A quick history of the settlement of Delaware if you need clues as to who kept the records.

The first European settlements in Delaware were made by the Dutch (~1609-1638), then the Swedes (~1638-1655), then it was back to Dutch rule (~1655-1664) until the Dutch turned governance of Delaware over to the English (1664) as a result of war losses elsewhere. The English deeded the land to William Penn (1682) and Delaware was governed with Penn’s Province of Pennsylvania (~1682-1701). Then Delaware got their own legislature but shared a governor with Pennsylvania until 1776, when Delaware broke all ties with Great Britain and Pennsylvania and fought for its independence in the Revolutionary War (~1775-1783). After the war, Delaware was the first of the thirteen colonies to ratify the Constitution of the United States, hence, its nickname, the “first state”. *

There are many free, online Delaware histories and related resources. These histories are similar to county histories in that they may provide rich material for family history research, including genealogical records and biographies.

Delaware has three counties: New Castle County, Kent County, and Sussex County, and free, online county histories exist for New Castle and Sussex.

Delaware histories and county histories at OnGenealogy.com



Dutch and Swedish

Histories and Biographies



The Historical Society of Delaware

New Castle County Histories

Kent County Histories

Sussex County Histories


* The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol 33, No. 1, 1909, “Dutch and Swedish Settlements on the Delaware” and “Delaware Colony” from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


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