The American Weekly Mercury was the first newspaper published in Pennsylvania and the third in British North America. In the earliest days of publication, what little genealogical material is found in the paper comes chiefly from advertisements for runaway servants or Negro and Indian slaves.In time, however, a steady stream of genealogical data–mainly marriages and deaths–began to appear. Most of the marriage entries pertained to persons of some distinction, such as governors, judges, government officials, clergymen, and eminent merchants, as well as their family members. In the case of death notices, the age of the deceased was noted, sometimes with a brief sketch of his career and with an indication of his place of birth, ancestry, and relatives. Many of the genealogical items were concerned with persons in Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, South Carolina, and New England, as well as Pennsylvania. The index lists 3,400 names of persons who would otherwise have been relegated to obscurity.
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