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Will-Britt Books genealogy research files and books

1965-2012, 44 linear feet

06

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Doylestown Historical Society. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Summary Information

Repository:
Doylestown Historical Society
Creator:
Will-Britt Books
Title:
Will-Britt Books genealogy research files and books
Date [inclusive]:
1965-2012
Call Number:
06
Extent:
44 Linear feet
Language:
English
Abstract:
Mildred C. Williams and Janet R. Brittingham were genealogists who together self-published genealogy histories and genealogy-source transcripts, primarily focusing on Southeastern Pennsylvania, under the name Will-Britt Books. The Will-Britt Books genealogy research files and books, 1965-2012, consist of the working files, publications, and reference materials from the offices of Will-Britt Books. It is organized into three series: I. Genealogy research files; II. Will-Britt Books publications; and III. Reference materials and administrative records.
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Biography/History

Mildred C. Williams and Janet R. Brittingham were genealogists who together self-published genealogy histories and genealogy-source transcripts, primarily focusing on Southeastern Pennsylvania, under the name Will-Britt Books.

Mildred Elizabeth Corson Williams (1906-2004) was the daughter of William Taylor and Alice E. (Milburn) Corson. She grew up in the Frankford section of Philadelphia before attending the Philadelphia School of Design for Women, after which she worked as an illustrator. After helping a cousin with family history, Williams fell in love with genealogy and began working as a professional genealogist and genealogy publisher. Her husband, Richard T. Williams, was a partner in her genealogy work before his death in 1983.

Janet R. Brittingham (1926-2012) was born in Doylestown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania to Paul L. and Hazel (Weiss) Hockman. At times, she worked as a seamstress/tailor, professional roller skater, and genealogist.

Bibliography:

"Janet R. 'Jean' Brittingham." Intelligencer, October 4, 2012. Clipping found in collection.

"Mildred Elizabeth Corson Williams." Bucks County Courier Times, July 29, 2004. Clipping found in collection.

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of the working files, publications, and reference materials from the offices of Will-Britt Books. It is organized into three series: I. Genealogy research files; II. Will-Britt Books publications; and III. Reference materials and administrative records.

Series I. Genealogy research files is the largest series. It is organized in alphabetical order by family name. Primarily focused on Pennsylvania-based families, the files contain photocopies and transcripts of primary-source documents, handwritten research notes, family research reports (narratives), ancestor charts, family group sheets, and other materials generated by Mildred C. Williams or Janet R. Brittingham in the course of performing genealogy research. While Will-Britt Books was still in operation, copies of these family name search files could be purchased in booklet form for a fee.

Series II. Will-Britt Books publications consists of copies of the paper-bound (mostly spiral-bound) volumes produced by Will-Britt Books. Organized by type of record and county, it includes transcripts and/or indexes of:

  • Marriage records: Bucks, Chester, Lancaster, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties
  • Census records: Bucks, Berks, Chester, Northampton, and Philadelphia counties
  • Wills and administration records: Bucks, Berks, Chester, Delaware, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, and Philadelphia counties
  • Tax lists: Bucks, Berks, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Montgomery, Northampton, and Philadelphia counties
  • Revolutionary War records: Bucks, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, and Philadelphia counties
  • Death and burial records: Berks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties
  • General and miscellaneous history: Berks, Bucks, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties

Series III. Reference materials and administrative records includes: general and miscellaneous histories published by local historical societies (including those located in other states); binders compiled for use, not publication, by Williams and/or Brittingham with record indexes and other genealogically-relevant information; genealogy manuals; publicity materials and quarterly/periodical publications put out by Will-Britt Books; and a small amount of correspondence and records pertaining to the administration of the business.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

Doylestown Historical Society

Finding Aid Author

Finding aid prepared by Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Faith Charlton through the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories

Sponsor

This preliminary finding aid was created as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Access Restrictions

Contact Doylestown Historical Society for information about accessing this collection.

Immediate Source of Acquisition Note

Gift of Leslie Scala, 2012.

Processing Information Note

Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2012-2014 as part of a project conducted by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania to make better known and more accessible the largely hidden collections of small, primarily volunteer run repositories in the Philadelphia area. The Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR) was funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

This is a preliminary finding aid. No physical processing, rehousing, reorganizing, or folder listing was accomplished during the HCI-PSAR project.

In some cases, more detailed inventories or finding aids may be available on-site at the repository where this collection is held; please contact Doylestown Historical Society directly for more information.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)
  • Will-Britt Books
Geographic Name(s)
  • Berks County (Pa.)
  • Bucks County (Pa.)
  • Chester County (Pa.)
  • Delaware County (Pa.)
  • Montgomery County (Pa.)
  • Philadelphia (Pa.)
Personal Name(s)
  • Brittingham, Janet R.
  • Williams, Mildred C.
Subject(s)
  • Genealogy

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