History Projects

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  1. 2022 Projects
  2. 2021 Projects
  3. Older Projects

Catharine Boothe - Farmer (March 2022)

Cover2 Opens in new windowAfter the death of her husband in 1803, Catharine Boothe of Londonderry Township became a widowed mother of eight children all of whom were under the age of fourteen. Catharine had no family nearby for support. She faced the loss of her husband, the challenge of single-parenting, the threat of financial instability, and the inherent adversity in homesteading and farming alone. Despite all of this, Catharine’s story is not one of barely surviving or subsistence. Instead, Catharine achieved a great deal of success throughout her life—tripling the family’s collective land holdings and providing her children with both financial and inspirational support. Read more about Catharine and her inspiring story by clicking on the image to the left. 

The Last Will & Testament of Bilha of Westtown - A Brief Account of Her Life & Legacy (February 2022)

Bilha Cover Opens in new window

On February 18, 1768, Bilha of Westtown signed her mark between the words “Negro” and “Bilha” on her last will and testament. Unbeknownst to her or any of the witnesses, she became the first identified person of color in Chester County to have her will probated. This unique record offers a remarkably rare glimpse into colonial Chester County history from the perspective of a Black woman. Learn about Bilha’s historic life—from an enslaved woman to a free woman with an estate file—in this new project by the Chester County Archives. Click the image to the left to read more about Bilha and her story.