* The dates provided above represent recording dates. During the 18th and 19th century it was not uncommon for deeds to be recorded years, if not decades after the original transaction took place.
Common Instruments Recorded
The most common instruments recorded are:
- Deeds - Contract in which one party conveys land to another.
- Mortgages - A conditional conveyance of land, designed as a security for the payment of money to another. (Recorded in separate Mortgage Books after 1773.)
- Lease/Release - A feudal form of land conveyance.
- Grants - A grant of land from the proprietary government to another. Most grants for Chester County land are recorded at the Pennsylvania State Archives.
- Patents - A deed that completed the transfer of land from the proprietary government to another. Most patents for Chester County land are recorded at the Pennsylvania State Archives.
- Sheriff's Deeds - Contract in which the sheriff, as a result of a court order, conveys land to another. (See also Sheriffs' Deeds Index.)
- Release - The relinquishment of a right or interest in a property to another. Typically the heirs of the original property owner.
The Chester County Archives only has deeds filed in Chester County before 1918. For access to all Chester County deeds filed after 1918, you will need to contact the Recorder of Deeds Office. For access to our scanned images of pre-1918 deeds, please send us an email ([email protected]) with the specific reference information found in the indexes (book and page number). While we charge a nominal fee for access to our scanned images, there are a few free alternatives. All of these alternatives methods fall beyond our mission and responsibility, so all questions should be directed to the appropriate organization/department.