American Ancestry

Giving the Name and Descent, in the Male Line, of Americans Whose Ancestors Settled in the U.S. Previous to . . . 1776. 12 vols. in 4


Author: Joel Munsell's Sons
Publication Date: 1887-1899
Reprint Date: 1998
Pages: 2, 622 pp. in all


This is a richly informative, multi-volume encyclopedia of genealogical reference, the first of its kind produced in America, and it contains the pedigrees of 7,500 persons resident in the United States in the nineteenth century who trace their lineage to a colonial ancestor. Indeed, the Munsells’ stated purpose in compiling the work was to “record for all time many important facts in the history of families which would otherwise be lost.”

Covering the entire United States, and in many cases establishing the pedigree in the male line for six or seven generations, this monumental work is a virtual Who’s Who of the colonial families of America. Data furnished, commencing with the nineteenth-century descendant and working backward to the ancestor of furthest remove, includes name; residence; birthplace; dates of birth, marriage, and death; remarks about occupation, religion, and civic, social, and military achievements; as well as a staggering variety of other genealogical and biographical matter. While much of this information derives from the subject themselves, care was taken by the compilers to confine the sketches to ascertainable facts.

Munsell’s American Ancestry is one of the great foundation stones of genealogy in the United States. Clearfield Company is pleased to make it available to researchers far and wide.

“The undertaking would appear to be a formidable one, and one which requires great pains and diligence to secure the necessary accuracy.” The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Vol. XIX, No. 4, p. 181.

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