Crawford County, Pennsylvania

Courthouse and Judicial Center

      For Courthouse & Judicial Center locations, hours, etc., see Research Facilities.
      For a list of courthouse records published in Crawford County Genealog, see subject index.
           (References are to the volume and page in “CCG,” the journal of the Crawford County Genealogical Society)
See also Justice of the Peace records:
      Marriage Ledger of J. P. Hall, Spring Township


Orphans’ Court
Note:  The name “orphans” is misleading.  The jurisdiction of this court is much broader than children whose parents are deceased,
and includes such genealogical treasures as estate partitions.
For births, deaths, and marriages, see also vital records.
Delayed Birth Records - 5 volumes
    This was a special registration mainly to correct errors and omissions (prior to 1906).
Record of Births, Vols. I and II (1893-1905)
    These are arranged by first letter of the surname, not necessarily in chronological order.
See also Baseborn Children
Deaths 1852 to 1854
Record of Deaths, Vols. I and II (1893-1905)
    These are arranged by first letter of the surname, not necessarily in chronological order.
See also Inquests
Marriages 1852 to 1854
Index to Marriage License Dockets
    Series 1885-1950, 1950-1976?, etc.
    (The indexes provide [only] the docket number and page.)
Marriage License [Dockets], on microfiche (1885 to present)
    (The bound volumes are in storage.)
    Vols. 1 - 10 (1885-1907) and the indexes through 1950 are available on
Orphans’ Court cases
Orphans’ Court Index, series 1800-1921, 1921-1959, etc.
    Classifies orphans’ court cases as follows:  widow’s appraisment; sale or mortgage of real estate;
       proof of contract; partition of real estate; allowance for support of minors; discharge, citation to,
       and account of executor, administrator, or guardian; exceptions to accounts; auditor's report; and remarks.
    Entries since about 1900 give number and term of court.
Orphans’ Court Record, Volumes A (about 1825) through Z (1906) and later series.
    Papers for proceedings prior to February Term 1905 are in storage,
    filed by first letter of the surname for 1800-1864, and thereafter by number and term.
Note:  For on-line images of Vols. A - G and the index to Vols. A - Z, see FamilySearch
Note:  Most of the original Orphans’ Court records are in locked storage.

Quarter Sessions Court
Coverage included:
Criminal Court cases, including
    Fornication & bastardy cases; see Baseborn Children
Quarter Sessions Court dockets (in storage).
Note:  The nineteenth century case files where shipped to the Pennsylvania State Archives in Harrisburg;
         Your host prepared abstracts prior to shipment, and has augmented these with entries from the court dockets
            (approximatly 2250 pages, searched upon request).
Road dockets

(i.e., Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division)
Appearance Dockets, 1800–1919
The cases are indexed in two ways:
    Index to Appearance Dockets, Defendants; Index to Appearance Dockets, Plaintiffs
         Indexes all cases, chronologically, by first letter of the surname.
    Ejectment and Miscellaneous Index, series 1856-1930, and later series
         Indexes lunacies, adoptions (to 1925), divorces (1878 – present), etc.
Note:  The foregoing were made available on-line in 2018, but have since been removed over privacy concerns.
Note:  These tell the nature and outcome of the civil court cases, including:
Adoption Petitions (sealed after 1925)
    see Adoptions for legislative adoptions, legitimations, released escheated estates, and name changes.
Change of Name Petitions [only one case, other than adoptions].
    Note:  Some names were changed when children were legitimized by action of the state Legislature; see Legitimations.
Divorce Petitions
    Your host has absracted all nineteenth century divorce actions (see listing),
       and transcribed virtually all divorce testimony (searched upon request, without charge).
    A divorce could also be obtained from the state Legislature or the state Supreme Court;
       see Statutory Divorces and Supreme Court Divorces for the entire state;
       see generally the introduction to statutory divorces, 1769-1874
Petitions of Feme Sole Traders
General Index to Habitual drunkards
General Index to Lunatics (1878-1935)
    [abstracts of early lunacy cases to be added]
Petitions of Married Women
Equity Court
Equity Dockets, volumes 1 (1856) through 11 (1999)
Equity papers are in file boxes, arranged by number and term (1860 to present)
Equity Partitions
Law Student and Attorney Record (1867 to present?)
Note:  published at Annette L. Lynch, abstractor, Naturalization Abstracts, Crawford County, Pennsylvania, 1800-1906 (Meadville: Crawford Co. Historical Soc., 2003) [indexed]
Index (microfilmed)
Osteopathic Register
Sheriff’s Deeds
Index to Sheriff’s Deeds, Defendants, and Purchasers
Sheriff’s Deed Books 1 (beginning 1824) through 10, A, and B (to 1905)
Treasurers’ Deeds
Index to Treas. Deeds, Reputed Owners and Purchasers
Treasurers’ Deed Books 1 (beginning 1811) through 12 (2012)
Note: Sheriff’s and Treasurer’s Deed indexes and books were made available on-line in 2018, but subsequently removed.  They may reappear.
Veterinary Register (1889-1919) [includes place of birth]

Note:  In Crawford County, the Offices of the Recorder of Deeds and Register of Wills are combined in a single Office.
Agreement Books
Volumes A (from 1859) through Z (to 1946) [no J] and 26 through 133
Note:  Agreements prior to 1859 are in Deed Books; those after 1986 are in Record Books
Indexes:  Direct; and Indirect.  Both split into A-G, H-O, P-Z
Chattel Mortgage Books
Deed Books
Volumes A-1 through Z-6 [six series], and 162-573 (through 1986) [then see Record Books]
Note:  The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania originally owned all the land in the county, and hence the chain of title to any parcel begins with a deed from the Commonwealth, called a patent.  The Patent Books, and indexes, are located at the State Archives in Harrisburg; some of the patents, however, have been copied into the early deed books.  A portion of the state was set aside as payment for military services in the Revolutionary War; these are known as the Donation Lands.  Much of Donation Districts 6, 7, and 8 fall in Crawford County.  Since the county was mostly unsettled (and not yet formed) when the patents to those lands were granted, many soldiers sold their rights to land speculators.  Some of their deeds are also recorded in the early deed books, but many are recorded in Allegheny County, from which Crawford was formed in 1800.  In fact, any deed to land in Crawford County (other than a patent) recorded before March of 1800 will be found in the first few deed books for Allegheny County.  (Those have been microfilmed, but are not yet available in Crawford County other than on loan through the Family History Center).
Married Women’s Petitions [to be added here]
Mortgage Books
Volumes A (from 1800) through Z (to 1882) [no J], A-2 through Z-2, and 50 through 4__.
Note:  Since 1987, mortgages have been recorded in the Record Books.
Indexed in General Index to Mortgages (1800-1925), and Second and later series.
The earliest mortgage books and the General Index have been microfilmed.
Petitions of Married Women [abstracts to be added]
Powers of Attorney
Volumes A (from 1825) through Z (ending 1882), 1, and 2 (to 1986)
Power of Attorney Index, Grantor (2 volumes [A-K & L-Z], 1825 to 1986)
Power of Attorney Index, Grantee (2 volumes, 1825 to 1986)
Note:  Those prior to 1825 are recorded in the deed books.
Record Books
include agreements, deeds, mortgages, etc. beginning in 1987
Surveyor's Docket
This volume contains warrantee tract maps, which include the date of the warrant and survey.  The maps are referenced in Plan Book 5, which contains township maps from the 1876 county atlas (see red lettering); note that this is not completely accurate.
Charter Books, Volumes B (1889; Vol. A is missing) through 1982
Soldiers Discharge Register
Those for Civil War soldiers were listed at CCG 1:5, and will be added here.

Note:  In Crawford County, the Offices of the Recorder of Deeds and Register of Wills are combined in a single Office.
Note:  Probate records in Pennsylvania are split between the Register of Wills and the Orphans’ Court; therefore, see also Office of the Clerk of Courts
General Index to Register’s Docket, series 1800-1974 and 1975-present
Indexes the Register’s Dockets, Will Books, and (beginning 1909) Inventory Books.  Entries include the following:  volume and page number; and (beginning about 1911) date of death; place of residence [which need not be the place of death]; name of personal representative; date and amount of final account; date the inventory was filed, and amount; and (beginning in 1964) probate file number [always 20-(year)-#].
Note:  For on-line images of the General Indexes A through Z, see FamilySearch
Register’s (or Rough) Docket, Volumes A (1800-1842] and 1 - 30 (in 1999)
Entries are generally arranged chronologically by date of probate, and include (where applicable) the following:  name and residence of decedent, and (beginning about 1880) date and (beginning about 1894) place of death; date of probate; name of personal representative(s); date and amount of bond, and names of bondsmen (if any bond was required); date inventory filed; date sale bill filed, and amount; date of final account; total debits and credits, balance, and remarks.  The dockets also contain some final accounts from testamentary and otehr guardianships.  Entries in Docket A dated 1829 to 1842 are repeated on pages 1-165 of Docket 1.
Note:  For on-line images of Register’s Dockets A and 1 through 5 (1889), see FamilySearch
Will Book, Volumes A (1800-1835) through Z [no J] and 26 - 77 (in 1999) [no 1-25]
Contain copies of probated wills and codicils, attestations of witnesses, some receipts by devisees, and copies of probate proceedings for non-residents who owned land in the county.
Wills probated between 1800 and about 1891 are filed in envelopes by year of probate.
Wills probated between about 1891 and 1963 are found in estate packets, filed by month of probate.  These contain petitions for letters testimentary, renunciations, attestations, and (original) wills and codicils.
Wills probated after 1963 are filed in revolving file cabinets, arranged by probate file number.
Note:  For a few abstracted or transcribed wills, see Wills
Note:  For on-line images of Will Books A through N (1913), see FamilySearch
Unprobated wills
Inventory Book Index
Indexes Inventory Books 1 through 8.
Inventory (and Appraisement) Books, Volumes 1 (1885) through 33?
Only a few of the inventories dating from before 1850 have been located.
Insolvent Estates (one volume, undated)
This lists, by first letter of the surname, the name of the insolvent and his or her residence.  It should be checked after ____ if no entry is found in the Register's Docket Index; no date of death or other information, however, is provided.
Proofs of death
These are affidavits (usually signed by relatives) as to the time and place of death.  They began to be used about 1880.  Some have been sorted and arranged alphabetically in file drawers near the plan books, and others will be found in the estate packets.
Renunciations (arranged alphabetically)
(This provides an index to the Register’s Docket and Will Book entries for several hundred decedents.)
Note:  Most volumes can be taken apart, and the individual pages photocopied (the current charge to patrons is 50 cents/page).

Has veterans’ service records and cemetery plot maps.
The staff here could not be more helpful or courteous.
See also Soldiers Discharge Register (Recorder’s Office).
NOTE:  This office moved in 2014 to the Downtown Mall.