Genealogy is the study of the history of past and present family members. Learning more about where we come from can help open up doors of communication, bring family members together around a shared interest, and inspire intergenerational storytelling.
Berks History Center’s (BHC) Henry Janssen Library has served as a community staple for genealogical research for generations. Included within the library collections are over 17,000 photographs, personal and family papers, church and cemetery records, records of local businesses, census reports, newspapers, and much more.
In July 2021, Prothonotary of Berks County, Jonathan K. Del Collo, generously added to Henry Janssen Library’s collection by donating digitized copies of Berks County Naturalization Records from 1798-1995. Prior to this donation, these records were only available by visiting the Berks County Courthouse.
Naturalization is the process by which U.S. citizenship is granted to a lawful permanent resident. Naturalization records oftentimes serve as a key resource for individuals conducting genealogy research, as they can include important details such as the applicant’s birthplace, marital status, date of arrival, and port of arrival. Having digitized naturalization records available at the Henry Janssen Library helps make family history research much more convenient and accessible for the community.
Ready to explore your local family history? Call 610-375-4375 to schedule an appointment at the Henry Janssen Library. The hours of operation are Wednesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For individuals who cannot visit the library in person, the Henry Janssen Library offers Personalized Research Services. For a prepaid fee, library staff can assist with historical or genealogical research requests by investigating materials available in the archival collections. Visit berkshistory.org for more information.
Communications Manager for the Berks History Center