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Kenneth W. Milano, Curriculum Vita

2313 E. York Street, Philadelphia, PA 19125.

215 317-6466




Kenneth W. Milano is a historical & genealogical researcher with over twenty-five years experience in the history of Philadelphia’s neighborhoods of Fishtown and Kensington, as well as the metropolitan area of Philadelphia. He was born and raised in Kensington and still lives in that section of Philadelphia, where his mother’s German ancestors first arrived from Unterleichtersbach, Bavaria, in 1844. His family has been in Kensington for over 173 years and has lived in the same home on York Street since 1964.

Ken is a graduate of Temple University, where he graduated from the History Department, having specialized in American History with a concentration in local Philadelphia history. Ken received a Bachelor’s Degree in 1995, graduating “cum laude.” He studied under the direction of Professors Howard Ohline (Revolutionary America and Early Republic), Professor Herbert J. Ershkowitz (Jacksonian America), and under the social historian Professor Allen F. Davis.

Before attending Temple University, Ken served a four-year apprenticeship as a Marine Painter, at the old Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, where he worked on the Service Life Extension Program (S.L.E.P.), helping to restore aircraft carriers for the United States Navy.

After college, Milano taught G.E.D. and English as a Second Language classes for 8 years at the Lutheran Settlement House in Kensington, where he met and married Dorina Lala, formerly of Fier, Albania. They have two sons, Francesco and Salvatore.


Ken also has over a thirty year history in the rare and scholarly book selling and manuscript business. He currently sub-contracts with the manuscript firm of Michael Brown Rare Americana, LLC, of Philadelphia, where he researches and catalogues manuscript collections. In this capacity Ken has researched families throughout America, Canada, and England. While in college and for some time after, Ken worked for eight years at the distinguished book selling firm of William H. Allen, of Philadelphia, under the directorship of Mr. George R. Allen. The shop was America's best for Greek & Latin Classics.


In the mid 1990’s, Mr. Milano, along with Rich Remer and Torben Jenk, helped to found the Kensington History Project, a community based historical group that researches, lectures, and publishes on the history of Kensington and Fishtown. Ken has been an event speaker on numerous

local historical topics for Kensington and Fishtown history. He has spoken at the University of Pennsylvania, Community College of Philadelphia, and for the Free Library of Philadelphia, as well as to local parochial and public schools, community organizations, and fraternal organziations.

In 2008, Ken was elected to the Board of Directors for the Pennsylvania Genealogical Society for the term of 2008-2010. Ken served as the chairman of the Volunteer Committee and the Nominating Committee. In 2003, Ken was inducted into the Philadelphia Archdiocese’s Northeast Catholic High  School Alumni Hall of Fame, for the fields of Arts/Education/Entertainment. He was also  made an honorary member of APT (Association of Philadelphia Tourguides).

In addition to writings that have already been published, Ken has written an unpublished biography of Anthony Palmer, the founder of Kensington.




1977: North East Catholic High School, General Academics

1988: Philadelphia Naval Yard -Marine Painter Apprenticeship Program

1995: Temple University, BA, Cum Laude, Specializing in American History & Delaware Valley History.




2003: North East Catholic High School Hall of Fame, for Arts, Education, & Entertainment.

2009: Fishtown Neighborhood Association Community Service Award.

2016: Fishtown Neighborhood Association Community Service Award as a member of KOHR (Kensington Old Richmond Heritage, a local preservation group) 

Leadership & Community Service:


1980s: Board of Directors New Kensington Neighborhood Advisory Committee;

Founding Board of Directors for New Kensington Community Development

Corporation; Founding Board of Directors for New Kensington Federal Credit Union. 

1990s: One of the founders of the Kensington History Project.

2008-2017: Member of the founding board of directors for the Penn Treaty Museum.

2008-10: Board of Directors, Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania

2012-2017: St. Anne's Historical Committee

2013- 2017: St. Anne's Parish Council



Penn Treaty Museum

Association of Philadelphia Tourguides (Honorary)

Kensington Old Richmond Heritage (KOHR




1996: Kensington and the Founding of Philadelphia (1681-1800), in Kensington

History; Stories and Memories (Philadelphia: Brighton Press, 1996).


2002: John Hewson; Kensington’s Revolutionary War Hero, in Pennsylvania

Legacies, (Philadelphia: Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Nov. 2002)


2006-2011: The Rest is History — a weekly local history column published in the Star Newspapers.


2008: Remembering Kensington & Fishtown: Philadelphia Riverward

Neighborhoods, book, (Charleston, SC: The History Press, 2008).


2009: The History of Penn Treaty Park, by Kenneth W. Milano (Charleston, SC:

The History Press, 2009)


2009: The History of the Kensington Soup Society, by Kenneth W. Milano

 (Charleston, SC: The History Press, 2009).


2010: The Hidden History of Kensington & Fishtown, by Kenneth W. Milano

(Charleston, SC: The History Press, 2010)

2011: Palmer Cemetey and the Histrorical Burial Grounds of Kensington & Fishtown, by Kenneth W. Milano (Charleston, SC: The History Press, 2011)

2013:The Philadelphia Nativist Riots: Irish Kensington Erupts (Charleston,SC: The History Press, 2013)



Consultant to:


Perseverance — Todd Noe with the communities of Kensington and

Fishtown, in New Land Marks: public art, community, and the meaning of

place, edited by Penny Balkin Bach. (Washington, DC: Grayson Publishing,



Finding America in Its First Political Textile, by John R. Monsky, in

Winterthur Portfolio, A Journal of American Material Culture. Volume 37,

Number 4. Winter 2002.


The Jewish Community Under the Frankford El, by Allen Meyers with Carl

Nathans (Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing Inc., 2003).


Philadelphia Graveyards and Cemeteries, by Thomas H. Keels (Charleston,

SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2003).


From the Del to the El: a Neighborhood Evolving, by New Kensington

Community Development Corporation. (Philadelphia: Scribe Video, 2005,



Palmer Cemetery: The Heart and History of Fishtown, by the Fishtown

Neighbors Association. (Philadelphia: Scribe Video, 2005, documentary)


The Man of Many Vases: John Hewson, Calico Printer, by Kimberly Wulfert.

Folk Art Magazine, Fall 2007. (New York: American Folk Art Museum,



The Agitator's Daughter; A Memoir of Four Generations of One

Extraordinary African-American Family, by Sheryll Cashin (New York:

Public Affairs, 2008).


The history of the United States cent revealed through copper isotope fractionation,  by Ryan Mathur et al. Journal of Archaeological Science, Vol. 36, Number 2, February 2009.

50 Children: The Rescue Mission of Mr. & Mrs. Krause. HBO Documentary, written, directed and produced by Steven Pressman, 2013. [I conducted genealogical resaerch for this productdion]

National Radio Interviews:

NPR's Weekend Edition with Liane Hansen, July 13, 2008:

WHYY's Chef's Table with Jeff Coleman, September 10, 2009

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