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Guide to Chester County, Pennsylvania ancestry, family history and genealogy in courthouse sources including birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, wills, deeds and land records, Civil War records, Revolutionary War records, family histories, cemeteries, churches, tax records, newspapers, and obituaries.

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Chester County, Pennsylvania
Map
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County
Location in the state of Pennsylvania
Map of the U.S. highlighting Pennsylvania
Location of Pennsylvania in the U.S.
Facts
Founded March 10, 1682
County Seat West Chester
Courthouse
Chester County, Pennsylvania Courthouse.jpg
Address Chester County
2 North High Street
PO Box 2748
West Chester, PA 19380-0991
Chester County Website
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Contents

Chester County Pennsylvania Historical Facts

Beginning dates for major county records
Birth
Marriage
Death
Deeds
Probate
1893
1885
1893
1688
1713
Pachester.jpg
  • Parent Counties: Created from Colonial Lands 10 March 1682.[1]
  • County Seat: West Chester
  • Neighboring Counties: Chester County, Pennsylvania residents may also have records in:[2]

Many Scotch-Irish immigrants settled in Chester County in the early eighteenth century.[3]

Boundary Changes

14 October 1728: West part set off to form Lancaster County. [1]

26 September 1789: Southeast part set off to form Delaware County. [1]

For animated maps illustrating Pennsylvania county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Pennsylvania County Boundary Maps" (1673-1878) may be viewed for free at the MapofUS.org website.

Records Loss

For a list of record loss in Pennsylvania counties see: Pennsylvania Counties with Burned Courthouses

Chester County Pennsylvania Genealogy Resources

Bible Records

Biographies

Cemeteries

Cemetery records often reveal birth, marriage, death, relationship, military, and religious information.

Online Grave Transcripts Published Grave Transcripts County Cemetery Directories
Findagrave.com Family History Library

Findagrave.com

Interment.net WorldCat

Names in Stone

USGenWeb-transcriptions
USGenWeb-tombstone photos

Billion Graves

Pennsylvania Genealogy

Epodunk

Pennsylvania Gravestones
Billion Graves

Names in Stone

Access Genealogy
Ancestry($)

See Pennsylvania Cemeteries for more information.


  • Oxford Cemetery, Oxford BillionGraves
  • Revolutionary Soldiers Cemetery, Spring City BillionGraves. May contain burials from late 1700s/early 1800s.
  • Lloyd, Howard Williams. "Inscriptions on Gravestones in St. Peter's Episcopal Church-yard, Great Valley, East Whiteland, Chester County, Pa.," The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 15 (1891):440-448. For free online access, see WeRelate.
  • "Great Valley Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Paoli, Chester County, Pennsylvania," Publications of the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania, Vol. 34, No. 3 (1986):230-238. For free online access, see WeRelate.


The Mennonite Heritage Center
565 Yoder Road
Harleysville PA 19438-1020
215-256-3020
library@mhep.org
Hours: Tuesday thru Friday, 10am–5pm, Saturday, 10am–2pm

The Cemetery Database at the Mennonite Heritage Center includes 86,000 burial records from 125 local cemeteries.  Records cover cemeteries in the counties of Berks, Bucks, Butler, Chester, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, and Westmoreland. The database provides transcriptions from Mennonite, Brethren, Lutheran, Reformed, Union, Baptist, Methodist, Episcopal, community, and private cemeteries. Search the list of cemeteries and the alphabetical surname lists in Adobe PDF format.

Visit the Mennonite Heritage Center to search the cemetery database by various criteria. The transcriptions are available for further research at the MHC library.

Census

For tips on accessing Chester County, Pennsylvania Federal (or United States) census records online, see: Pennsylvania Census.

There are no county or state census records available for Pennsylvania. County and city tax records can be used as a substitute when census records are not available.

  • 1842 Originals
  • 1857 Originals and Index

Chester County Archives:

Church Records

Church records and the information they provide vary significantly depending on the denomination and the record keeper. They may contain information about members of the congregation, such as age, date of baptism, christening, or birth; marriage information and maiden names; and death date. In Pennsylvania, church records are often used as a substitute for birth, marriage, and death information. For general information about Pennsylvania denominations, view the Pennsylvania Church Records wiki page.


Chester county pennsylvania churches.png
Finding Church Records at Other Repositories

Additional church records can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Chester County, Pennsylvania Church Records  in online catalogs like:


County-wide Database - Multi-denominational
Contains church records of:
  • Chester Springs: St. Matthew's United Church of Christ; St. Peter's Pikeland United Church of Christ
  • Coatesville: Friendship United Methodist Church; Presbyterian Church; The Presbyterian Church of Coatesville
  • Compass: St. John's Episcopal Church
  • Downingtown: Central Presbyterian Church; Messiah Lutheran Church; St. James Church; St. James Episcopal Church; St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church; United Methodist Church
  • East Coventry: Coventry Mennonite Cemetery
  • Elk Ridge: Elk Ridge Methodist Episcopal Church
  • Kerford: Oak Grove Cemetery
  • Landenberg: United Methodist Church
  • New London: New London Methodist Episcopal Church; Protestant Episcopal Church of St. John the Evangelist; St. John's Episcopal Church
  • Oxford: Oxford Circuit Methodist Episcopal Church; St. Andrew's Church
  • Paoli: Salem Methodist Episcopal Church
  • Parkesburg: First United Presbyterian Church of Parkesburg
  • Philadelphia: Norris Square Methodist Episcopal Church
  • Phoenixville: St. Peter's Chapel; St. Peter's Episcopal Church; United Church of Christ - Hungarian Reformed
  • Salem: Salem Methodist Episcopal Church
  • Spring City: Vincent Mennonite Cemetery
  • West Bradford: Marshallton United Methodist Church
  • West Chester: Church of the Holy Trinity; Oakland Cemetery; St. Agnes' Roman Catholic Cemetery
  • West Marlborough: St. James Church
  • West Nantmeal: Goodwill United Methodist Church
  • West Vincent: St. Matthew's United Church of Christ
  • West Whiteland: Grove United Methodist Church
  • 1682-1800 - Humphrey, John T. Pennsylvania Births, Chester County, 1682-1800. Washington, D.C.: Humphrey Publications, 1994. FHL Book 974.813 K2h.
Contains Quaker monthly meeting records from Kennett, Bradford, Goshen, Nottingham, New Garden, Sadsbury, Uwchlan, Londongrove, Birmingham, and Fallowfield. Includes baptisms from Zion's Lutheran Church in Pikeland Township; East Vincent Reformed Church in Vincent Township; Brownbacks German Reformed Church in Coventry Township; Forks of the Brandywine Presbyterian Church; Faggs Manor Presbyterian Church; and records of Rev. John Casper Stoever.
  • Chester County Churches at PAGenWeb - free. Information and records about Baptists, Christians, Dunkers, Episcopalians, German Reformed, Lutherans, Mennonites, Methodists, Prebysterians, Roman Catholics, and some active churches in the area.
Brethren
Episcopalian

The earliest of the Episcopal churches is St. John's Pequra Episcopal church in Compassville.[4]

St. John's Church, New London

Early registers are lost. Surviving records begin in 1824.[5]

Trinity Church, Oxford

Early registers are lost.[5] For a history, see:

  • Fisher, George Harrison. "Trinity Church, Oxford, Philadelphia," The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 27 (1903):279-295. For free online access, see WeRelate.
Lutheran

Zion's or Old Organ Lutheran Church, East Pikeland Township

Presbyterian

Brandywine Manor Presbyterian Church

Faggs Manor Presbyterian Church aka New Londonderry Presbyterian Church

Fairview Presbyterian Church, Glenmoore

Forks of the Brandywine Presbyterian Church

Kennett Square Presbyterian Church

Penningtonville Presbyterian Church, Atglen

Quaker

Quakers did exist in the Chester County area prior to the arrival of William Penn. William Edmundson, minister of the Society of Friends, met with Robert Wade in about 1675 and held a meeting. The first official meeting did not occur until 1681 at the home of Mr. Wade. This meeting, held at Mr. Wade's house would eventually become the Chester Monthly Meeting. Meetings were first held in members homes but as the congregation grew separate meeting houses were built. The earliest meetings in what is now Chester County were: Goshen, Uwchlan, Caln, Kennett, Birmingham, Nottingham, West Nottingham, New Garden, London Grove Bradford and Valley.[7]

Early Quaker monthly meetings (with years established):

  • Concord Monthly Meeting (1684) also known as Chichester Monthly Meeting. Hinshaw published the early records: FHL Book 974.8 K2w.[8]
Reformed

Reformed Church, East Vincent

Vincent Reformed Church, East Vincent Township

Court Records

Chester County, Pennsylvania court records are housed at the Chester County, Pennsylvania Courthouse. For many counties copies of court records may be found at the Pennsylvania State Archives and in the FamilySearch collection. Note that within these collections some films may contain the same records, but have different titles. Other titles are not duplicates. See Finding Court Records at other repositories within this section for links to the online catalogs for these two collections. Films at the Pennsylvania State Archives are not available for inter-library loan. If court records are available FamilySearch films may be ordered at a local Family History Center.


  • 1681-1761 Dorothy B. Lapp, Records of the courts of Chester County, Pennsylvania (Danboro, Pennsylvania : Richard T. and Mildred C. Williams, 1972) FHL Fiche 6044956 (15 fiche); Book 974.813 P29L. Transcripts with each volume indexed.

Court of Common Pleas

The Courts of Common Pleas are the trial courts of Pennsylvania. Major civil and criminal cases are heard in these courts. Judges also decide cases involving adoption, divorce, child custody, abuse, juvenile delinquency, estates, guardianships, charitable organizations and many other matters. The Common Pleas courts are organized into 60 judicial districts. Chester County, Pennsylvania has its own judicial district. Judges of the Common Pleas courts are elected to 10-year terms. A president judge and a court administrator serve in each judicial district.[9]

Clerk of the Court

The Clerk of Courts prepares and maintains the records for the Criminal Division of the Court of Common Pleas. The Clerk signs and affixes the Seal of the Courts to all writs and processes, administers oaths and affirmations, and assumes custody of the seal and records of the Courts. The Clerk certifies and distributes orders of the Court. The Clerk also certifies and prepares bills of costs for the defendants and utilizes the computerized financial management system to disburse fines, costs and restitution.[10] For the Chester County, Pennsylvania Clerk of Courts address see the Courthouse section on this page.


Prothonotary

The office of the Prothontary is the custodian of all civil matters in the county. This includes naturalization, immigration, equity actions, judgements, federal and local tax leins, city liens, family court, arbitrations, license suspension appeals, appeals to higher court, commercial code filings, applications for passports and divorce proceedings. See the Courthouse section on this page for the Chester County, Pennsylvania Prothonotary office information.


Orphans' Court

See Vital Records
The Orphans' Court is responsible for a wide range of matters. The name of the Court is derived from the more general definition of "orphan," that being a person or thing that is without protective affiliation or sponsorship. This would include those not capable of handling their own affairs, minors, incapacitated persons, decedents estates, nonprofit corporations and trusts. It is the role of the Court to ensure that the best interests of the person or entity are not compromised.

It is believed the name of this court was borrowed from the Court of Orphans of the city of London, England which had the care and guardianship of children of deceased citizens, in their minority.[11]

For Chester County, Pennsylvania Orphans' Court contact information see the Courthouse section on this page.


Chester County Archive Online Indexes

Chester County Court Abstracts Online

Finding Court Records at Other Repositories

Additional court records can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Chester County, Pennsylvania Court Records in online catalogs like:


Emigration and Immigration

For information about emigration into Pennsylvania, see the Pennsylvania Emigration and Immigration page.


Ethnic Groups

Germans

Gazetteers

Genealogy

History

Hunting prepared a map and a list of those who settled in Darby Township up through 1760:

  • Hunting, Morgan. "The Names of the Early Settlers of Darby Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania," The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 25 (1900):182-186. Digital version at Internet Archive - free.
Published Histories

Land and Property

Land records in Chester County began in 1688. These records are filed with the Recorder of Deeds office in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

Land and property records can place an ancestor in a particular location, provide economic information, and reveal family relationships. Land records include: deeds, abstracts, indexes, mortgages, leases, grants, sheriff sales, land patents, and maps. Property records include liens as well as livestock brands and estray records.

The following are examples of available resources:

Online Land Records

Land Records on Microfilm

Additional Resources

Note that the "Maps" section below includes maps related to land ownership.

See Pennsylvania Land and Property for more information about using land records, especially about original land warrants, surveys, and patents filed at the state land office.

Additional resources can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Chester County Pennsylvania Land in online catalogs such as:

Maps

Migration

Military

Revolutionary War

Local men served in the Chester County Militia. A guide at the Pennsylvania State Archives website identifies townships where specific companies recruited soldiers, see Revolutionary War Militia Battalions and Companies, Arranged by County.

Chester County men also served in the 5th Pennsylvania Regiment,[12] the 6th Pennsylvania Regiment,[13] and the 9th Pennsylvania Regiment.[14]

War of 1812
Civil War
Chester County Archives
  • Chester County Historical Society (West Chester, Pennsylvania). Genealogical manuscripts up to 1968. (Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1968) FHL Film 563394 Item 2

Naturalization and Citizenship

Naturalization records can contain information about immigration and nativity. Prior to 1906, it is rare to find the town of origin in naturalization records. See Pennsylvania Naturalization for more information about the types of records and availability.

Naturalizations granted at the county level were kept by the office of the Prothonotary. Naturalizations could also be granted on the Federal Court level.


Naturalization records available for Chester County, Pennsylvania include the following:

Online Naturalization Indexes and Records

Original Naturalization Records on Microfilm

Finding Naturalization Indexes at Other Repositories

Additional naturalization indexes can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Chester County, Pennsylvania naturalization in online catalogs like:

Newspapers

Chester County, Pennsylvania newspapers may contain genealogical value including obituaries, births, marriages, deaths, anniversaries, family gatherings, family travel, achievements, business notices, engagement information, and probate court proceedings.

To access newspapers, contact public libraries, historical/genealogical societies, college or university libraries, or state archives in the area where the newspaper was published.

For information on state-wide newspapers see Pennsylvania Newspapers


Newspapers of Chester County

Online Newspapers

To learn if there are newspapers online for a specific town or city in Pennsylvania, see news.google.com/newspapers and search for the town or the name of a newspaper.

Online Newspaper Abstracts

Newspaper Excerpts and Abstracts

  • The Pennsylvania Genealogical Catalogue' (Malvern, Pennsylvania:Accessible Archives, c1993) FHL CD-Rom no. 6 Abstracts of newspaper articles from Chester County.
  • Record of Marriages from American Republican, 1815-1845 (SLC, Utah, 1947) FHL film 20993 item 4
  • Maxwell, Russelle Lane, Aunt Carrie's Scrapbook : a collection of newspaper articles covering Chester Co., PA from 1874 to 1910, births, marriages, deaths, and misc.--indexed (Pueblo, Colorado:R.L. Maxwell, c2000) FHL CD-Rom no. 866
Obituaries

Obituaries are generally found in local newspapers where the person died. However, sometimes an obituary is found in the location from which he or she originated. To find an obituary, see the information under the Newspaper heading


Online Obituary Abstracts

Obituary Excerpts and Abstracts

  • Compiled and arranged b y Michael J. Osiol, Pottstown Area Necrology (S.I.:M.J. Osiol, 19--?) FHL 1352477

Occupations

Indentured Servants

Officials

Periodicals

Poorhouse, Almshouse

Probate Records

Probate matters in Chester County, Pennsylvania are handled by the Orphans' Court and start when the county was created. To obtain original probate records, contact the Orphan's Court in the County Courthouse.

In addition to wills and administrations, the Orphans' Court also handles: audits of accounts of executors, administrators, trustees, and guardians; distribution of estates of decedents, incompetents, and minors; appointment and control of guardians; adoptions; appeals from the Register of Wills involving probate matters; inheritance tax appeals and various petitions and motions.


Online Probate Indexes

1713-1825 - Chester County, Pennsylvania Wills on Ancestry ($). Includes abstracts of the wills. The original records are at the Chester County Archives and Records Service, 117 West Gay Street, West Chester, PA 19380. See also the FamilySearch Catalog for FHL films 20844-20849.

1713-1850 - Index to Chester County, Pennsylvania wills and intestate recordson Ancestry ($) Taken from Anderson, Bart. Index to Chester County, Pennsylvania wills and intestate records, 1713-1850. Danboro, Pa.: R.T. and M.C. Williams, "The Pennsylvania traveler", 1970.

Online Probate Records

Original probate records for some Pennsylvania counties are available free online as digital images at FamilySearch.org. The dates vary significantly for each county and not all counties are listed. Some counties may only have probate indexes. This Pennsylvania collection of images may be browsed through the links listed below:

Complete Collection:

Chester County Only:

Online Probate Abstracts

Original Probate Records on Microfilm

Repositories

Archives

Chester County Archives
601 Westtown Road, Suite 080
West Chester, PA 19380-0990
Phone: 610.344.6760
E-mail: ccarchives@cc.org

The Chester County Archives was established in 1982 and holds almost 3,000 volumes and nearly two thousand cubic feet of original records. The Chester County Archives is run by the Chester County Historical Society and the County of Chester.

The Chester County Archives holds birth and death records (1852-1855, 1893-1906), marriage records (1852-1855, 1885-1930), wills and administrations (1714-1923), deed books (1688-1982), tax records (1715-1939), and more. The Chester County Archives has published online indexes to birth, marriage and death records, court records, land records, military records, naturalization records, probate records, tax records, and more.

The Pennsylvania Archivescollection contains county archive records that can be searched onsite. Currently the Archives' staff cannot provide research or make copies of these records. Their collections include Almshouse Registers; Tax records; Birth, Death and Marriage Indexes and Records; Midwife records; African American records; Wills; Deeds; Naturalizations; Coroner's inquests; and Orphan's Court dockets. A list of the Archive's county holdings are on Microfilm or Manuscript form.


Courthouse

Chester County
313 West Market St
P.O. Box 2748
West Chester, PA 19380-0991
Phone: 610-344-6000
Hours: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm M-F

The Archives (see above) holds birth and death records, marriages records, early deeds, wills and administrations, and more.

Recorder of Deeds
313 W Market Street, Suite 3302
P.B.Box 2748
West Chester, PA 193801-0991
Phone: 610-344-6330
E-mail: rodinfo@chesco.org
Hours:8:30 am - 4:30 pm

The search room (located on third floor, suite 3502) is open from 8:30 am - 4:15 pm). Older deeds can be found in the County Archives.

Prothonotary
201 W. Market Street
Suite 1425
P.O. Box 2746
West Chester, PA 19380-0989
Phone: 610-344-6300

Register of Wills/Orphans' Court
201 W Market Street
Suite 2200
West Chester, PA 19380-0989
Phone: 610.344.6335

Family History Centers
Family History Centers (FHCs) are branches of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, and are located all over the world. Their goal is to provide resources for family history research.

The main FHC for Chester County, Pennsylvania is the Valley Forge Pennsylvania Family History Center. For additional nearby Family History Centers, search online in the FHC directory.


Libraries

The Mennonite Heritage Center - Historical Library and Archives
565 Yoder Road
Harleysville PA 19438-1020
215-256-3020
library@mhep.org
Hours: Tuesday thru Friday, 10am–5pm, Saturday, 10am–2pm

The Mennonite Historians of Eastern Pennsylvania support the John L. Ruth Historical Library and Museum at the Mennonite Heritage Center. Located in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania the records and resources of this treasure also cover the counties of Bucks, Chester, Berks, Lehigh, Northampton, and Philadelphia. The website provides a comprehensive overview of library resources, online cemetery database, manuscript collections, photo collections, archival collections, and more.

Museums
Societies

Rich in history, Chester County, Pennsylvania contains a number of societies dealing with the history of the area.

Chester County Historical Society
The History Center
225 N High Street
West Chester, PA 19380-2658
610.692.4800
E-mail Hours: 9:30 am - 4:30 pm, W-S

The History Center includes a museum, library, photo archives, and museum shop. The Chester County Historical Society also jointly administers the County Archives (see above). Membership costs $45 for an individual or $55 for a family and comes with free access to the museum and library.

The Historical Society also jointly administers the County Archives (see above).

Slavery and Bondage

Taxation

Chester County Archives - 18th and 19th century tax lists

  • 1765-1769, 1771 - Proprietary Tax Lists of the County of Chester: For the Years 1765, 1766, 1767, 1768, 1769, 1771. (Pennsylvania Archives, Series 3, Vol. 11). Digital versions at Ancestry ($); Google Books - free.
  • 1774, 1779-1781, 1785 - Proprietary and Other Tax Lists of the County of Chester: For the Years 1774, 1779, 1780, 1781, 1785. (Pennsylvania Archives, Series 3, Vol. 12). Digital version at Ancestry ($); FamilySearch Books Online - free.
  • 1798 - Pennsylvania, U.S. Direct Tax Lists, 1798 at Ancestry ($).

Vital Records

Vital records are handled by the County Orphans' Court. Between the years 1852-1855 Pennsylvania made a failed attempt to record birth, marriage and death events at the county level. While the records for that time period are available, there were few events recorded. County marriage records were kept in earnest in 1885. Births and deaths, at the county level, were begun in 1893 and kept through 1905. Abstracts and copies of vital records are available for some counties, but most are incomplete. For the most complete set of records, always contact the County Orphans' Court.



See also How to order Pennsylvania Vital Records

Birth

Early births 1893–1905 are located at the County Orphans' Court. See the heading Court Records on this page for contact information.

Indexes for Pennsylvania birth records are available through the Department of of Health for 1906 and 1907. Once an individual is located in the index a non certified Birth certificate can be obtained by writing and sending $3.00 to:

Division of Vital Records
ATTN: Public Records
P.O. Box 1528
New Castle, PA 16103


  • 1726-1930 - Pennsylvania, Births and Christenings, 1709-1950 - free index. Not complete for all years. This index is an electronic index for the years 1726 to 1930. It is not necessarily intended to index any specific set of records. This index is not complete for any particular place or region. This collection may include information previously published in the International Genealogical Index or Vital Records Index collections.
  • 1768-1874 - Chester County Birth Index 1768-1874 in International Genealogical Index at FamilySearch - free.[6]
  • 1852-1855, 1893-1907 Births Delayed Birth Records (Chester County Archives)
  • 1852-1854 – Pennsylvania Births Ancestry.com – ($) Index with images.


Marriage

Pennsylvania marriages are located at the county level. Contact the Chester County, Pennsylvania clerk's office for these records.

  • 1690-1890 Marriage Contracts, Separations and Certificates, (Chester County Archives)
  • 1700-1821 - Pennsylvania Marriage Records Ancestry.com – ($) This database is incomplete for all counties.
  • 1725-1976 - Pennsylvania, Marriages, 1709-1940 - free index. Not complete for all years. This index is not necessarily intended to index any specific set of records. This index is not complete for any particular place or region. This collection may include information previously published in the International Genealogical Index or Vital Records Index collections.
  • 1768-1874 - Chester County Marriage Index 1768-1874 in International Genealogical Index at FamilySearch - free.[6]
  • Pre-1810 – Pennsylvania Marriages Ancestry.com – ($) This database is incomplete for all counties. Includes 35,000 marriage records from vol. VIII of of the second series of the Pennsylvania Archives.
  • 1793-1813 - Harlan, Geo. Passmore. "Marriages by Moses Marshall, Esq., Marshalton, Pa.," Publications of the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania, Vol. 3, No. 3 (Jun. 1908):190-196. For free online access, see WeRelate; the Family History Library also has this series in its collection: FHL Book 974.8 B2p.
  • 1795-1832 - "Marriages by John Graves, Esquire, West Chester, Pa.," Publications of the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania, Vol. 4, No. 1 (Mar. 1909):101-113. For free online access, see WeRelate; the Family History Library also has this series in its collection: FHL Book 974.8 B2p.
  • 1852-1855, 1885-1930 Marriages, (Chester County Archives)
  • 1885-1930 Marriages License Applications, (Chester County Archives)
  • 1852-1854 - Pennsylvania Marriages Ancestry.com – ($) Index with images.
  • 1885-1950 - Pennsylvania County Marriage, 1885-1950 Extracted marriage records – free. This database is incomplete for all counties. May also contain marriage records earlier than 1885.
  • Chester County Marriages (by groom surname) at Chester County PAGenWeb archives.
Divorce

Divorce records are available through the office of the Prothonotary. The office of the Prothonotary is located in the courthouse building.

Death

Early deaths 1893–1905 are located at the County Orphans' Court. See the heading Court Records on this page for contact information.

Indexes for Pennsylvania death records are available through the Department of Health for 1906 through 1962. Once an individual is located in the index a non certified death certificate can be obtained obtained by writing and sending $3.00 to:

Division of Vital Records
ATTN: Public Records
P.O. Box 1528
New Castle, PA 16103


Finding Vital Records at Other Repositories

Additional vital records can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Chester County, Pennsylvania Vital Records in online catalogs like:


Genealogy Societies and Libraries

Chester County Pennsylvania Genealogy Websites

Chester County Pennsylvania Places

Populated Places

City

  • Coatesville

Boroughs

  • Atglen
  • Avondale
  • Downingtown
  • Elverson
  • Honey Brook
  • Kennett Square
  • Malvern
  • Modena
  • Oxford
  • Parkesburg
  • Phoenixville
  • South Coatesville
  • Spring City
  • West Chester
  • West Grove

Townships

  • Birmingham
  • Caln
  • Charlestown
  • East Bradford
  • East Brandywine
  • East Caln
  • East Coventry
  • East Fallowfield
  • East Goshen
  • East Marlborough
  • East Nantmeal
  • East Nottingham
  • East Pikeland
  • East Vincent
  • East Whiteland
  • Easttown
  • Elk
  • Franklin
  • Highland
  • Honey Brook
  • Kennett
  • London Britain
  • London Grove
  • Londonderry
  • Lower Oxford
  • New Garden
  • New London
  • Newlin
  • North Coventry
  • Penn
  • Pennsbury
  • Pocopson
  • Sadsbury
  • Schuylkill
  • South Coventry
  • Thornbury
  • Tredyffrin
  • Upper Oxford
  • Upper Uwchlan
  • Uwchlan
  • Valley
  • Wallace
  • Warwick
  • West Bradford
  • West Brandywine
  • West Caln
  • West Fallowfield
  • West Goshen
  • West Marlborough
  • West Nantmeal
  • West Nottingham
  • West Pikeland
  • West Sadsbury
  • West Vincent
  • West Whiteland
  • Westtown
  • Willistown

Communities

  • Birchrunville
  • Chester Springs
  • Chesterbrook
  • Cheyney
  • Daylesford
  • Devon-Berwyn
  • Embreeville
  • Exton
  • Kemblesville
  • Kenilworth
  • Kimberton
  • Knauertown
  • Lionville-Marchwood
  • Marshallton
  • Nottingham
  • Paoli
  • South Pottstown
  • Southeastern
  • Strafford
  • Sugartown
  • Thorndale
  • Toughkenamon
  • Unionville
  • Valley Forge
  • Wayne
  • West Goshen
  • Willowdale

Chester County Pennsylvania Genealogy References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), [FHL book 973 D27e 2002].
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Adams County, Pennsylvania" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adams_County,_Pennsylvania (accessed 17 July 2012).
  3. Wayland F. Dunaway, The Scotch-Irish of Colonial Pennsylvania (Chapel Hill, N.C.: The University of North Carolina Press, 1944), 50. Free digital version at PA's Past: Digital Bookshelf at Penn State.
  4. W.W. Thomson "Chester County and Its People" (Chicago and New York: The Union History Company, 1898), 832. WorldCat 14691246; FHL book 974.813 H2t
  5. 5.0 5.1 Philip Syng Physick Conner,"Registers of the Anglican Church in Pennsylvania prior to 1800," The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 12 (1888):341-349. For free online access, see WeRelate.
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 6.15 6.16 6.17 6.18 Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/images/2/23/Igipennsylvaniac.pdf.
  7. W.W. Thomson, "Chester County and Its People" (Chicago and New York: The Union History Company, 1898), 740-745, WorldCat 14691246; FHL book 974.813 H2t
  8. William Wade Hinshaw and Phyllis J. Selby, The William Wade Hinshaw Index to Pennsylvania Quaker Meeting Records (Kokomo, Ind.: Selby Publishing and Printing, 1990). Vol. 1. FHL Book 974.8 K2w
  9. The Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania http://www.pacourts.us/T/CommonPleas/ accessed 10 July 2012.
  10. Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania, Clerk of Courts in http://www.pacourts.us/T/CommonPleas/ClerksOfCourts.htm (accessed 25 Aug 2012)
  11. The Philadelphia Courts at http://www.courts.phila.gov/common-pleas/orphans/ accessed 10 July 2012
  12. John B.B. Trussell and Charles C. Dallas, The Pennsylvania Line; Regimental Organization and Operations, 1776-1783 (Harrisburg, Pa.: Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1977). Digital version at Family History Archive.
  13. Wikipedia contributors, "6th Pennsylvania Regiment," http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/6th_Pennsylvania_Regiment, accessed 31 May 2012.
  14. Wikipedia contributors, "9th Pennsylvania Regiment," http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9th_Pennsylvania_Regiment, accessed 31 May 2012.

 

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