Resources

Resources We Have

Databases

Learn about the many Internet databases that you have access to for free - just by having your library card or visiting any one of Delaware County's public libraries.

Genealogy

Crozer Library offers a few genealogical resources specific to Chester, including old city directories from the turn of the 20th century. This page also details how to find obituaries and the genealogical resources available at other locations in Delaware County.

Links

Looking for a reputable website? Check out our list of links for local Chester, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, and federal government websites. A health website listing is also available.

Databases

The Delaware County Library System subscribes to a number of computer databases accessed via the Internet. For a complete list of these databases and descriptions of their content, please visit the library system website.

Many of these databases are accessible from any computer with an Internet connection when you use your library card barcode number. All of the databases are available inside any Delaware County public library.

If you would like to learn how to use a particular database, please contact the library at (610) 494-3454 and arrangements can be made to show you how to get the most out of the database.

Genealogy Resources

Chester City Directories

Crozer Library has several late 19th- and early 20th-century Chester City directories that the public may use in the library. The directories are housed in the Reference section.

Unless otherwise noted, the directories are ordered only by resident last name. Typically, the directories provided listings by the male head of household or a female widow. Wives are usually listed in parentheses after husbands. Residences are listed, as well as the male's occupation. Period advertisements are included in each directory in special insert sections as well as on the individual pages.

The library has the following directory volumes:

    • 1889-1890
    • 1895-1896
    • (including the boroughs of South Chester, Upland, and Eddystone)
    • 1897-1898
    • (including the towns of Clifton Heights, Darby, Eddystone, Lansdowne, Media, Sharon Hill, Upland, and Wayne and a business directory of the county)
    • 1901
    • (including the boroughs of Upland and Eddystone)
    • 1904
    • (including the boroughs of Upland and Eddystone)
    • 1906-1907
    • (including the boroughs of Upland and Eddystone)
    • 1908-1909
    • (including the boroughs of Upland and Eddystone)
    • 1910-1911
    • (including the boroughs of Upland and Eddystone)
    • 1912
    • (including the boroughs of Upland and Eddystone)
    • 1914-1915
    • (including the boroughs of Upland and Eddystone)
    • 1917-1918
    • (including the boroughs of Eddystone and Upland and the town of Media)
    • 1920
    • (including the boroughs of Eddystone and Upland and the town of Media)
    • 1923-1924
    • (including the boroughs of Eddystone and Upland and the town of Media)
    • 1926-1927
    • (including the boroughs of Eddystone and Upland and the town of Media)
    • 1928-1929
    • (including the boroughs of Eddystone and Upland and the town of Media)
    • 1930-1931
    • contains a Street and Avenue Guide
    • 1941
    • (including Parkside and also Eddystone, Linwood, Marcus Hook, Media, Trainer, and Upland)-  also contains listings by street and has a street and avenue guide (searchable by last name or street address)
    • 1956
    • (including Brookhaven, Eddystone, Linwood, Marcus Hook, Media, Parkside, Ridley Park, Swarthmore, Trainer, and Upland) 
      Contains listings by street address (Street and Avenue Guide) as well as a numerical telephone directory matching resident to telephone number (searchable by last name, street address, or telephone number)
    • 1959
    • (including Brookhaven, Eddystone, Marcus Hook, Media, Nether Providence, Parkside, Rose Valley, Swarthmore, Trainer, and Upland) 
    Contains listings by street address (Street and Avenue Guide) as well as a numerical telephone directory matching resident to telephone number (searchable by last name, street address, or telephone number)

The Delaware County Historical Society Library has Chester City Directories spanning 1879-1931, 1941, 1956, and 1959. 

Chester High School Yearbooks

Crozer Library has the following high school yearbooks in its Reference department:

  • 1929
  • 1957
  • 1961
  • 1962
  • 1963
  • 1965
  • 1972
  • 1973
  • 1974
  • 1986
  • 1991

The J. Lewis Crozer Library also has a copy of the Frederick Douglass Jr. High School 2009 Reunion book.

The Delaware County Historical Society Library also collects Chester High School yearbooks and has a more extensive collection. As of June 2011, its collection includes the following years:

  • 1914-1925
  • 1929-1930
  • 1932-1933
  • 1935-1936
  • 1938-1940
  • 1942-1947
  • 1949
  • 1951
  • 1953
  • 1955
  • 1961
  • 1965
  • 1967
  • 1969
  • 1970
  • 1971
  • 1972-1975
  • 1980
  • 1982
  • 1984
  • 1988
  • 1991
  • 1996
  • 1998
  • 1999
 Obituaries

Obituaries listed in the Chester Times, now known as the Delaware County Daily Times:

For obituaries from 1994 to the present, you can access the database either in a public library or from any other location with an Internet connection by selecting "Delaware County Daily Times 1994 - Current" from the library's list of databases and entering your name and library barcode number. You can easily search the database by name for an obituary.

The Daily Times from 1876-1977 may be freely accessed online. You can easily search by name.

Local libraries having microfilm collections of the Daily Times:

Obituaries listed in the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Obituaries listed from September 8, 2001 to the present are listed in the ObitFinder at Legacy.com. You can find and read the entire obituary only for a limited time, but after that time the names and dates are still listed as well as the first few words of the obituary to help you pinpoint the date.

The Free Library of Philadelphia has the complete run of the Philadelphia Inquirer on microfilm. Obituaries are not indexed.

      Newspapers Department, 215-686-5431
    As of December 2006, copies were 25 cents per page for 8-1/2"x11" (standard size) paper and 50 cents per page for 11"x17" (legal size).
 Local Organizations

Delaware County Archives

      Location: 340 North Middletown Road          
                     Lima, PA 19063 

Mailing Address:
201 West Front Street
Media, PA 19063 

Phone: 610-891-5620
Fax: 610-891-6577
Hours: Wednesdays & Thursdays from 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM

At the Archives:

  • Administrations 1790-1900
  • Birth Records (excluding births in the City of Chester)
  • Civil Docket Books (Continuance & Appearance) 1797-1929
  • Civil Case Files (Original Writs) 1797-1929
  • Criminal Docket Books 1806-1929
  • Death Records 1893-1906
  • Equity Case Files 1856-1897
  • Licenses for Peddlers 1935-1970
  • Marriage Records 1885-1929
  • Naturalization Records 1795-1926
  • Orphans' Court Docket Books 1790-1925
  • Orphans' Court Estate Case Files 1790-1925
  • Physicians' Registrations 1881-1900
  • Wills 1789-1900

Delaware County Historical Society Library

      408 Avenue of the States
      Chester, PA 19013 

Phone: 610-872-0502
Fax: 610-872-0503
Hours: Wednesdays 9am to 4pm; Thursdays 1:00-6:30pm; Fridays 9am-4pm; Saturdays 9am-2pm

The holdings of the DCHS library can be viewed at the library's website.

 Computer Databases

The following databases are accessible from the Delaware County Library System database page.

Ancestry Library

Ancestry Library is available on any Internet computer inside any Delaware County library.

It contains genealogical research, with digitized images of the U.S. Federal Census from 1790 forward, the American Genealogical Biographical Index, Passenger, and Immigration Lists Index, and more

HeritageQuest

This database is accessible from any computer with an Internet connection. You only need the number printed below the barcode on your Delaware County library card. Of course, you can also use this database inside any library.

HeritageQuest contains census images from 1790-1930 indexed by name. You can also search books of family and local histories. Periodicals may also be searched for people and places mentioned. How-to genealogy articles are available. Revolutionary War Era Pension & Bounty-Land Warrant Application files are searchable as well as the Freedman's Bank records (1865-1874) for African Americans.

Links

The following are various websites that may be useful for you to explore, divided by category.

Chester

Chester City

 Delaware County

Delaware County Government Center and Courthouse

 Pennsylvania

PA PowerPort - The Home Page of Pennsylvania

 Federal Government

USA.gov - The U.S. Government's Official Web Portal (searchable)

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