Members Only Databases

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Members Only Databases


HSP members enjoy remote access to several databases of HSP's own design and from other vendors.

Resources Available to HSP Members:

  • HSP Encounters
  • HSP Records on
  • FamilySearch

HSP Encounters

HSP Encounters is a digital resource comprised of an ever-growing number of genealogical and biographical databases. Historical essays incorporated in the system describe each database, as well as providing historical context for the records it contains.

As of today, there are nine databases available for research. The project is ongoing, with HSP staff identifying new records and materials to digitize and make available online in searchable form.

Access to HSP Encounters is available to all on-site researchers. Remote access is available as a benefit of HSP membership.

Tavern and Liquor License Records (1746-1863)

  • Contains information found in petitions for tavern licenses about individuals who sought or had permission to retail liquor. Almost all of these records concern individuals who sought or had permission to sell liquor in Pennsylvania, from the counties of Philadelphia, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Montgomery, Northampton and Cumberland. A handful of petitions are by persons seeking permission to operate a tavern in New Hampshire or New Jersey.

Huguenot Society Applications (Arrivals 1517-1885)

  • Contains information from applications for membership in the Huguenot Society of Pennsylvania. Most of the applicants are from Pennsylvania, but applicants from many other states are also represented. A typical database record contains the name of the applicant, his or her spouse, and the community and state (on occasion, foreign country) where he or she resides. The record also provides the name of the Huguenot ancestor or ancestors from whom the applicant is claiming ancestry, their place of origin, place of settlement, year of immigration, and often one to three of the most common surname lines connecting the applicant to the Huguenot ancestor. 

Genealogical Scrapbooks & Research Folders (1607-1958)

  • Contains information found in privately published family histories at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. The individuals found in these histories usually are from the colonies and states east of the Mississippi River, and generally span from the 17th through the 19th centuries.

Oliver H. Bair Company Records (1920-1980)

  • Contains information about deceased individuals drawn from funeral home files, which include substantial additional information on the deceased, usually including date of birth, date of death, place of death, age at the time of death, cause of death, the address or institution from whence the body was received, place of burial, occupation, spouse, and the names of parents.

Pennsylvania, Revolutionary War Battalions and Militia Index (1775-1783)

  • Contains an index to the muster rolls of the Pennsylvania militia in the War of the Revolution. The records in this database list names, sometimes rank, and a volume and page reference to the source material, which include further rosters, muster rolls, histories, diaries, and other documents listing Pennsylvanian troops.

Philadelphia Home for Infants collection

  • This collection includes records for the Philadelphia Home for Infants, including annual reports, board minutes, case histories, financial records, scrapbooks, articles, reports, publications relating to child welfare, and a few photographs. 

Philadelphia Job Placement Office collection

  • The Philadelphia Placement Office register contains the daily entries of a Philadelphia employment agency from 1898 to 1901.
  • The 2,647 entries, listed chronologically over the course of 300 pages, convey a wealth of information about potential employees and employers. A typical entry includes the name, street address, and type of work or type of worker sought by either the employee or employer. Beyond this basic information, entries often provide ages, previous work experiences, family facts, and personal observations written down by the agent of the office.The records also include number of family members, race, place of birth, religious denomination, and, often, an observation on the cause of the family’s poverty.

The Home Missionary Society collection

  • Contains one volume of visitation records from the Home Missionary Society of the City of Philadelphia (HMS). The volume contains 4,890 entries from 1883 to 1889 that document visits made to the homes of Philadelphia residents in need of assistance. In each of the cases, it was the woman of the household who was interviewed by the HMS to determine the needs of the family or individual. The HMS provided coal, groceries, cash, and apparel to thousands of people during this six-year period.

To access HSP Encounters remotelyclick here or visit Please login with your HSP website/PAL (Patron Access Link) username and password and select HSP Encounters from the database list. 

HSP Records on

HSP has partnered with, the world’s largest online family history resource, to digitize over seven million records from our collection. These collections detail more than 300 years of Pennsylvanians’ life history spanning from 1708-1985. Please note that HSP members only have remote access to records on that came from HSP's archives. For remote access to all records on, you must take out a subscription directly from

The vital record additions, containing information from each county in the state of Pennsylvania, include:

  • Pennsylvania and New Jersey Church and Town Records (1708-1985): The documents in this database contain records from churches, funeral homes, cemeteries, newspapers, historical societies, as well as personal records and other various sources. Click here for a list of collections included in this database.
  • Pennsylvania, Oliver H. Bair Funeral Records Indexes, 1920-1980: These records make up an index to funerals handled by the Oliver H. Bair funeral homes. The majority are cards with the name of the deceased and billing information. However, the cards can contain other details, including names of people being charged for the funeral, addresses, family members and indications of family relationships (niece, widow, son, etc.), place of burial, and dates. Finding a record in the index indicates that a larger packet of information is available at HSP.
  • Pennsylvania, Revolutionary War Battalions and Militia Index, 1775-1783: This database contains an index to Pennsylvania in the War of the Revolution (4 volumes), a series that reprints muster rolls and other documentation found in the Pennsylvania Archives, 2nd series, vols. 10, 11, 13, 14. These books include rosters, muster rolls, histories, diaries, and other documents listing Pennsylvanian troops. The cards in this database list names, sometimes rank, and a volume and page reference to the source volume.
  • Pennsylvania, Card Indexes to Genealogical Scrapbooks and Research Folders: These records are an index to genealogical scrapbooks, published volumes, and research folders in HSP's collection. The cards in this index include minimal information, including titles and sometimes page numbers, but this information points to a scrapbook, research folder, or published volume available at HSP.  

These records are available to all members of HSP. (If you don't already have a log-in at, you'll need to sign up for a free account there.)

To access the HSP records on remotely, click here or visit An account is required. Special access to HSP materials available to HSP members with a code. Please email Membership Manager Keith Lyons at to receive the code. 


FamilySearch, historically known as the Genealogical Society of Utah, safeguards more than 3.5 billion images on microfilm, microfiche, and digital media. Very large collection of genealolgy records sponsored by the Church of Latter Day Saints, including HSP materials.

To access FamilySearch remotely, click here or visit A free account with FamilySearch is required. 


JSTOR offers access to thousands of scholarly journals, books, and primary source documents including complete archival runs of HSP's journal, Pennsylvania Magazine for History and Biography (1877-present), and our magazine, Pennsylvania Legacies (2001-present).
Hint Discount available to HSP members.

To access JSTOR remotely, click here or visit A discount is available for HSP members. Please write to Membership Manager Keith Lyons at to receive your code. 

Click here to visit our members-only section to access these records.