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Early History of Berks County

Formed on March 11, 1752, Berks County is beautifully situated Berks County Courthouse, 1762in southeastern Pennsylvania. With mild climate and fertile soil, the area attracted a variety of people from Europe -- and around the world, who sought a better life for themselves and their families.

The first to settle were the Swedes, in 1701, near the mouth of the Manatawny Creek; soon, Huguenots would take up residence in the Oley Valley, followed by the Germans in 1712, and the English in 1720. The Welsh came to southwestern Berks, settling along the banks of the Wyomissing and Cacoosing Creeks. A small group of Hebrews settled in Reading and Myerstown, and small number of Scots, Irish, Holland Dutch, Mulattos, and Negroes also appear in the 1790 census.

These people, of rich and varied background', rendered 18th century Berks County a brilliant tapestry of cultural diversity. Their ingenuity, industriousness and valor provide a history which today's Berks County Daughters take pride in preserving.

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