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Records of the Court of New Castle on Delaware, 1676-1699. Colonial Society of Pennsylvania. (1904, 1935).

With the exception of the period 1673-74 when it was reconquered by the Dutch, the area that would become the colony of Delaware remained under English control from the year 1664, when it was conquered by the Duke of York. In 1682, this area was ceded by the Duke to William Penn, the Proprietor of Pennsylvania, who referred to his acquisition as the Three Lower Counties on the Delaware. In the ensuing three years, Penn estimated that over 7,000 immigrants settled in Pennsylvania, a substantial number of whom were English Quakers who would disperse among the Swedish and Dutch inhabitants of New Castle County, the northern-most of the three Delaware counties. These two volumes contain extracts of many of the oldest original records of New Castle County, as found in the court minutes of the Government of The Three Lower Counties on Delaware. Volume I, which was originally published in Volumes 68 and 69 of the Collections of the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania and reprinted by the Colonial Society of Pennsylvania in a very limited edition in 1904, spans the period 1676-1681. The coverage of this volume would appear to be comprehensive for the extant records, inasmuch as it includes abstracts of criminal and civil suits, lists of tithables, records of indenture, the contents of estates, wills and deeds, and more. The smaller second volume, which was published by the Society in 1934, picks up in 1681 and extends to 1699--notwithstanding several gaps in the surviving records. The coverage of Volume II, while less comprehensive, has more of a genealogical focus because it is limited to items "respecting land titles and probate proceedings," the vast number of which demonstrate the existence of blood relationships among the parties. Each volume contains a complete name index to its contents, or 7,500 references overall to what must be regarded as the starting point for researchers concerned with the 17th-century genealogy of New Castle County.


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