Crawford County, Pennsylvania


    Justices of the Peace were authorized to hold courts of inquisition whenever the county coroner’s office was located more than ten miles from where the body was found, or the coroner unavailable.1  Such inquests were to be submitted to the Court of Quarter Sessions of the Peace, for judicial approval, along with murder inquests conducted by the coroner.  Those papers for Crawford County which somehow became separated from Quarter Sessions records were presented in the second (1979) volume of Crawford County Genealogy (with a much fuller introduction), accompanied by relevant newspaper articles and estate proceedings.  The remaining inquests (through 1875, when the court papers were transferred to the Pennsylvania Archives in Harrisburg) are abstracted here, in chronological order, for the periods 1804-1861 and 1862-1875.2  Citations to the prior compilation have been included, together with probate records from the Orphans Court, which were overlooked.  Pertinent cases from Quarter Sessions records (then unavailable) have also been summarized.  Only the first inquest is set forth in its entirety; complete transcriptions will appear in the Court of Quarter Sessions records, which are being prepared for this site.

1 Act No. 141, ยง15, 1841 Pa. Laws 400, approved 24 May 1841. These powers had apparently been presumed until Feb. 1841 when the Pa. Supreme Court issued a contrary decision, at 6 Wharton 269.

2 Quarter Sessions records for the years 1816 through 1819 were not located.