secthead Resources

Research Services

We recommend that if possible, you visit yourself to do research. For those unable to do so, we provide some research services through the mail.


Genealogical Research

If you seek information about a Lancaster County ancestor you can now submit and pay for research on-line. You may also submit a Genealogical Research Request Form via regular mail. A list of Contract Researchers is also available.

In order to provide prompt and accurate service, we ask patrons to note the following:

  • We ask that you refine your inquiries, limiting them to searches for information about one ancestor and immediate family in Lancaster County within a defined date range, for example "I am looking for the parents of John Smith, his marriage date around 1880 and something about his children". For searches of specific documents only, please see our Document Ordering Service.
    All our research is done by our professional staff; all have over 15 years experience researching in Lancaster County.
    While we cannot guarantee results, we will consult all relevant texts and journals, archival, county document, manuscript and photograph collections, online subscription databases, in-house electronic databases and our objects collection. We will send a written response, a summary of results and photocopies of any relevant documents or printed text.
  • Research rates are $20 per hour with a two hour minimum for members and $30 per hour with a two hour minimum for non-members. Pre-payment of this fee is required. We accept checks and money orders. Fees are non-refundable. Please allow four to six weeks for a response.
Ready Reference

Ready reference questions are those that our research staff can answer quickly using secondary sources, including the historical society's online catalog. These searches are free of charge, but are very limited in scope. Do you have a general question about Lancaster County history? Want to know a bit more about our collections? Email your question to our reference staff. We will respond as soon as possible, usually within 24 hours (Monday-Thursday).


Our Blogs

The History Bucket


Because the world is a bucketful of questions.  And someone's gotta answer them

While working with the object collections of we come across many questions.  Visit here to see some of the more unusual stories that we have uncovered.

[Read My Blog]

Historically Speaking


The staff and volunteers of the Archives Department at never know what they'll find when working on the documents and records in the collections.  Fortunately, when they do discover something noteworthy they are very willing to share!

[Read Our Blog]

Marianne's PhotoBlog


Because pictures are worth a thousand words, but sometimes they need an interpreter.

You know that cliché about a picture being worth a thousand words? Ok, well, imagine the stories going on in my head after cataloging several hundred photos every single day!

[Read My Blog]

Wheatland: A Love Story

Who would have guessed that a young lady would fall in love with an old President and his old house?

One Young Lady, One Old House, Two Hundred Years of History

I’m Jennifer Walton, Museum Associate at President James Buchanan's Wheatland, and I love an old President and his old house! Over the past nine years, I’ve learned quite a lot about both, and I would love to share it with you!

[Read My Blog]

Facebook Slider
Facebook Slider
Facebook Slider