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Anyone wishing to locate records of early Beaver County residents will find the best place to start is the Beaver County Court House.
The Recorder of Deeds office and the Register of Wills office have the largest source of genealogical information. In the Prothonotary's office you will find naturalization records dating back to 1803.
In the land records in the Recorder of Deeds office you find the greatest single source for research since they involve more people than any other source in the genealogical structure. The deed helps in locating a person in a particular area at a particular time. Some deeds are recorded many years after the sale or transfer of the land and may not contain other family members. The recital on a deed (the paragraph that recites the prior owner) may reveal other family members who may have had an interest in the land described. Also a deed that transfers property by will may name all children and their spouses.
The Recorder of Deeds office had deeds recorded from 1803 to the present. Charters recorded from 1865 to the present. Charters recorded prior to 1865 are recorded and indexed with the deeds. Articles of Agreement are a very helpful source. They are recorded and the books are self-indexed from 1804 to the present. You will find Letters of Attorney records from 1840 to the present. Beaver County Patent maps are also located in the Recorder of Deeds office.
The records are all indexed using the Russell Index System and Mr. William B. O'Neil, the present Recorder of Deeds, and his staff are very cooperating in guiding you in your research.
Veteran's discharges are recorded in the Recorder's office, but are confidential prior to 1918. The Veteran's office also has Veteran's records on file.
In the Register of Wills office you will find birth records from 1893 to 1906 and death records from 1852 to 1854 and from 1892 to 1906. All birth and death records were not recorded. All birth and death records after 1906 are available only in New Castle, PA. Wills are recorded from 1803 to the present and marriages from 1852 to 1854 and from 1886 to the present. An index to all wills and marriages are have been published by the Publishers of Beaver County Records and may be used upon request in the Register of Wills office.
Other sources for Genealogical research in Beaver County are the Beaver County Historical Research office and the Resource and Research Center for Beaver County History and also some of the local libraries. These sources will be featured in future articles.