The Erie Society for Genealogical Research
P.O. Box 1403
Erie, PA  16512-1403
The Erie Society for Genealogical Research
Researching and Preserving Family History in Erie County, Pennsylvania

New This Week at

Speaker Rhonda Konig, the Genealogy Specialist in the Grosvenor Room in the Buffalo and Erie County (New York) Public Library-Central Library in downtown Buffalo, presented a richly informative lecture this week on how to find crucial information in the original passenger manifests kept by shipping companies. Early passenger records usually listed the name of the ship, the names of passengers, their ages, ports and dates of arrival and departure, country of origin and occupation. Even when the passenger arrival manifest cannot be found, researchers can often locate the passenger departure manifest at the embarkation point. Rhonda Konig has generously given us permission to post her handouts in our Members area. Log in, and you will find her guidance on how to locate information in the National Archives, at the Castle Garden and Ellis Island sites in New York, in Family Search and in Ancestry at "Speaker Handouts" here in the Members Area.
We've added a new category in "Events" -- "Key Genealogical Society Events" -- to keep our members informed of important Genealogy meetings around the United States. Find details there about the Niagara County (N.Y.) June genealogy conference in Lockport, N.Y. on U.S. Migration History, the Federation of Genealogical Societies' August conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana and other events of interest.
Our Links collection is growing steadily. New category: "Area Societies." Most are historical societies. Often they house valuable local genealogical information and family histories. Use the drop-down menu at top left on the Links page to choose the category of information you are looking for.  For example, there's a category for Erie County cemeteries (still very much under construction), but also one for information about Western Pennsylvania more broadly.
‚ÄčTo get started in the Members Only area, you'll need to log in. Click on the Members section at left. If you are not a member, we welcome you. To join, you can download the membership application at left and mail it in with a check, or join online.  Have an idea for a speaker or feature? We welcome your suggestions and questions at If you are already a member and would like more information about logging in, please write to

ESGR Member Publishes Book on North East

As a lifelong resident of North East, Pennsylvania, whose family has lived there for several generations, ESGR member Dick Tefft has written many articles about his hometown for the North East Historical Society over the years. He collected his favorite stories recently into a book, “Historic Vignettes of North East Pennsylvania.” They include tales of a mad ox, major train wrecks, a generous local philanthropist, local residents who “made it big” and the terrible fire that gutted the downtown business district in 1884. A former president of ESGR, Tefft said his interest in genealogy has gradually led him to focus more and more on local history. The North East Historical Society, he said, "receives many requests for information about North East’s past and family history of North East residents.”  In studying old newspapers to do that research, he said he has found that “I cannot help but read many unrelated stories, and this often leads to more research. Newspapers are chock-full of local history, and I cannot get enough of it.” This is his third book about North East history. The first two were "A History of North East Township Schools" (2004) and  “A Look at North East Through Vintage Postcards” (2013). Next up? "I'm not planning on any more books, but then, these three were not in my plans, either."  

Come Join Us

Welcome. If you have not yet joined ESGR, we'd like to tell you about some of the benefits of membership in our society. We hope you'll agree that joining ESGR is a great idea. We'd love to have you join us.
When you are a member of ESGR, you become part of a community of shared interest in the history of Western Pennsylvania and its families. Our members range from beginners to people with many years of genealogy research experience. Members learn from genealogists with expertise in specialized areas, such as the history of the German, Irish, British, Italian, Polish and other ethnic immigration into western Pennsylvania, as well as Pennsylvanians’ proud history in the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam and other conflicts. Members receive the Keystone Kuzzins quarterly four times per year. They can access the members-only section of our website and the resources there.
Members also receive a discount on ESGR publications, CDs and books, and a discounted membership rate for the Erie County Historical Society. ESGR members receive advance notification of genealogical events and conferences and may receive discounts on admission to events. They can receive help with “brick wall” research obstacles from our seasoned genealogists. They hear knowledgeable speakers on topics of great interest to genealogists. They also have access to the library of handouts and other materials provided by our speakers. ESGR members have access to the ESGR surname database, and can add surnames of personal research interest. ESGR members also have access to the membership directory with member contact information.  If you’d like to join, please go to the Online Join section of our website. You can join online using your credit card or PayPal account, or you can download a membership application and send it in with a check. Please let us know if you have any questions about the process at

May 22
Tracking Immigration Information for Your Ancestors
SIG instructor Sue Mueller describes how to find immigration (and migration) information on your ancestors in various kinds of records. Who came, and when did ...

May 23
The next meeting of the ESGR Special Interest Group on DNA and Genealogy will be at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, May 23, on the second ...

June 2
Gravestone Preservation Class in Corry
The Corry Area Historical Society, Inc. will host Mark Morton from Gravestone Guardians to teach a two-day, 16-hour  gravestone preservation workshop Saturday and Sunday June 2nd & 3rd, 2018, ...