Thursday, 6 October 2011

Presbyterian Archives & the Historical Society

Day two we walked about a mile to the Presbyterian Archives. A nice building, and we thought there would be some good potential to find more information about the Smith family in the Frankford area of Philadelphia. Sadly, none. The staff were quite helpful, and there is a nice place to work there, but the records we were looking for were nowhere to be found.

We walked back to our hotel, and stopped for lunch and coffee along the way to re-energize and to sort out our priorities. After freshening up, we tried the Historical society. They have an amazing collection of records, and we didn't realize we could have accessed an online tool beforehand to check out what they have available. We settled in at a table with great lighting, and off we went to see what we could find.

There were many stacks/shelves of family histories that had already been published, and also many county and church history books. Beyond that, there were countless records, ranging from letters to scrapbooks, that a person could request and read in a "restricted reading area" that was supervised. I found a letter from someone who had written to the society in the 1950's, requesting some information about the Hay family, but that was about it. The staff were very friendly and helpful, and each had a unique way of being able to help. They obviously enjoy their jobs, and make a good effort to assist.

We were pretty tired after a day of nearly no results, so off we went to re-assess our plan of action for Wednesday and beyond.  Dad suggested we find a good seafood restaurant, so off we went to Devon's, which was a good place to end the day!

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