The Delaware Public Archives stores records for the state of Delaware and for local governments. The Delaware Public Archives has birth and death records; naturalization records, town and county histories and photos, photograph collections, audio collections, military records and more. 

 

 

 

 

Birth Marriage and Death records #OnGenealogy

Delaware Public Archives

Birth, Marriage, and Death Records

 

Register of Births and Deaths in Kent County
Spanning 1851 to 1901, this register lists the names of those born and those who died in the Kent County Almshouse. Birth entries name the newborn, mother, and date of birth. Death entries are arranged by gender, race, and place of residence and note the date of death, age, and occasionally a remark about the cause of death.

 

 

 

 

 

Residence records census land migration voting taxation #OnGenealogy

Delaware Public Archives Residence Records

Histories, Town and City

Town and City Histories – Comprehensive histories of the governance and management of Delaware’s Towns and Cities, continually updated.

Cities and Towns in Delaware, photo exhibits

 

 

Maps

The Beers’ Atlas
The Beers’ Atlas from 1868 is a part of the Delaware Public Archives State Map Collection. This is a hand-colored book of detailed maps of the entire state of Delaware. There are individual maps for each of the hundreds and there are separate maps for specific towns and cities including Wilmington, Dover, Newark, Georgetown, Milford, New Castle, Milton, Smyrna, Camden, and Felton.

Maps – Historical maps of Delaware and the Mid-Atlantic region, ranging from 1688 to the 20th Century.

Untitled 1688

Untitled 1769

Wilmington 1772

Delaware Bay 1776

Untitled 1781

Untitled 1796

Delaware and Maryland 1799

Delaware 1796, 1801

Delaware 1804

Delaware Bay Area 1809, 1812

Delaware – 1813, 1817

Delaware – 1819

Delaware circa1820

Delaware and Various Other States 1830

United States Railroads and Canals 1835

Delaware and Various Other States (Includes Chesapeake and Delaware Canal) 1835

Delaware and Various Other States 1841

Delaware Bay Area – 1847

Untitled 1875

Delaware 1885

Delaware Highways 1914

Wilmington – unknown date

Military Maps – unknown date

Philadelphia, Wilmington, and Baltimore Unknown Date

Untitled Unknown Date

 

 

Naturalization & Citizenship

New Castle County Naturalizations
New Castle County Naturalizations Original petitions and other legal documents of immigrants wishing to become American citizens. The date listed in the title reflects the year of the file and may vary from the document displayed. The file for each individual may contain more documentation.

Kent County Naturalizations
Original records of those wishing to become naturalized citizens of the United States.

 

 

Voters

State Reports Collection Sussex County Voter Register

 

 

Workhouse/Poorhouse

Kent County Pauper Books
The Kent County Paupers Books are registers of the sick and poor inmates of the county almshouse, 1811 to 1933. Most of the books were done annually and arranged by hundred or district. For each hundred there are separate lists by gender and race. The Pauper Books include the name of the inmate, dates admitted and discharged, age, sex, race, disease or reason for admission, date of death, and birth date for infants born in the almshouse.

 

 

 

 

Daily Life Records school work church court government library social life #OnGenealogy

Delaware Public Archives Daily Life Records

 

Books

eBooks and PDF Documents – Titles from our Heritage collection in PDF format.

African American Education in Delaware – A History Through Photographs: 1865-1930
by: Bradley Skelcher, Ph.D. PDF 7.3 MB

Beneath Thy Guiding Hand: A History of Women at the University of Delawareby: Dr. Carol E. Hoffecker PDF 9 MB

Brandywine Village
by: Dr. Carol E. Hoffecker PDF 6 MB

Captain Thomas Macdonough: Delaware Born Hero of the Battle of Lake Champlain
by: Virgina Mason Burdick PDF 1.1 MB 

Caesar Rodney Patriot: Delaware’s Hero For All Times and All Seasons
by: William P. Frank  PDF 2.6 MB 

The Churches of Delaware
by: Frank Zebley PDF 20 MB 

Corporate Capital Wilmington in the Twentieth Century
by: Dr. Carol E. Hoffecker PDF 23 MB 

Delaware: A Bicentennial History
by: Dr. Carol E. Hoffecker PDF 2 MB

Delaware Archives – Military
by: Delaware Public Archives 

Volume I PDF 29 MB

Volume II PDF 19 MB

Volume III PDF 27 MB

Volume IV PDF 29 MB 

Volume V PDF 32 MB

Delaware During the Civil War – A Political History
by: Harold Bell Hancock PDF 2.34 MB

Delaware School District Organization and Boundaries [1974]
by: Roger C. Mowrey PDF 40 MB

Delaware, The First State
by: Dr. Carol E. Hoffecker PDF 4.71 MB

Delaware Tercentenary Program
1938 Delaware Tercentenary Official Program PDF 3.7 MB

Delaware Tercentenary Almanack & Historical Repository 
by: Christopher L. Ward PDF 3.5 MB

Delaware Tercentenary Publications
1938 Delaware Tercentenary Commission Publications PDF 3.2 MB

Democracy in Delaware: The Story of the First State’s General Assembly
by: Dr. Carol E. Hoffecker PDF 2 MB

The Dutch & Swedes on the Delaware 1609-64
by: Christopher Ward PDF 1.53 MB

East of the Mason-Dixon Line: A History of the Delaware Boundaries
by: Roger E. Nathan PDF 4.17 MB

Familiar Relations: The duPonts and the University of Delaware
by: Dr. Carol E. Hoffecker PDF 25.1 MB

Federal Justice in the First State: A History of the United States District Court for the District of Delaware
by: Dr. Carol E. Hoffecker PDF 21.1 MB

A History of African Americans of Delaware and Maryland’s Eastern Shore
by: Carol C. Marks, Editor PDF 5.33 MB

The History of Sussex Countyby: Dick Carter PDF 48 MB

Historic Houses and Buildings of Delaware
by: Harold Donaldson Everlein and Cortlandt V.D. Hubbard PDF 75.3 MB

Honest John Williams: U.S. Senator from Delaware
by: Dr. Carol E. Hoffecker PDF 3.08 MB

House Research Guide
by: New Castle County Department of Planning – Historic Preservation Section PDF 768 KB

In Our Midst: Delaware Vignettes in Pictures and Prose
by: Roger Martin PDF 18.7 MB

The Journals of the Reverend Lewis Wheeler Wells, Rector of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, and the Photograph Album of Leila Parker Burton Harthack of Millsboro, Delaware 
by: Richard B. Carter PDF 17 MB

Laws of Delaware
Compiled by the Delaware General Assembly
Listing of all Books 

Man and Nature in Delaware: An Environmental History of the First State
by: William H. Williams PDF 3.51 MB

A Photographic Survey of Indian River Community
by: A Compilation of the Nanticoke Indian Heritage Project PDF 6 MB

Swedes on the Delaware: 1638-1664
by: Amandus Johnson, Ph. D. PDF 4.36 MB

Troubled in Mind: J. Saunders Redding’s Early Years in Wilmington, Delaware
by: J. Saunders Redding PDF 899 KB

Wilmington: A Pictorial History
by: Dr. Carol E. Hoffecker PDF 64 MB

Wilmington, Delaware: Portrait of an Industrial City, 1830-1910
by: Dr. Carol E. Hoffecker PDF 4.75 MB

World War II Memorial Volume
by: Public Archives Commission PDF 12 MB

WPA Church Records Index
PDF 11 MB

Ye Town of St. Georges: Buildings and Homes
by: Gladys B. Lester

Volume I – The Nuttal-Sutton Home
PDF 3.62 MB

Volume II – The Steamboat Hotel
PDF 11.2 MB

Volume III – Wm. Goforths’s Three Acre Plot
PDF 6.84 MB

Volume IV – Jubart “1744” Plot Plan
PDF 41.1 MB

Volume V – “Mill Sand” Below Delaware Street
PDF 38.9 MB

 

Ethnic

Frankford Colored School Scrapbook
This scrapbook consists of documents collected by the Frankford Colored School in Frankford, DE from 1939-1945. The scrapbook was put together as part of the SCHOOLS AT WAR Program which interconnected schools throughout the United States to raise money for the war effort. The scrapbook contains propaganda posters, war bonds and stamps, and personal records collected during World War II.

African American Houses of Worship

Integrating Delaware Schools

First Naturalized Hispanic Settlers in Delaware Home

Tracing Your African American Roots in Delaware

Slavery Papers
This exhibit consists of selected manumission papers, birth records, petitions for freedom, and a bill of sale for enslaved African-Americans in Delaware.

Joseph Barker’s “Negro Ledger Book” 1808-1811
Joseph Barker was a general merchant whose store and home were located at Barkers Landing on the St. Jones River in Murkerkill Hundred. Titled by Barker as his “Negro Ledger A”, the volume contains entries for purchases made by his African-American customers. Each entry notes the name of the customer, date of purchase, items purchased, the cost for each item, date and amount paid, and how paid. Often bills were paid with grain, other items, or labor.

 

History & Stories

100 Stories – Explore the history of the First State through photographs, maps, construction drawings, currency notes, original legislation, and more. Celebrate the first hundred years of service by the Delaware Public Archives, 1905-2005!

Then and Now Gallery – Photographs that compare Delaware locations from different eras.

Town and City Histories – Comprehensive histories of the governance and management of Delaware’s Towns and Cities, continually updated.

Storm of 1962

 

 

Genealogies

Rev. Joseph Brown Turner Collection
Reverend Turner’s Collection of genealogical notes and correspondence concerning about three thousand Delmarva Peninsula families.

 

 

Government & Legal

Oaths of Allegiance
Oaths of Allegiance or declarations of fidelity were sworn to the new nation or to the State of Delaware as required by state legislation in 1778. Shown on these documents are the oath taken, name of person sworn before, date of swearing, and signature of person taking the oath. Included are the oaths of New Jersey residents administered by Caesar Rodney at Trenton (Feb. 1777) and a transcript of the legislation requiring the oaths.

Becoming the First State: Delaware’s Road to Ratification
This exhibit was created to highlight selected documents related to Delaware’s ratification of the United States Constitution in 1787

Delaware State Constitutions

Delaware Laws of 1829
In 1829 the African-American population of Delaware was comprised of 15,855 free negroes, and 3,292 slaves. The laws of the State of Delaware for this period reflect the morality of the time.

Governors of Delaware: Executive Orders – The complete collection of executive orders issued by Governors of Delaware. From the first executive order signed by Governor McCullen in 1939 to the most recent by Governor Carney, this collection is more than a repository of documents.

Annual Reports for State Agencies – The Delaware Annual Reports Collection provides an on-line repository into which state agencies can place their annual and biennial reports, as called for in a 2014 update of the Delaware Freedom of Information Act.

 

 

Manuscript Collections

Document Collection – View some of Delaware’s most prized documents, including:

100 Stories – Explore the history of the First State through photographs, maps, construction drawings, currency notes, original legislation, and more. Celebrate the first hundred years of service by the Delaware Public Archives, 1905-2005!

Becoming the First State: Delaware’s Road to Ratification

Oaths of Allegiance

Delaware State Constitutions
Delaware constitutions created by the Delaware Constitutional Conventions in 1792, 1831, and 1897. The 1897 constitution is the current governing document for Delaware State Government.

Examining the 17th Century Through the Documents of the Delaware Public Archives

Delaware Turnpike Scrapbooks
The Scrapbooks consist of newspaper clippings and photographs that document Delaware Turnpike activities and events. Notable subjects include the construction of the highway, President John F. Kennedy’s participation in the dedication ceremony, maps, Turnpike appointments, tolls, Mason and Dixon boundary marker, JFK memorial wreath and services, vehicle accidents, Hot Shoppes service plaza, effects on Route 40 businesses, Turnpike officials and employees, I-95 construction completion, public safety, and Turnpike expansion. The Scrapbooks were compiled by Turnpike staff.

Frankford Colored School Scrapbook

 

 

Medical

Coroner’s Report
A record of a county coroner’s investigations into the manner and cause of a death where a person died under circumstances that were violent, unnatural, or unknown.

 

 

Newspapers & Periodicals

Peninsular News and Advertiser
The Peninsular News and Advertiser was a weekly Milford newspaper. The collection includes original newspapers from April 1857 – May 1859, January 1872 – December 1872, and January 1893 – December 1893. The newspaper contains a large assortment of advertisements, local and national news, and miscellaneous literature and articles for the daily reader. Nearly each weekly newspaper has a dedicated section for agricultural news and advertising, as well as a political news page. Issues for 1873 – 1874, 1880 – 1882 , 1886-1887, and 1889 are on microfilm.

 

 

Oral Histories/Audio Recordings

Audio Selections – Listen to historic audio clips of interviews and radio broadcasts concerning service in WWII, desegregation, recycling, and baseball.

 

 

Photographs, Postcards

Photograph Collections – Complete collections from our vast archives that include Delaware in World War II, The Jackson and Sharp Collection, Board of Agriculture, Board of Education, and The George and Irene Caley Postcard Collection to name a few. Our complete online collections showcase some of the finest imagery depicting the history of the Diamond State.

Photograph Exhibits – Browse through our photograph exhibits to visit Delaware’s cities and towns and view Delaware’s past.

Photo Order Instruction – Order photographs from our collection.

Then and Now Gallery – Photographs that compare Delaware locations from different eras.

Town and City Histories – Histories of each town in Delaware and a list of records for that town at the Digital Public Archives.

Civil War Diary of Cyrus Forwood

Delaware in World War II

Board of Agriculture Glass Negative Collection

Jackson and Sharp Collection

Historical and Cultural Affairs Photograph Collection

Vietnam Mailbag Records

Fort Delaware, Fort DuPont, and Fort Mott Glass Negative Collection

Woodside Glass Negative Collection

Keilson Collection

State Reports Collection

Insurance Evaluation Report

Project Delaware

Record of Delawareans Who Died in World War II

Delaware’s Role in World War II

Board of Education Photograph Collection

Frank R. Zebley Collection, Churches of Delaware Photograph Collection

Postcard Collection

Frank R. Zebley Collection, Along the Brandywine Photograph Collection

 

 

Slavery

Slavery Papers
This exhibit consists of selected manumission papers, birth records, petitions for freedom, and a bill of sale for enslaved African-Americans in Delaware.

Joseph Barker’s “Negro Ledger Book” 1808-1811
Joseph Barker was a general merchant whose store and home were located at Barkers Landing on the St. Jones River in Murkerkill Hundred. Titled by Barker as his “Negro Ledger A”, the volume contains entries for purchases made by his African-American customers. Each entry notes the name of the customer, date of purchase, items purchased, the cost for each item, date and amount paid, and how paid. Often bills were paid with grain, other items, or labor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Military records Wars Veterans #OnGenealogy

Delaware Public Archives Military Records

 

 

Civil War – Explore the history of Delawareans during the American Civil War through photographs, diaries, letters, service records, legislation, newspapers, and more.

Soldiers’ Portraits
Writings & Papers
Civil War & Archives
Delaware During the Civil War

Civil War Diary of Cyrus Forwood
On May 11th, 1861, Delawarean Cyrus Forwood volunteered for three months of service in the Union Army. These are the day-by-day notes and observations he wrote in his diary during his time as a soldier. The diary provides insights into the life of a Delaware soldier in the Civil War.

Civil War Records
Selected documents related to Delaware’s involvement in the American Civil War. Many more Civil War documents, photographs, broadsides, lithographs, maps, and diaries may be seen at our Civil War Page

War of 1812

Vietnam Mailbag
Vietnam Mailbag is a collection of correspondence, newspaper clippings, and photographs compiled by Nancy E. Lynch for her “Vietnam Mailbag” column in the Wilmington Morning News. Correspondence includes nearly nine hundred letters from Delaware soldiers in Vietnam, describing their viewpoints on the war, life in Vietnam, and the home front. These records were used in Lynch’s book, Vietnam Mailbag: Voices from the War, 1968-1972.

World War II Memorial Volume
Commemorative volume created by the Public Archives Commission at the request of Governor Walter W. Bacon to honor the men and women of Delaware who lost their lives in the line of duty or because of being in the service of their country during World War II.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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