The first European settlers in Pennsylvania were the Swedes who came in the 1630s and the Dutch who came in the 1650s. By 1670 the English, Irish, and Welsh predominated in the area. They settled mostly in Philadelphia and the eastern counties, such as Bucks and Chester.

Germans began coming to Pennsylvania in large numbers at the end of the 1600s. They settled first in the eastern counties and later migrated to western Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and Virginia. Many Pennsylvania Germans also migrated later to North Carolina, Kentucky, Ohio, and Illinois.

The Scotch-Irish started coming in large numbers after 1718. They settled first in old Cumberland County and later pushed into the western Pennsylvania counties of Westmoreland, Fayette, Washington, Greene, and Allegheny. Many Scotch-Irish eventually moved into southern states such as Virginia, Maryland, the Carolinas, and Kentucky. French Huguenot and Swiss families mingled with the Germans. Some Huguenots from New York migrated to Pennsylvania and settled in Berks and Lancaster counties. Swiss Mennonites began to settle in Lancaster county about 1710.

In the 1870s Pennsylvania attracted large numbers of immigrants from southern and eastern Europe. These included Slavs, Poles, Italians, Jews, Russians, and Greeks. During the nineteenth and especially the twentieth centuries, blacks from the southern states also moved to Pennsylvania in large numbers.

Taken From The Family History Center Page