PA State Archives Hours, Directions, & Fees Research Topics Online Catalog Land Records




Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission
Pennsylvania State Archives

Records of the County Governments (Microfilm Copies)
Fayette County, Prothonotary

*Images of Each Page*

This series primarily documents the records of births of “negro” or “mulatto” children in Fayette County. In addition to birth returns and certificates of slave registry from other counties, miscellaneous single items are also included. The Birth Returns were prepared after the passage of the 1780 Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery in Pennsylvania. Information provided includes the township of residence, date of birth, the names of the mother and the children born, the name and occupation of the individual whose property they were considered, and the name of the notary. These records were filed years after the individual’s birth and numerous individuals could be listed on one return. The Certificates of Slave Registry from other counties document slaves brought into the county from Cumberland, Lancaster, Washington, and Westmoreland Counties. Information includes the date registry information was filed with the appropriate courthouse, the names and township of the owner, the sex and age of the slave, and sometimes the slave’s date of birth and mother’s name. The group of miscellaneous single items includes such materials as a request of name alteration (the slave’s registered name was “Lucy,” however her mother called “Luisa”), an extract from the record of slaves registered by Hugh Laughlin, a petition of George Mannypenny for extension of his slave’s servitude because she had a child, and an exemplification indenture, which was a legal office copy of a deed that was recorded to be as valid in a court of law as the original deed. Information provided in such documents includes the names of parties involved and the dates of the documents or court actions.

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(*Note: page numbers below do not correspond exactly to page numbers on images)


PA State Archives Hours, Directions, & Fees Research Topics Online Catalog Land Records