do. Glad I tied that little detail down! I’ve had less trouble finding records of some of my New York City Dutch ancestors from the 1600’s.

    1. That should do it for your application. It is very hard to get actual copies of the original baptismal record, so most lineage societies would approve a copy of the church record from a book. Good luck with your application

    1. I don’t know if there is a list specifically, but you might check the list on the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania under First Families to see if any of the names look familiar. My Shoemakers were in Luzerne County. This is the family I joined First Families on. Sarah Shoemaker. I have also joined The Welcome Society through this family – Sarah Shoemaker’s son, George married Sarah Waln/Wall who came over with William Penn on the Bristol Factor 2.
      There is a Michael Shoemaker Genealogy that covers the Shoemakers of Luzerne County. I saw a copy at the historical society in Wilkes-Barre or Kingston, many years ago.

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