Destination: The Americas

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (PA)
Archivist: Helen Remich Dubas

  Let me introduce myself.  My name is Helen Dubas, and "I’m a Philly Girl."  I often joke that you can take the girl out of the city, but you can’t take the city out of the girl.  That really is how I feel about Philadelphia.  Times pass, cities change, but the happy memories of days gone by in Philadelphia never fade.

I was born at St. Mary’s Hospital in a section of Philadelphia called "Fishtown," the year being 1946.  After a few years, four to be exact, my family "moved up" to tree-lined streets in the Hunting

Park section of Philadelphia. The location changed, but I continued to be surrounded by my Danube Swabian heritage. The new neighborhood was neatly divided, almost ruler-like, into ethnic pockets of German, Irish and Italian.  Even the churches were divided in that fashion, so it is only natural that I went to St. Henry’s School and Church, where at least one Sunday Mass was celebrated in High German.  My family remained in that same row house in the Hunting Park section until I graduated in 1964 from Little Flower Catholic High School for Girls.

Long before Philadelphia’s slogan "City of Brotherly Love" was put into place, Philadelphia was known and continues to be, the "City of Neighborhoods."  You may have taken note that I mentioned "Fishtown" and "Hunting Park." That’s what Philadelphia is all about, neighborhoods. When you are from Philly, you are known by three things… your neighborhood, your parish, or the corner from which you hung out as a teenager.  Jokingly, you were either Catholic or "a public."  It is for this reason, that outsiders often have a hard time when researching their ancestors in Philadelphia. They know their family came to Philadelphia, yet find their addresses to read something like Fox Chase, Pennsylvania. In reality, Fox Chase is a neighborhood within the city limits of Philadelphia. Philadelphia is known to have 395 neighborhoods, official and unofficial.

Yes, Philadelphia is a historical city, a city of many industries that have come and gone, a city of beautiful parks and waterways, but primarily, in my mind, Philadelphia remains a city proud of her people, their many customs, and their ability to join together as one to make her great.  It is a city that many Danube Swabians called home, and I’m one of them. 

Please take a look at what is available for your research on the Destination: Philadelphia page.  As your interest grows, the Philadelphia page will be sure to grow with you. We can work together to make it great, just as our ancestors participated to put Philadelphia on the map and provide happy memories to savor for years to come, memories that we can pass along as well.


Neighborhoods of Philly . . .

Probably one of the most argued about topics in Philadelphia, could very well be the boundaries of neighborhoods.

Local Genealogical Research Aids
Philadelphia, Philadelphia Co., & Pennsylvania State Records

Philadelphia Danube Swabian Surname Registry

Philly Memories

Did you know . . .
Odd bits of information

Donauschwaben & German Associations

Vereinigung der Donauschwaben Philadelphia und Umgebung
Danube Swabian Association and Danubia Soccer Club
President Fred Gauss
1277 Southampton Road
Philadelphia, PA 19116
(215) 969-9356

United German Hungarian Club of Philadelphia & Vicinity
Founded 1910
4666 Bristol Road
Oakford, PA 19053
357-9851 / fax 215-357-1560

German Society of Pennsylvania
located in Philadelphia and lists upcoming events

Peter Stahl, Musician,  Banat-PA




Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (PA) Archivist:  Helen Remich Dubas [More about Helen]

DVHH < Destination: The Americas < United States < Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (PA)

Last updated: Wednesday June 22, 2011

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