Saturday, July 22, 2017
Many Pennsylvania Deed Books Now Online
Last fall I blogged about deed books finally being available online at FamilySearch.org. I had learned that the books with camera icons were available online. At that time I could find only indexes for some of the county books I needed. Looking the other day I found all of the books, not just the indexes, are now available for many Pennsylvania counties.
Counties such as Chester, Lancaster, Philadelphia in the east have all of their old microfilmed deed books online. In western Pennsylvania the counties of Greene, and Washington also have all of their old microfilmed books digitized and online. These are just a few of the counties which have deeds and other land records now online at FamilySearch.org. Most are searchable from home, unlike Virginia. Looking at Virginia deeds online generally requires that you use the computers at the Family History Centers or Libraries.
When I blogged about the deeds last year I shared the fact I found an interesting deed in the Chester County Deeds index. I'm not good with the key indexes so I used the Chester County government affiliated index online. This is what I posted then:
"I found an "et al deed" on the Chester County index which appears to be children selling parents property? It's a Jacob Urmy ux Susanna et al deed. Sadly this isn't in a book that is online at Family Search. The coverage of deeds is spotty. You have to scroll down to see which books are still only on microfilm and those that are online." November 2016
This book is now online. I have confirmed that it is a deed regarding the sale of Christian Brower and his wife Eve's land by their children. Christian Brower's will didn't include the names of his under aged children. My ancestor Susanna was not included in that will. Thankfully she is included in this deed along with her husband. By the time her mother Eve died she was married.
Susanna is correctly identified as the wife of Jacob Urmy in the 1806 deed.
Here we see all of Christian and Eve Brower's children identified, and Christian and Eve named as their parents. We even see a reference to the couple who originally sold the land to the Browers along with the date of purchase.
There are also digitized deeds available online elsewhere. This is a great post about other sites with these records at ThoughtCo. by Kimberly Powell https://www.thoughtco.com/locating-historical-us-deeds-online-1422109.
I've found gold in the deeds many times. This is just one example of how deeds can verify relationships. They are an important source for family history research.