State Information

Is there information for Pennsylvania that you think would be helpful and it is not listed here?  If so please let me know and I will add to this list.

Orphan's Court files.

Access to these files is through an index that is available through the LDS FHC.

These files are guardianship proceedings.
It appears that PA law then (and perhaps now, who knows) required the appointment of a guardian under the supervision of the Orphan's Court for the estate of any minor who came into money, whether the minor's parents were still alive or not.

It is not always mentioned in the petition, but the guardian is often a collateral relative, either an adult sibling or an uncle or aunt, and the attorney who prepares the document is sometimes (but less frequently) a family member. Sometimes, the guardian needs to post a bond, and the bond is often posted by a collateral relative, but the relationship is not always stated.

Each file had a petition for guardianship in it; some also had the guardian's accounting; some had papers discharging the guardian.

These files were a genealogical gold mine. You could find: siblings, parent-child relationships; an illegitimate child (and the child's putative father): the date of death of a child ;and links between two families!!!

One may be able to access these files in the following way. (Philadelphia is accessible) First, get the microfilm from LDS; look up the surname. The index will provide a year, a docket number, and a file number, so it will look something like 5438, docket 3, 1933. Write to the Orphan's Court, giving them the name of the case, the year, the docket, and the file number, as well as the date you would like to examine the files.

In theory, these are NOT probate indices. There is a separate index to testate administrations (deaths where the decedent left a will), and a separate index to intestate administrations (deaths without a will). However, one of the references in this index was for a simple intestate succession administration. There was no guardianship involved, so no reason for it to be in the Orphan's Court index, but there it was.


More on Orphan's Court

You may not see an Orphan's court record for a child who's mother died (by Pa. law she didn't really own anything anyway) but when the father died they appointed a guardian to protect the child's interest.

If the mother remarried, which often happened fast, then any property she owned became the property of her husband. They usually didn't appoint the step father as the guardian since his interest was thought to be contrary to the childs.

The guardian was usually a relative but not always, often an older brother. If the child was under 14 the court appointed the guardian, if he was between 14 and 16 he could select his own guardian, those over 16 were thought to be old enough to manage their own affairs.

In searching in Orphan's court you need to search for a number of years, often the estate would sit until the kids were old enough to get married, and then their would be a complaint in Orphan's Court saying that so and so, the daughter of so and so, who recently married so and so, begs the court to resolve this matter. Often the newly weds wanted the money from the estate to buy property and often that was just before they left for the frontier where land was cheapest.


Passenger Ships to Philadelphia Books

Author: Pennsylvania. Navigation Commission for the Delaware River and Its Navigable Tributaries.
Title: Registers of vessel arrivals and clearances, 1784-1791, 1793-1797, 1802-1840, 1843-1956.
Description: 41.5 cubic ft. (34 volumes).
Notes: A record of shipping at the port of Philadelphia. The listings are signed by the vessel's captain and for the most part show the name, classification, nationality (from 1902 onward), and oftentimes the tonnage of the vessel; the port of arrival or clearance; the name of the owner or consignee; and the names of the pilot and captain. A brief description of the vessel's cargo is usually given as well.

The following indices can be used to retrieve data from the registers: Index Of Vessel Arrivals, 1862-1879, 1881-1882, 1884-1890, 1894-1937, Index Of Vessel Clearances, 1862-1863, 1879, 1882-1884, 1892-1894, 1899-1907. 1915, and Index Of Coastal Vessel Arrivals, 1873-1878.

Indexed externally, alphabetically by name of vessel. Microfilm for the years 1784-1800 available from the Division of Archives and Manuscripts, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Request information on purchase price.

Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Division of Archives and Manuscripts, P.O. Box 1026, Harrisburg, PA 17108-1026
Author: Eyre, Manuel, 1777-1845.
Title: Business papers, 1795-1847 (bulk 1800-1805).
Description: 720 items.
Notes: Manuel Eyre, a Philadelphia merchant of Quaker ancestry, was born in 1777. His father, Manuel Eyre, Sr., (1736-1805) was a shipwright in Kensington and a colonel in the Contintental Army. He obtained his training in the counting house of Henry Pratt and Abraham Kintzing and in 1803 joined with Charles Massey, Jr., (b. 1778) to form the mercantile firm of Eyre & Massey, a partnership that lasted until Eyre's death in 1845.

The firm of Eyre & Massey owned over 20 vessels, ranging in size from ships to sloops, and traded around the world, mounting voyages to Europe, the Caribbean, South America, China, India and the Pacific Islands. Manuel Eyre also served on the Philadelphia City Council and was a founding director of the Schuylkill Navigation Company (1816) and the Second Bank of the United States (1816). After 1820 he gradually retired from active trading and devoted much of his time to agriculture. He owned two farms outside the city and three in Delaware. He was the founder of Delaware City, Del., at the mouth of the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal, buying the entire site in 1828, erecting public buildings and dividing it into lots.

The records consist of seven lots of Manuel Eyre's business papers, spanning the years, 1795-1847.

Accession 994 (part) consists of shipping papers (1801-1802) for the ships OLIVE BRANCH and CHARLESTON PACKET and the brigs ARISTIDES, FAME, and NANCY trading with La Rochelle, Havre, Charleston and the West Indies. They include accounts, cargo manifests, bills of lading, outfitter's bills and agreements with captains.

Accession 1003 (part) includes additional shipping papers (1797-1815) for the ship OLIVE BRANCH, brigs ARISTIDES and NANCY, sloop PERSEVERANCE and schooner EUTAW trading primarily with Hamburg and the West Indies. These are also 20 letters (1796-1803), mostly from Troup & Brown at Port au Prince concerning trade with Haiti, Amsterdam, and Charleston and 6 items (1797-1806) re Eyre's property in Burlington, N.J. A separate group of 38 items contains accounts and inventories of the Kensington Lead Works, established in 1832 by Franklin Eyre, and correspondence from manager Thomas Janvier to Manuel Eyre.

Accession 1063 (part) contains additional shipping papers, checks, bills of lading, and customs house lists of goods imported (1801-1823).

Accession 1097 (part) comprises 43 items, including a manifest for the OLIVE BRANCH (1803), correspondence re orders, accounts payable, promissory notes, bank drafts, and bills of lading. There are two agreements to rent properties in Delaware City (1827) and Philadelphia (1832).

Accession 1144 (part) consists of 5 items (1796-1835): a letter of captain William Brewster on coffee sold (1796), Eyre's accounts with the firm of Eyre & Massey (1806), a letter of Thomas Janvier introducing William Peterson, an invoice of William L, Hodge to Eyre (1835), and a freight list of the ASISTIDES bound for Charleston.

Accession 1215 (part) consists of advertising circulars.
Accession 1247 (part) consists of a stock certificate for 100 shares of the Peoples Steam Navigation Company(1833).

Described in: John Beverley Riggs, A GUIDE TO MANUSCRIPTS IN THE ELEUTHERIAN MILLS HISTORICAL LIBRARY, SUPPLEMENT CONTAINING ACCESSIONS FOR THE YEARS 1966 THROUGH 1975 (Greenville, Del.: Eleutherian Mills Historical Library, 1978).
Subjects include:
Massey, Charles, b. 1778.
Aristides (Brig).
Charleston Packet (Ship).
Eutaw (Schooner).
Eyre & Massey.
Fame (Brig).
Kensington Lead Works (Philadelphia, Pa.).

Hagley Museum and Library, Manuscripts and Archives Department,
298 Buck Road East,
Greenville, Del. 19807

Pictures of Ships in to Philadelphia

For anyone in the Philadelphia, PA area looking for pictures of ships, the FHC in Broomall, Delaware Co., PA has a copy of the Michael Anuta book "Ships of Our Ancestors".
The center allows you to make photocopies @ $.10 per copy.
The FHC is located on Paxon(Paxton?) Hollow Road just off route 320.
Getting the information from the INS

The INS in Washington has files on people who were nationalized after Sept. 27, 1906. If any of your family were naturalized before Sept. 27, 1906 then those records are housed at the courthouse in the county seat where the nationalization occured.

The request is under the Freedom of information Act (FOIA), it takes about 6 months to get a return, also bring a FOIA request, you don't have to state a relationship.

The only neccessary information is Full name, Date and Place of birth (Exact or Approximate). Any other info will greatly speed the process.
Here are the instructions as of June 1997
1. check box a
2. check box b
Fill all Name of Requester, Address, City, State, Zip Code
(Ignore the signature in this section)
3. check box a
4. on the first two lines write: Declaration of Intention, Petition for Naturalization, Naturalization Certificate
on the next line write: Genealogical Research
5. Fill in any box you have information for, the more the better but only full name, date and place of birth (exact or approximate) are necessary; any other aid in the search. [for this info, with regards to names, use the name from the SSDI, this is generally the name the individual became naturalized with]
6. check box c and write BORN PRIOR TO 1897. If the individual was born after 1897 write SEE ATTACHED PAGE and include a copy of a death certificate or obituary. Lastly, sign your name and include you phone number.

Mail the form in an envelope to:
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Vermont Service Center
75 Lower Welden St.
Saint Albans, Vermont 05479

You should receive a letter from the INS/FOIA acknowledging receipt, the letter will have a CO# on it that you will need if you should call.
More INS information: Sponsors

Sponsors then did the same as now - Sponsors tell the INS that they will be financially responsible for the welfare ($ or a job) of the people that they are asking the government to admit. In 1882, Congress passed the first laws limiting the people allowed in the states. This act kept out criminals, those considered "insane" and those likely to become public charges. Also by 1882, there was an agreement to keep out Chinese immigrants - this was called the Oriental Exclusion Act. By 1907 there was an agreement that limited the number of Japanese laborers to the US and that was the year that 1.3 million people from all over were admitted. Within 10 more years, Congress passed much more restrictive laws - such as a law that required that an immigrant could at least read and write one language. In 1921, Congress passed a quota law, limiting the number of immigrants from each country. That law has continued to evolve to today with the last major changes in the late 1990s from the Shamrock-L list.
Alien Registration was required during World War I. But for our purposes, because an official in the late 1930s reported to the Congress that all those records had previously been destroyed. So all we genealogists can find are WW2 alien registrations, and thereafter.
However, Not all of the World War I alien registrations were destroyed for all the states. For example, the Kansas registrations can be seen at the Central Plains Region branch of the National Archives, in Kansas City, MO. Check state by state for those Alien Registrations, because they are wonderful sources, and often even include a photo of the person.
Pa Marriages 1700's to present

Pa Marriages prior to 1810

An extensive list of PA marriages prior to 1810 can be found in "PA Archives," 2nd Series, vol. 8 (and/or maybe vol. 9). Early marriages can also be found in "PA Vital Records," Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, MD, 1983. One or all of these have been microfilmed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS/Mormons) for viewing through your nearest LDS Family History Center. Those publications are secondary sources, they will indicate at which church the marriage took place, and they you can go to that church's record books (primary source) to see the actual entry.
In PA, counties have Orphan's Courts which handle Wills, estates, guardianships, trust accountings, and marriage licenses
Marriage Bonds

Bonds were required by certain colonies and states. They were posted jointly by the prospective groom and (usually) the father or brother of the prospective bride to compensate the state for expenses incurred if the marriage was nullified. Bonds sometimes are the only existing record of a particular marriage

They originated in England and were used, for example, if either of the parties was under age. As well as getting permission of the parents, the bridegroom brought a friend with him and they might have to post a bond to forfeit a sum of money if the marriage was found to be contrary to canon (church) law. An English source says that sometimes the name of the friend was fictitious and sometimes the bridegroom was not one of the two bondsmen.



email: Mary Ann Lubinsky

Carbon County was formed from: Northampton and Monroe Counties in 1843.
Neighboring counties are: MonroeNorthamptonLehighSchuylkill and Luzerne Counties.

County seat: Jim Thorpe (Mauch Chunk)

Carbon County Mailing List   or Digest Mode

Page last updated: June 25, 2023

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