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In 1609, a Dutch explorer named Henry Hudson discovered Delaware. In 1610, Delaware was named by Captain Samuel Argall. He named it after Thomas West, Baron De La Warr, who was the governor of the colony at the time. In 1631, the Dutch attempt to settle the region failed.
Then, in 1638, New Sweden was founded by the Swedish where Wilmington now stands. However, Peter Stuyvesant, governor of New Netherlands, led troops that took it over in 1655. In 1664, the area again changed hands when William Penn took over the Lower Three Counties in 1682 for Great Britain. Delaware fought as a state during the Revolutionary War. See also Delaware History Page for more Details
Delaware entered the union as the 1st state on December 7, 1787. It has 3 Counties.
Then, in 1787, it was the very first state to ratify the United States Constitution. Delaware was considered to be a slave state when the Civil War was fought. However, unlike several other slave states, it didn't officially secede from the United States during the conflict.
Delaware is one of the smallest states, but it is packed with history. It has played a role in the United States since its earliest days, and because of this there are many museums, historical societies, and smaller local organizations that can serve as treasure troves to those looking for Delaware genealogy.
Since the state of Delaware is so small, it's not surprising that it has only 3 counties. Some of the counties do have microfilmed records on file, but many of the country records are held at the Delaware State Archives. The offices of the county recorder of deeds holds land conveyance records. The register of wills holds estate records from 1925 onward. The prothonotary clerk holds civil and criminal court records and divorce records up until 1975.
Effective Ways to Look for Delaware Genealogy Materials - Anyone beginning to search for Delaware genealogy data is going to quickly discover that they don’t have to leave home to do it! They can use many of the state’s online resources to begin scouting around for the materials needed. Because there are so many resources online, however, it does not mean that everything has been made digital.
Though many groups have websites with strong databases, not all have yet been able to afford to tackle such a project. This means that anyone doing research for a Delaware genealogy project is also going to have learn about the offline sites they may need to visit. This means that it is extremely useful to familiarize yourself with the tools that researchers use for Delaware genealogy, and how to determine which are online and which are not.
Some of the most frequently used resources for Delaware genealogy are public records, and they are found in the following groupings:
Strong and Effective Tools for Delaware Genealogy - You will rapidly discover which tools work for Delaware genealogy, and you learn which provide you with the most information for your needs. Below are some of the best for Delaware genealogy, and can be found in person or online at:
Additional state and local records can be found at the:
Also, consider using the Delaware Historical Society’s Genealogy Page at: http://www.hsd.org/gengd.htm
The following websites provide a large amount of state-specific details to those in search of facts for Delaware genealogy projects.