Jul 01

A Tale of Two Orphans: Children’s Lives as Told in County Records

Posted on July 1, 2019 at 10:19 AM by Chester County Archives

In this month’s blog post from the Chester County Archives, the staff explores the lives of two children by studying  public government records. Although the same age and located in the same geographic area, Jane Hoopes and Temperance Howard had vastly different life experiences in Chester County during the nineteenth century. One benefited from her family’s financial success, while the other struggled to leave the County  Poorhouse.  Read their stories here. 

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May 31

James Monroe Document in the Chester County Archives

Posted on May 31, 2019 at 10:51 AM by Chester County Archives

One of the best things about working with government records is their authentic representation of everyday life in American history. The records at the Chester County Archives typically don't highlight big names or important events. Rather, they reflect the unexceptional actions of ordinary life (paying taxes, testifying in court, purchasing property, settling estates, applying for licenses, etc). It's not every day a county archivist discovers something signed by a United States President, so you can imagine the surprise of former archivist Jack McCarthy when he discovered an 1812 record signed by then Secretary of State James Monroe. Read more in this month's blog post. 

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Mar 25

A Will of One’s Own

Posted on March 25, 2019 at 9:55 AM by Chester County Archives

The Chester County Archives' collection of Will & Administration files span from 1714 to 1923, but it contains very few wills written by married women prior to 1848. Before Pennsylvania passed the Married Women's Property Act of 1848, a married woman typically could not write a legal will. Read more about this law with some collection highlights in this month's blog.

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