Delaware County Archives

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Director: Daniel Lanciano
340 North Middletown Road Building 19
Lima, PA

Mailing Address:
201 West Front Street
Media PA 19063


Phone: 610-891-5620

Fax: (610) 891-5991

Hours: Monday thru Friday 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM

We are closed on County Holidays

Records can be requested from the Delaware County Archives by visiting the facility or through the US mail. The Archives will also respond to e-mail requests but copies of documents will not be sent via e-mail. Please check our list of Records Available through the Archives.

Research Room Hours

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday: 8:00 am – 3:00 pm (please note no records will be pulled after 2:30 pm.)


Free Parking is available just outside Building 19, which houses the Archives.


From North – I-476

Proceed south on I-476 to Exit 5 – Rt. 1. At end of exit bear to right. Proceed onto Rt. 1 South to Rt. 352 north. At end of ramp turn right onto Rt. 352 north. At third traffic light turn left into the Fair Acres Geriatric Complex. Stop at Guard House. Officer will direct you to Building 19, which houses the Archives.

From South – I-95

Take I-95 to I-476 north to Exit 5. Turn left at second light at end of exit. You will now be on Rt. 1 South. Take exit for Rt. 352 north. Follow directions as shown above when on Rt. 352.

From East – Rt. 1 (Township Line Road)

Take Rt. 1 South to Rt. 352 north. Follow directions as shown above when on Rt. 352.

From West – Rt. 1

Take Rt. 1 North east to Rt. 452. Turn left onto Rt. 452 to first light. Turn left onto Rt. 352. At first light turn left into Fair Acres Geriatric Complex to Guard House. Ask guard for directions to Building 19 which houses the Archives.

MapQuest - Please select to view a Map from Map Quest

Archives Map of Fair Acres in Adobe PDF


Upon arrival researchers will be asked to complete a registration form. Researchers will be required to provide name, address, phone number and a Driver's License. Researchers will also be asked to read and to abide by the Archives rules and regulations.

Archives Price List

Copy Fees: In House Copies

Individual pages and Docket Books: $1.00 per copier page.

Please note: Docket Books usually require two copier pages for each docket book page.

Mail Copies

Individual pages and Docket Books: $1.00 per page.

Please note: Docket Books usually require two copier pages for each docket book page

There is a minimum fee of $10.00 per mail request. Copies 1-10 pages = $10.00. Fee after tenth page = $1.00 per page. Example – If document you request consists of two pages, the mail fee is $10.00. If you request a document consisting of 15 pages, the fee will be $15.00. Make all checks payable to: Delaware County.


No copies will be sent via fax. Copies are sent via US Mail.

Credit Cards - No credit cards will be accepted.


The Archives houses most of the records created by the administrative offices of the county from 1789 – 1950. It should be noted that the records that are held by the Recorder of Deeds are not under the jurisdiction of the Archives.

If the type of record is highlighted in blue, etc. Although the end date is 1950, the staff has not, as yet been able to index all the records to that date. As the staff completes indexing for a particular body of records for additional years, the web page will be updated.


Papers filed with the Register of Wills when no will was filed. Name index for the period 1790 – 1945). For Administrations after 1950 contact: Register of wills, Delaware County Government, 201 West Front St.,Media, PA 19063. (610-891-4400)

Admissions & Discharges, Deaths in the County Home 1806-1929

Shown is the persons name, age, residence of record, date admitted, date departed, and the disposition (if known) for those discharged, died or eloped (eloped, in this case, does not mean they ran away to be married. They ran away from the Home). For those who were indentured, the person to whom they were indentured(bound to), the occupation and place of residence are shown(if known). There are no records for the periods: 1823-1826, 1830-1833, 1835-1836, 1838, 1841-1846, 1855, and 1874-1888.

BIRTH RECORDS – 1852-1854

BIRTH RECORDS – 1893-1906

BIRTH RECORDS - Chester Birth Records 1889-1906

This register was prepared from information returned by the assessors. Information recorded was: child's name, sex, race, date and place of birth, names and addresses of parents and the father's occupation. All the information contained for the birth records for Chester is shown in the on-line index

Please Note: No births were submitted in 1906 for the following towns: Brominating, East Ward Clifton Hats., Colwyn, Egmont, Marble, Newtown, Norwood, Radnor, Ridley Park, Swarthier, Aconitum and Upland.

Please Note: City of Chester cover the period 1889-1906. There are no birth records for Upper Darby.

All Birth Records AFTER 1906 are filed with the PA Department of Health, Division of Vital Records, P.O. Box 1528, New Castle, PA 16103. The telephone number is (877) 724-3258. The Website is:



There are name indexes in each docket book.

Civil Case Files (Original Writs) 1789-1897
The Court of Common Pleas heard civil and equity cases. Two types of actions were personal and real. Most of the cases before the Court were personal actions; specifically debt and trespass. The on-line indexes date 1789-1889.


There are original papers filed in criminal proceedings. There is a name index for the period 1789-1922.

There are original papers filed in criminal proceedings. There is a name index for the period 1790-1922. For cases after 1950, contact the Office of Judicial Support, Delaware County government, 201 West Front St., Media, PA 19063. (610) 891-4370.

CRIMINAL CASES - 1790-1922

There are original papers filed in criminal proceedings. For case files after 1929, contact Office of Judicial Support, Delaware County Government, 201 west Front St. Media, PA 19063 (610)-891-4370.

DEATH RECORDS – 1852-1854

DEATH RECORDS – 1893-1906

This register was prepared from information returned by the assessors. Information recorded was: name of deceased, race, sex, age, marital status, place of birth, occupation, date of death, place of death, duration of last illness, place and date of interment. If the deceased was a minor, their parents' names are listed.

Please Note: Death records that occurred in the City of Chester are not shown. They are missing. Their whereabouts is unknown.

Please Note: The are no exact dates of death for Glenolden in 1905. Deaths for 1906 were not submitted by Birmington, East Ward of Clifton Heights, Colwyn, Edgmont, 2nd ward of Marcus Hook, Marple, Newtown, Norwood, Radnor, Ridley Park, Swarthmore, and Tinicum.

Everything after 1906 is with the PA Department of Health, Division. Of Vital Records, P.O. Box 1528, New Castle, PA 16103. The phone is (877) 724-3258. Forms can be obtained through their website:




DELAWARE COUNTY DIVORCES 1883- 1940 - Name index 1883-1933


EQUITY CASE FILES – 1856-1897. Original papers filed in equity cases. Name index.


The source of the information is primarily the Veterans Administration, and for the Civil War, Bates Register. All information that is available to the Archives is provided herein. Queries can be by last name or cemetery.



Petitions by individuals to be declared an insolvent debtor by the Court so that he/she could be released from prison.

LIQUOR LICENSES - 1860 - 1923

Petitions to the Court of Quarter Sessions requesting a license was filed by the proprietor of an establishment in order to obtain a license and contains the name of petitioner, date of petition, township or borough of petitioner and establishment and whether or not the petition was granted. Licenses would have to be applied for each year.


MARRIAGE RECORDS - 1885 – 1950

Both marriage licenses and applications. For marriage licenses after 1950 contact the Register of Wills. Go to the county's website:


1789-1847, 1853-1857

A narrative is the first of the formal statement of facts and circumstances of the plantiff's cause of action. The narrative outlines the reasons why the plantiff brings suit. They are also known as declarations. Most of the actions called for the payment of debt, the ejectment of parties from land if the debt is not paid, trespass, or payment of money for libel of a party. There are no narratives for the period 1854-1856.


Name Index documents include Declarations of Indention and Petition for Naturalization

ORPHANS' COURT DOCKET BOOKS - 1790-1935 Docket books from 1790-1882.


Original papers filed with the court. For cases after 1950, contact the Register of Wills, Delaware County Government, 201 West Front St.,Media,PA 19063. (610) 891-4400. There is an on-line index for the period 1789-1950


A recognizance is issued by a Justice of the Peace to an individual charged with a crime that he/she will pay a certain amount of money to the Court to make sure that he/she will appear in Court. It should be noted that many of these charges were withdrawn before they went to trial. One should check the Criminal Case Index to see if their name appears. The Archives has no recognizances after 1863.

WILLS – 1789-1945.

Name index for the period 1789-1944. For wills after 1950, contact the Register of Wills, Delaware County Government, 201 West Front Street, Media, PA 19063, (610)891-4400.


The Delaware County Archives is dedicated to preserving all the records of the County of Delaware. In order to continue to keep these records safe and preserve them for the future, the following rules and regulations need to be followed when using the Archives.

  • All persons must register at the front desk upon entering the Archives.
  • All coats must be hung on the coat rack. One notebook with reference material may be brought to the reference table. We reserve the right to search any personal materials prior to leaving the Archives.
  • Food and drink and smoking are not permitted in the Archives.
  • Please speak softly at all times; loud talking and other activities likely to disturb other researchers are prohibited.
  • Pencils must be used while in the Archives. Other writing utensils will cause irreversible damage to original documents.
  • The Archives staff will retrieve documents. The Archives reserves the right not to retrieve any original document that the staff feels is too fragile.
  • No materials (including personal research materials) are to be taken into the restrooms.
  • The Archives staff will make all copies. All copies must be checked by the staff before removal from the reference room. The Archives may determine that a document may not be safely copied due to the condition of the record. This is in order to prevent any further damage to the original documents. If a document is not able to be photocopied, the researcher is always welcome to hand-transcribe or photograph it with a camera. Flashes are not permitted.
  • Cell phones must be turned off upon entering the Archives.
  • Laptop computers may be used, but they must have their own power source. Scanners and personal copiers are not permitted.
  • Children under the age of 14 must be kept under parental supervision at all times. Children may not touch or handle original documents.
  • If researchers refuse to comply with the rules and regulations of the Archives, or by their actions demonstrate that they present a danger to the records or a danger or annoyance to other researchers or employees, they may have their privileges revoked by the County.
  • Under no circumstances are any materials to be removed from the Archives. Violators will be detained and prosecuted under Act 95(1982) the Libraries/Archives Security Act.

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About Delaware County

Delaware County, presently consisting of over 184 square miles divided into forty-nine municipalities is the oldest settled section of Pennsylvania.

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