Reading is the county seat of Berks County and with a population of 87,812 is the fifth-largest city in Pennsylvania.
Lenni Lenape people, also known as "Delaware Indians", were the original inhabitants of the Reading area.The Colony of Pennsylvania was a 1680 land grant from KingCharles II of England to William Penn. Comprising more than 45,000 square miles (120,000 km2), it was named for his father,Sir William Penn.In 1743, Richard and Thomas Penn (sons of William Penn) mapped out the town of Reading with Conrad Weiser. Taking its name from Reading, Berkshire, England, the town was established in 1748. Upon the creation of Berks County in 1752, Reading became the county seat. The region was settled by emigrants from southern and western Germany, who bought land from the Penns. The first Amish community in the New World was established in Greater Reading, Berks County.The Pennsylvanian German dialect was spoken in the area well into the 1950s and later.Census data showed that, from 1810 to 1950, Reading was among the nation's top one hundred largest urban places.