So, you are enjoying the delights of the Farm Show and you misplaced your spouse and kids. Where to find them? At the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission booth at the 2018 Farm Show? Maybe not, but you might find older generations of your family there.

The PA SHPO and the Pennsylvania State Archives have teamed up once again to provide you with a unique, exciting, and one-of-a-kind activity at this year’s Farm Show. And don’t worry, PHMC’s beloved Historical Markers Scavenger Hunt is still part of the fun!

This photograph shows a large poster of agricultural regions and informational banners.

2017 Farm Show booth about finding your story through PHMC’s amazing resources.

Dig into your own roots…

Did your grandfather serve in World War II? Where is your great-grandmother buried? Come and learn about your family history!

This year, the State Archives will offer free access to at Booth #692 every hour that the Farm Show is open. Research experts from the Archives staff will be on hand to assist you in searching this vast genealogy website for information about your ancestors.

Logo for website with the word "ancestry" and a leaf. and the PA State Archives bring Pennsylvania’s history to you for free! provides millions of records and family trees. Two databases most heavily used by genealogists are the U.S. censuses and the Social Security death index. Ancestry also has other materials copied from the Pennsylvania State Archives, such as 1906-10 birth certificates and 1906-64 death certificates, land warrants, Civil War muster-out rolls, World War I and World War II records, Pennsylvania Supreme Court naturalization papers, state penitentiary records, and so much more!

This image is the written death certificate for Milton Hershey.

Milton Hershey’s death certificate is an example of the interesting facts you can find online at the PHMC boot at the 2018 Farm Show.

If you can’t make it to the Farm Show, why not stop by the Archives some other time when you are in Harrisburg?

Free access to is available in the Archives research room. The Archives also holds over 75,000 cubic feet of original records and more than 30,000 rolls of microfilm. Here is what you’ll find:

  • Military records for all wars in which Pennsylvanians served, from the French and Indian War through the Vietnam War.
  • State land warrants, surveys and patents document the transfer of land from state government to private ownership.
  • County records on microfilm include wills and estate files, deeds, tax lists, birth, marriage and death registers, naturalization documents, and other unique county sources.
  • Thousands of maps and almost half a million photographic and motion picture images.
  • In addition to government records, you will find over 500 collections of papers and records of statewide organizations, businesses and prominent individuals relating to many aspects of Pennsylvania history and culture.

To learn more about the Pennsylvania State Archives, visit its website: or call (717) 783-3281.

Put your ancestors in their place…

Did your ancestors live on a farm? Own a store? Work in a factory? Try your luck at finding the places where your Pennsylvania ancestors lived, worked, and played. Or just satisfy your own curiosity about your own community’s history.

PA SHPO staff will be on hand to help Farm Show visitors learn how to use Pennsylvania’s Cultural Resources Geographic Information System (CRGIS) to find their, or their ancestor’s property, learn about their community, and even how to add their own information to this online database. It’s a quick and easy tool to search several databases at once to look for places that are of interest to you.

This photograph shows an image of two people talking in front of a computer screen.

PA SHPO staff will be on hand to show you the ropes.

This free activity introduces visitors to CRGIS, which is a map-based inventory of the historic places and archaeological sites and surveys stored in the files of the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office (PA SHPO).  PHMC has been collecting information concerning archaeological sites and historic resources for the greater part of a century. Currently there are over 25,000 archaeological sites and over 136,000 historic properties in these files.

For those interested in sending us information about a historic place or archaeological site, PA SHPO staff can also talk about Recording Resources and submitting the right forms to include the resource in CRGIS.

CRGIS is a partnership between the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission (PHMC) and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) with financial support from the Federal Highway Administration, the Baltimore District of the United States Army Corps of Engineers, and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

Find the needle in the haystack…

Do you like scavenger hunts? Want to learn more about Pennsylvania’s agricultural heritage?

Visitors to the Farm Show can search for 24 replica historical markers throughout the complex. The Historical Markers program is one of PHMC’s many public history activities and this fun challenge introduces children and adults to the diversity of Pennsylvania’s rich agricultural and rural heritage.

This image shows a blue and gold historical marker cartoon with the words "2018 Historical Marker Scavenger Hunt" in the center.

This year’s Historical Marker Scavenger Hunt promises to be lots of fun!

Replicas of actual PHMC historical markers related to foodways, rural life, and agricultural history are strategically located throughout the Farm Show Complex. Visitors use a booklet with a map to navigate the Farm Show Complex and find the markers. Participants answer questions related to each marker in order to complete the Scavenger Hunt.

Every individual or family that completes the scavenger hunt receives a prize packet and can register for a drawing for two Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation Family Memberships.

To start your hunt, visit the PHMC booth (#692) in the Family Living section of the Main Hall, between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. or download a PDF version of the booklet. For larger school groups who need multiple copies, teachers may contact Karen Galle of the PHMC Marker Program at (717) 705-4266 or or download a PDF version of the historical marker booklet.

If you go…

The Pennsylvania Farm Show runs from Saturday, January 6, 2018 through Saturday, January 13, 2018 at the Farm Show Complex, 2300 N. Cameron Street, Harrisburg, PA 17110.  PHMC’s booth, #692, is located in the Main Hall East Family Living area next to the Kids Corner.

The Farm Show is opens each day at 8:00 and admission is free. Parking is $15 in all Farm Show Complex-operated lots. For more information, visit

Hope to see you there!