Archives Inventory

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Description: Issued by the County upon the death of an individual if no will is present and it assigns administrators of the deceased’s estate.
 

Dates: 1784-1833; 1875-1878; 1909-1911
 

Location: For the years, 1784-1833, there are 24 boxes of administration papers filed chronologically at the Archives Building. There are two books of Administration Bonds for the years 1875-1878 and 1909-1911. All Administration Bonds from 1784 to 1833 have been scanned and are available in the Archives Online Repository. To locate Administration records from 1833 to 1875 and 1878 to 1909 and for records after 1911, it is recommended that you contact the Franklin County Register and Recorder’s office.
 

Index/Reference: Administration Papers available online have been fully indexed and are searchable by deceased’s name, administrators’ names, and date of the bond. Scanned copies of the original Administration and Estate indexes are available on familysearch.org. The original indexes to the Administration records are found in the office of Franklin County's Register and Recorder.

 

Notes: Additional information relating to the estates of the deceased can also be found in the Estate Papers and in the Orphans Court sections.

Description: Details each Commissioner's meeting including all issues discussed, resolutions made, policies passed, motions, etc., that pertain to the daily function of the county. The entries will include the date of the meeting and will state whether all members of the board are present. It may also include the names of the commissioners present and the signature of the Chief Clerk recording the minutes.


Dates: 1839-1861, 1900-1902, 1925-1943


Index/Reference: Seven books. The meeting minutes are not index and will need to be searched by date to find information.

Description: These docket books deal with matters that were brought before the court, but are not civil suit, and includes a wide variety of record: admission to the bar, charters, decrees of dissolution, resignations and appointments of inspectors and overseers of elections, insolvent debtors requesting discharge from prison, requests to be excused from jury duty, petitions for appointment of viewers, petitions for satisfaction of mortgages, police appointments for camp meetings, appointments of tipstaff, bonds for justices of the peace, auditors reports, report of county controller, certificates of disbarment, articles of incorporation, appointment of inspectors for school districts, naturalizations, et. al..

 

Dates: 1847-1904            

 

Index/Reference: Four books (Vols. A-D). Each book contains an index based on the type of record.The records dealing with naturalizations have additionally been recorded in separate volumes and can be viewed under the Naturalization section.

 

Description: The coroner investigates all manner of deaths that occur in the county, and issues a certificate listing the probable cause of death. Documents will include the name, address and age of the deceased, cause of death, signature of coroner, and date of examination, and may also contain depositions and the names of the jurors and their signatures.


Dates: 1909-1982


Index/Reference: There are currently no index for Coroner’s Inquest records.

 

Description: Includes correspondence dealing with residents of the county home, Directors of the Poor administrative files, Directors of the Poor meeting minutes, log of residents of the county home, and death records.


Dates: 1870s to 1940s


Index/Reference: 2 boxes and 12 books. Correspondence files and register of county home residents have been scanned, transcribed and indexed and are available in the Archives Online Repository. Correspondence and administrative files have been indexed and fully searchable by the names which appear in them and date of the document. Other records have not been indexed.

Description: Records pertaining to criminal matters filed through the Court of Quarter Sessions and Oyer and Terminer Sessions and include dockets, cost dockets, papers, trial lists, etc. The papers include affidavits, agreements, answers, appeals, bail bonds, bills of costs, certifications, citations, colloquies, commitments, complaints, docket transcripts, fingerprint request cards, indictments, information, motions, opinions, orders, petitions, pleas, praecipes, requests, returns of service, rules, stipulations, transcribed testimony, verdicts, waivers, and warrants.  Dockets include court term and case number, name of defendant(s), attorney, witnesses, prosecutor, jurors and judge, plea, verdict, disposition, and cost.


Dates: 1827-1993 (with gaps).  


Index/Reference: 55 boxes. 170 books. Some of the books contain indexes.

Description: Includes the Grantor Indexes and Index to Plots, which provide indexes to locate deeds. Deeds are stored at the Register and Recorder’s office and can also be found online through them. 22 boxes.

 

Dates: 1784 to Present

 

Description: Estate papers concern to the administration of estates in accordance with the terms of a will. Estate papers may include: a will, administration accounts, an inventory, a vendue list, bonds and renunciations.


Dates: 1784-1840. Archives may bring over additional records in the future, and will update the date range accordingly.


Index/Reference: 68 boxes. Archives staff is currently indexing and digitizing estate papers, making them available online as they are processed. A number of records are currently available online already in the Archives Online Repository and more are added on a regular basis. Will Indexes and Will Books can also be in the Register and Recorders office and online at familysearch.org.


Notes: The date on the file is the probate date, not the date of death.

Description: Issued by the state to authorize a survey of a piece of property for sale by the state. Includes the name of the applicant, the names of surrounding neighbors of the property, and date of the warrant. The land warrants are organized by township and alphabetical by last name.


Dates: 1730s to 1850s


Index/Reference: 25 boxes. Land warrants have been scanned and indexed and are available in the Archives Online Repository. Please note that our holdings may not be complete, so if a record appears to be missing you may want to check with the Pennsylvania State Archives. Land warrants are fully indexed and searchable by the name of the warrant, name of neighbor, date of warrant, and township.


Notes: Process of Acquiring Land ‎(from phmc.pa.gov)‎ 1)‎ Application - Request for a warrant to have a survey made. 2)‎ Warrant - Certificate authorizing a survey of a tract of land; initiates title of a property and provides the basis for legal settlement, but does not convey all rights to the property. A number of Franklin County warrants are available in this folder. 3)‎ Survey - Sketch of boundaries of tract of land with exact determination of total acreage. A number of Franklin County Rough Draft surveys are available in this folder. The survey books are available at the Franklin County Archives. 4)‎ Return - Verbal description of property boundaries; function is similar to that of a patent; internal document sent from the Surveyor General to the Secretary of the Land Office. 5)‎ Patent - Final, official deed from the Penns or the Commonwealth, which conveys title and all rights to the private owner. For more information on the land process, visit the Pennsylvania State Archives.

 

Description: Documents relating to the land office and the County Surveyor's office, which include correspondence, field notes, Board of Property orders and judgements, and reports. The correspondence and miscellaneous documents are organized by township and alphabetically by last name.


Dates: 1760s to 1890s


Index/Reference: 16 boxes. Correspondence and miscellaneous documents have been scanned and indexed and are available in the Archives Online Repository. Correspondence and miscellaneous documents are fully indexed and searchable by the names of those mentioned in the documents, by date, and by township.

 

Description: The marriage application contains applicant's name; race; if related to future spouse; occupation; birthplace; residence; age; previous marriages; if divorced it lists date and cause. Applications may also include the names, residence, race, occupation and birthplace of the applicant's parents, If either party was under 21 years of age, a parental consent will be filed. When a minor applying for a license has no parent or guardian to give consent, the Orphans' Court judge appoints a guardian. The marriage license will provide the date and place of the ceremony and name of the official who performed the ceremony.


Dates: 1885-1915


Index/Reference: 21 books. There is a General Marriage License Index which is organized alphabetically by the last name of the groom and/or bride.

Description: Records may include a petition, certificate of arrival, declarations of intention, affidavits and depositions of witnesses, oaths of allegiance and recommendations for granting or denying naturalization. Prior to 1900 there are no naturalizations for women or children. After 1900, declaration of intention may contain biographical information of the person, such as, name, age, occupation, color, complexion, height, weight, hair & eye color, distinctive marks, date and place of birth, present residence, country emigrated from, vessel name, port of arrival and date, last foreign residence, renunciation of allegiance to foreign country, spouse's name, marriage date, spouse's place and date of birth, spouse's port of entry to US, children's names, date and place of birth and residence.


Dates: 1847 onward


Index/Reference: One box and five books. There are currently no index for naturalization records.

Description: The Orphans' Court records the proceedings in the settlement of estates. Orphans' Court records may include: petitions for guardians, guardian bonds, guardian accounts, petitions for the appointment of auditors, auditor's accounts, applications to vacate letters testamentary, petitions for the appointment of trustees to take charge of absentees' estates, requests for an accounting by a guardian, adjudication, letters of testimony, personal estate, widows' appraisement, petition for sale, order for sale, partition, inquests and valuations.          

  

Dates: 1784 to present.


Index/Reference: 141 books. Orphans Court indexs and docket books are available online through familysearch.org. There is a General Index Orphans’ Court and Index to Minors’ Estates.

 

Description: Includes the child's name, sex and race; date and place of birth; names and address of parents; and the father's occupation. The Archives also has Delayed Birth Certificates, which were authorized by an Act of Assembly in 1941 to provide proof of birth for persons who were born prior to 1906. Delayed birth records can be corrections made to the county birth registers from 1893 to 1906. It can also be entries for births that were not recorded between 1893 and 1906. Some entries may date prior to 1893. In all cases, the person must be alive in 1941. Delayed Births lists the persons name, sex, race, present residence, date and place of birth, type of birth (single, twin, plural, legitimate or illegitimate). Also contains parents' biographical information, such as race, birthplace, age at time of child's birth, occupation, mother's maiden name, number of children born to mother and number of children now living. May contain certification by doctor, midwife, priest or minister, along with affidavits by one relative and two non-relatives that the facts are correct. The record may also contain a copy of the following: baptismal record, voter's registration card, insurance papers, family Bible entries and marriage application.  


Dates: 1893-1906


Index/Reference: Nine books. A small number of birth records are available in the Archives Online Repository. Each book has an index.

 

Description: Includes the date of recording; name, race, occupation, sex, age and marital status of decedent; place of birth; date, place, and cause of death; and date and place of interment. If the deceased was a minor, parent's names will be listed.


Dates: 1893-1906


Index/Reference: Three books. A small number of death records are available in the Archives Online Repository. Each book has an index.

 

Description: Recorded reports of juries on roads and bridges. May also include reports on bridge repairs and inspections and road vacations and widening. Includes petitions, reports of viewers, and final decision of the court. May also give the name or number of the road (in later dockets), landowners, and landmarks.


Dates: 1849-2000

 

Index/Reference: 20 books. Each book contains an index.

Description: Surveys of properties which include name of the owner of the land, names of surrounding neighbors, date of the survey, and usually the date of the Land Warrant. The rough draft surveys are organized by township and alphabetical by last name.

 

Dates: 1750s to 1870s

 

Location: Archives Building. 48 boxes of rough draft surveys and 3 books of surveys. Rough draft surveys have been scanned and indexed and are available in the Archives Online Repository.

 

Index/Reference: Rough draft surveys are fully indexed and searchable by name of property, name of neighbor, date of survey, and township. The survey books have indexes in the front of each book. Most rough draft surveys also have the corresponding survey book and page number on it for cross-reference.

 

Notes: Process of Acquiring Land ‎(from phmc.pa.gov)‎ 1)‎ Application - Request for a warrant to have a survey made. 2)‎ Warrant - Certificate authorizing a survey of a tract of land; initiates title of a property and provides the basis for legal settlement, but does not convey all rights to the property. A number of Franklin County warrants are available in this folder. 3)‎ Survey - Sketch of boundaries of tract of land with exact determination of total acreage. A number of Franklin County Rough Draft surveys are available in this folder. The survey books are available at the Franklin County Archives. 4)‎ Return - Verbal description of property boundaries; function is similar to that of a patent; internal document sent from the Surveyor General to the Secretary of the Land Office. 5)‎ Patent - Final, official deed from the Penns or the Commonwealth, which conveys title and all rights to the private owner. For more information on the land process, visit the Pennsylvania State Archives.

 

Description: Includes names of freeholders, tenants, and single men who lived in the County. Some years also include occupation and information regarding churches and schools. The books are organized chronologically by township and borough.


Dates: 1786-1807; 1846-1912


Index/Reference: For the years 1786-1807, those are collected into four docket books, and the tax books from 1846-1912 are located in 164 boxes all at the Archives Building. All tax books have been scanned and can be found in the Archives Online Repository. For tax records prior to 1786, visit the Cumberland County Archives. For tax records between the years of 1807 and 1846, visit the Pennsylvania State Archives. For tax records after 1912, visit the Franklin County Historical Society. Archives staff is currently working on indexing the scanned tax books available in the Archives Online Repository.


Notes: The tax books are useful for tracking an individual (mostly men) in the years in between censuses. It can provide the research with a sense of where and when a person lived in Franklin County.