Reading, Berks County, Pennsylvania Genealogy

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Founded in 1748 by the Penn proprietors, Reading is the county seat of Berks County. Early tracts of land were sold to Richard Hockley, Thomas Lawrenceand Samuel Finney. The town of Reading was laid out mostly on land of Thomas Lawrence. On 16 March 1847 Reading was incorporated into a city.

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Prior to 1846 burials in Reading took place in church cemeteries located within the town. In 1846 Charles Evans Cemetery, located north of Reading, was established as a city cemetery. 1849 saw the layout of two additional cemeteries located on the north slope of Neversink Mountain. These cemeteries were Trinity Lutheran and Roman Catholic. In 1851 a third city cemetery was laid out, Aulenbach. Families were encouraged to use the city cemeteries and many bodies from the city church cemeteries were reinterred in the city cemeteries. The below links do not have complete lists of the burials in the cemeteries but are still useful.


Aulenbach Cemetery
Charles Evans Cemetery
Trinity Lutheran Cemetery
St. Johns German Lutheran Cemetery

After you click on the links for the USGenWeb links select Cemetery Index from the left side of the screen.

Aulenbach Cemetery
Charles Evans Cemetery
Trinity Lutheran

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Pennsylvania vital records were kept very late in the history of Pennsylvania. Because of this church records are very important in Pennsylvania research. Church baptism and burial records replace birth and death certificates.

The Historical Society of Berks County has a great collection of church records. The records themselves are not online but the society has placed a church record index on their website which is free to use.

Below are a few of the churches within the city limits of Reading.

City Directories[edit | edit source]

Directories list not only individuals who lived in the city but also businesses, and various organizations and where they were located. In some cases city maps may be included in the directories. The Historical Society of Berks County and the Reading Public Library have a collection of the directories.

1864-1959, Reading City Directories at $, To obtain a subscription to Ancestry; Ancestry is often available through your local public library for free

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Currently the Reading Eagle serves the city of Reading. It has been in existence since 1868. Older issues of the paper can be found at Google News.

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Repositories[edit | edit source]

Library[edit | edit source]

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Unlike the county, Reading began to record vital records at an earlier time period. Birth and death records began in 1873 and marriages in 1876. For records prior to his years, search church records.

Birth[edit | edit source]

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Death[edit | edit source]