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Home: Regional: U.S. States: Pennsylvania: Bucks County

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Birth info in Orphans Court recs
Posted by: Ruth Date: August 03, 2001 at 08:00:20
  of 2288

If you cannot find a baptismal record, you
should also check the land records, the Wills, the the deeds, and Orphans Courts. People who do not live in Pennsylvania may not be familiar with Orphans Courts. Some of the eastern colonies created Orphans courts to protect the property rights of children. This was of high concern since many children in colonial times had at least one step parent by the time they were teenagers, if they lived until they were teenagers. The
Orphans Courts registered deeds and property inventories, guardianship of minor
children, and who was responsible for a child's estate. There are cases
in which the administrator was committing "waste" and the estate would
be taken away from his management and given to another.
So don't neglect these records.
Also, in early days, there was ready and easy access across the river between Bucks County (Nishaminny area/Oxford/etc) via Dunk's Ferry, which traveled between the mouth of the Nishaminny creek and Beverly,
NJ. Many families owned property and engaged in business on both sides of the river. It was not unusual to station children in both states (grown children) to manage family business interests. So it is entirely possible (perhaps likely) that your two ancestors met entirely OUTSIDE of church -- at the local tavern, the local market, the local blacksmith, or lived on adjacent farms, or had friends (or even Friends)
in common.
So if you don't find your colonial ancestors in Bucks County, look across the river. I've known of cases in which the families lived in Burlington, but the births deaths marriages appear in Bucks/and vice versa.

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