Delaware Records Availability Timeline

This section describes when different types of sources of genealogy records in Delaware were available. Delaware documents are not always found in Delaware. Documents before 1682, when Delaware was governed from a distance, might be found in many places, including the archives of New York, Sweden, the Netherlands and Great Britain. For research between 1682 and 1775, when Delaware's boundaries reached their present configuration, look for records both in Delaware and in other states' archives, including those of Maryland and Pennsylvania, due primarily to the long battle waged by the Penn family of Pennsylvania and the Calvert family of Maryland for control of much of current Delaware (see the Map of Delaware in 1775 and Earlier). Even after 1775, families often migrated more than once within the Delmarva Peninsula and into the neighboring states of New Jersey and southeastern Pennsylvania. You can find more information about the historical events that effected genealogical records availability in the Genealogical Timeline.

 

Timeframe Look for records in
Before 1682 Archives of New York, Sweden, the Netherlands and Great Britain.
1682 —
1775
Delaware and in other states' archives, including those of Maryland and Pennsylvania.
After 1775 Delaware and the Delmarva Peninsula and into the neighboring states of New Jersey and southeastern Pennsylvania.

 

 

 

 

After you determine when your family was in Delaware, use this timeline to learn of some of the common records that are available for that time period. The left end of the bar represents the first date the record were available. The right end of the bar represents the last date the record was available. If the record is still available the bar extends beyond the 1940 line. Some gaps shown, but for many years in between, records were either not taken or do not survive.

Records Availability Timeline