The population of Pennsylvania in 1776 was approximately 275,000, including 11,000 slaves, making it the third largest American colony. 20,000 people lived in the city of Philadelphia which was a distinct political unit within Philadelphia County. 90% of Pennsylvanians lived in rural areas. One-third of us lived in the three “old” counties of Philadelphia, Chester and Bucks. (Note: Montgomery County was northern Philadelphia County at that time. Chester County was later divided into Delaware and Chester Counties.) The remaining Pennsylvanians were scattered unevenly throughout the eight “back” counties.
* * * * * EXPLORE yOUR PAST * * * * *
Visit Learn more about the inhabitants and history of your and our local areas by exploring the USGenWeb Project Archives indexed by state and county. Click on the desired state in the left-hand column. Then click on the desired county within that state’s map.
Step back and take a broader look at British colonial North American population and its social pecking order at
Read Learn about the Revolution in Pennsylvania which took place beyond the boundaries of its capital.
Owen S. Ireland, Chapter 2 – Bucks County, p.23-45,
in John B. Frantz & William Pencak (editors), Beyond Philadelphia: the American Revolution in the Pennsylvania hinterland,
University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1998.
The presence and influence of many ethnic groups in Pennsylvania are chronicled in the Pennsylvania History Studies series published by the Pennsylvania Historical Association.
There are many paths to your past. Why not try these?
Simon J. Bronner, Chapter 11 – Folklore & Folklife,andJames M. Beidler, Chapter 12 – Genealogy,Part II: Ways to Pennsylvania’s Pastin Randall M. Miller & William Pencak (editors), Pennsylvania: A history of the Commonwealth, Harrisburg, PA: PA Historical & Museum Commission, 2002.