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Routes to Roots: Discovering Your Family History at HSP

Explorer C

This summer, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP), Southwest Airlines, and the Urban League of Philadelphia cosponsored a genealogy event with Dr. William Pickens III, who has traced his ancestry all the way back to Humphrey Morrey, the first mayor of Philadelphia in 1691.  Pickens’ family tree also includes Richard Morrey, whose marriage to freedwoman Cremona formed one of the city’s most prominent interracial families.  After listening to Dr. Pickens’s journey through his family history, guests were invited to a special display of HSP documents related to African American history and genealogy including a copy of the Emancipation Proclamation signed by Abraham Lincoln (1864) and portraits from the American Negro Historical Society.  A reception, catered by Eatible Delights, followed with delicious food platters, beer, wine, and great conversations.  Through the generosity of Southwest Airlines, HSP held a raffle for a “Trace Your Roots” prize, which included two roundtrip tickets to any genealogy center in the U.S. and a research strategy interview with an HSP genealogist.  The event was well attended, and guests left excited about exploring their own family roots.

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania thanks Southwest Airlines for their generous support.  To learn more about programs at HSP, visit