Search PA Records
Other PA Resources
The State of Pennsylvania has a rich history, especially from the time that it was a territory, not a state. In the beginning of the 1600s Swedes, English, and Dutch people regularly had disputes in what is now the state of Pennsylvania. In 1664 New York was captured by the English, allowing them to acquire the area that is now Pennsylvania. Then, in 1681, King Charles II granted Pennsylvania to a Quaker named William Penn.
From 1776 to 1800, the federal government was based almost entirely out of Pennsylvania. In 1776 the Declaration of Independence was enacted there. Then, in 1787, the U.S. Constitution was drafted there. Pennsylvania is also home to both Gettysburg battlefield and Valley Forge. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is home to Independence Hall and a glass pavilion across from it, which is where the Liberty Bell is located. See also Pennsylvania History Page for more Details
The State of Pennsylvania is bordered by New York, New Jersey (east), Delaware (southeast), Maryland (south), West Virginia (southwest), Ohio (west). It has a land area of 46,058 square miles making it the 33rd largest state.
The state's 2010 population was 12,702,379 and the largest cities (2010) are Philadelphia, 1,526,006; Pittsburgh, 305,704; Allentown, 118,032; Erie , 101,786; Reading, 88,082; Scranton, 76,415; Bethlehem, 71,329; Lancaster, 56,348, Harrisburg, 48,950, Altoona, 49,523.
The State of Pennsylvania name means "Penn's woods." The name is rooted in the name of Pennyslvania's founder William Penn and the Latin word for "woods" which is "sylvania." This name was specified in the charter for the land given to William Penn by King Charles II in 1681.
Pennsylvania's state nickname is "Quaker State" and is also referred to as the "Keystone State." This term was apparently first used because of the state’s political importance, though it is also appropriate because of its location in the middle of the 13 original states. With six states to the north and six to the south, Pennsylvania was the keystone in an arch of states. The State Motto is "Virtue, Liberty, and Independence"