Inquisitions & Executions, 1700-1800



After the Court of Common Pleas rendered a judgment, the debtor had to satisfy the judgment debt and other costs. If he did not comply with the judgment, the court would proceed with execution. If a writ of fieri facias was issued, the sheriff was commanded to levy and sell as much of the defendant's personal estate as necessary to pay the debt. If there was not sufficient personal estate, the sheriff levied upon the defendant's real estate to pay the debt. (This index only includes executions that seized real estate.)

These records may contain the following information: Name of plaintiff and defendant, type of goods or location and amount of land taken into execution. If the land was sold, sheriff's return gives the name and township of buyer, amount paid and date sold.


If the defendant had insufficient personal estate, the sheriff would summon 12 men for an inquest to view the land and to determine whether the rents and profits of the estate would be sufficient within 7 years to satisfy the judgment along with interest and costs of the suit. These records may contain the following information: Name and signature of sheriff and 12 jurors, date and place of inquisition, name of defendant, location and amount of land and determination whether of not the land was of clear yearly value beyond all reprisals to satisfy the debt within 7 years.