Old Chester Tapestry



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Old Chester


Chester County, Pennsylvania was one of the three counties initially established in 1682 by William Penn. Originally it encompassed a broad area westwardly of the Delaware River, south to Maryland, and north to the Skullykill River. Over the course of the next two hundred years its area was periodically reduced by the formation of New Counties. The purpose of the Old Chester Project is to provide information about the families that once lived in this area. However, if the original boundaries of Chester County were used to define "Old Chester", the area covered would be so broad as to make the project impossible. On the otherhand, for most of its history Chester County referred to a much smaller area, including in particular, modern Chester and Delaware Counties, extending to the Octoraro River on the west, and to Berks county on the north. During this time period a substantial portion of modern Cecil County Maryland was also considered to be in Chester County. Many of the people in this latter area thought of themselves as Pennsylvanians, and were culturally more closely tied to Pennsylvania than to Maryland.


For Tapestry purposes "Old Chester" was originally defined as the area encompassed by modern Chester, Delaware, and Lancaster Counties, Cecil County MD, and New Castle County DE. as the Tapestry project has developed the definition of "Old Chester" has expanded to include the counties of Adams, Cumberland Dauphin, Franklin, Lebanon, and York Counties. Westwardly, the limits of "Old Chester" are now seen the Blue Mountain range which forms the border of modern Franklin, Cumberland, and Lebanon Counties. Technically speaking, the entire area to the west of the Blue Mountains was originally included in "Chester County". During the period covered by the Tapestry Project, some portions of modern Pennsylvania lying west of the Blue Mountains came to be settled. It is sometimes useful to treat these areas as within the Tapestry, but this area is not being systematically searched.

Data Sources

Maryland State Archives possesses a substantial number of source documents for the Cecil County area. Few of these documents are available online, though some data is available online via images of "card indexes".

The following sources in Maryland archives should contain useful data for Cecil County during the period of interest to the Tapestry (e.g., before the end of the Revolution).

Sources for Cecil County, in Maryland State Archives

Electronic Sources:

CE423 - (Charlestown Land Records), 1853-1920
CE408 - (Equity Papers), 1951-1978
CE515 - (Homeowners' Association Records),
CE55 - (Land Records), 1851
CE136 - (Land Records, Grantee Index), 1918-1956
CE240 - (Land Records, Grantee Index, Original), 1918-1992
CE137 - (Land Records, Grantor Index), 1918-1956
CE241 - (Land Records, Grantor Index, Original), 1918-1992
CE135 - (Land Records, Index), 1850-1946
CE239 - (Land Records, Index, Original), 1674-1918
CE422 - (Charlestown Land Records), 1744-1853
CE133 - (Land Records), 1674-1851
CE134 - (Land Records, Index), 1674-1850
CE324 - (Administration Accounts, Index), 1678-1965
CE325 - (Administration Bonds, Index), 1674-1953
CE326 - (Distributions, Index), 1777-1965
CE327 - (Estate Docket), 1923-1960
CE328 - (Estate Index), 1953-1997
CE329 - (Guardian Accounts, Index), 1784-1965
CE330 - (Inventories, Index), 1675-1965
CE331 - (Releases, Index), 1802-1965
CE332 - (Wills, Index), 1674-1997

Microfilm Sources:

CM321 - (Charlestown Land Records), 1744-1851
CM332 - (Judgment Record), 1695-1769
CM343 - (Land Records), 1674-1851
CM344 - (Land Records, Index), 1674-1851
CM316 - (Marriage Licenses), 1777-1851


CM336 - (Accounts of Sale), 1791-1961
CM308 - (Administration Accounts), 1678-1976
CM310 - (Administration Accounts, Index), 1678-1965
CM312 - (Administration Bonds), 1674-1976
CM1465 - (Administration Bonds, Index), 1674-1953
CM1232 - (Annual Valuations), 1784-1833
CM326 - (Distributions), 1777-1976
CM309 - (Distributions, Index), 1777-1965
CM330 - (Guardian Accounts), 1784-1976
CM318 - (Guardian Accounts, Index), 1784-1965
CM331 - (Guardian Bonds), 1778-1859
CM960 - (Indentures), 1794-1814
CM335 - (Inventories), 1675-1976
CM337 - (Inventories, Index), 1675-1965
CM359 - (Orphans Court Proceedings), 1798-1955
CM363 - (Wills), 1675-1976

Paper Sources

C599 - (Charlestown Land Records), 1744-1851
C601 - (Chattel Records), 1737-1751
C605 - (Criminal Docket), 1792-1850
C606 - (Criminal Record), 1728-1741
C610 - (Docket), 1750-1851
C612 - (Docket, Transcript), 1818-1827
C615 - (Guardian Bonds), 1757-1773
C623 - (Judgment Record), 1683-1844
C624 - (Land Commissions), 1704-1851
C625 - (Land Record Papers), 1745-1800
C626 - (Land Records), 1674-1848
C627 - (Land Records, Index), 1674-1851
C629 - (Land Records, Original), 1674-1785
C632 - (Marriage Licenses), 1777-1851
C635 - (Minutes), 1770-1851
C639 - (Oaths of Fidelity), 1778
C641 - (Probate Proceedings), 1690-1692


C2976 - (Minor Subdivision Plats),


C585 - (Accounts of Sale), 1791-1855
C586 - (Administration Accounts), 1678-1854
C587 - (Administration Accounts, Index), 1670-1925
C588 - (Administration Accounts, Original), 1670-1796
C589 - (Administration Bonds), 1674-1867
C590 - (Administration Bonds, Index), 1674-1953
C591 - (Administration Bonds, Original), 1674-1789
C592 - (Annual Valuations), 1784-1823
C604 - (Commissions), 1785-1839
C608 - (Distributions), 1777-1854
C609 - (Distributions, Index), 1777-1925
C2491 - (Estate Index, Electronic),
C645 - (Estate Papers), 1790-1850
C2175 - (Estate Papers, Digital),
C613 - (Guardian Accounts), 1784-1854
C614 - (Guardian Accounts, Index), 1797-1925
C616 - (Guardian Bonds), 1778-1867
C617 - (Guardian Bonds, Index), 1778-1890
C618 - (Guardianship Papers), 1790-1854
C619 - (Indentures), 1794-1869
C620 - (Inventories), 1675-1855
C2604 - (Inventories, Index), 1675-1965
C621 - (Inventories, Original), 1675-1795
C638 - (Miscellaneous Papers), 1670-1839
C646 - (Wills), 1675-1853
C647 - (Wills, Index), 1675-1997
C648 - (Wills, Original), 1675-1849
CM364 - (Wills, Index), 1674-1997