Researching Your Chester County Home Property Guide: Use this guide if you're just getting started with property research and looking for guidance.
ChescoViews: The most accurate property research should always include a complete chain of title ownership beginning with the most-recent information and working backward. You can access the most-recent deed information including the name of the owners, latest date of sale, parcel size, and assessment value using the Chester County Assessment Office's database.
Instructions to access Chester County deeds with a free Family Search account: You can access most pre-1918 deed books and deed indexes by creating a free Family Search account. This option is valuable because researchers can access deed indexes through 1918 (our online indexes end at 1865).
Accessing Chester County deeds through Recorder of Deeds Office: This option is useful because researchers can access all Chester County deeds from 1688 through the present. Although viewing the images is free, download fees apply.
Pennsylvania Land Warrants, Surveys, and Patents: The earliest English record for any property in Pennsylvania will be a patent (including warrants and surveys). Before private residents could transfer land titles amongst themselves (deed), the land had to be transferred to the individual from the Proprietary Government (the Penn Family pre-1776) or the Commonwealth (post-1776).
Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps: Available through the Penn State University Libraries, these maps are useful for researchers exploring towns or cities in the late-nineteenth or early-twentieth centuries (excludes townships). Not only do they provide street names and property lines, but the Sanborn Maps also include specifics about individual buildings like construction material, number of stories, windows, roof materials, etc. You can access more Sanborn maps through the Library of Congres.
An online company that hosts a number of different Chester County maps available for online viewing. These maps include the 1933 and 1950 Franklin Atlas, 1883 Breou Farm Atlas, 1874 Witmer Atlas, and the 1860 Kennedy Map.
Chester County Historical Societies
- Charlestown Township Historical Society
- Chester County History Center
- Downingtown Area Historical Society
- Historical Society of the Phoenixville Area
- Spring-Ford Area Historical Society
- Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society
- Tri-County Heritage Society
Delaware County Resources
Montgomery County Resources
Lancaster County Resources
Philadelphia County Resources
- National Archives, Mid-Atlantic Region
- Pennsylvania State Archives
- Online Pennsylvania Death Records & Indexes
- Historical Society of Pennsylvania
- Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania
- Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania