Orphans' Court Proceedings of New Castle County, Delaware, 1742-1761


The Orphans’ Court dealt with the protection of orphans and the administration of estates of persons who died without a will (intestate). These proceedings record the appointment of guardians of orphans under the age of 14, and the approval of guardians chosen by the orphan who was over the age of 14. This court presided over the appointment of freeholders to divide or value the land that had descended to sons and daughters of the deceased (testate or intestate). These records are helpful in establishing the names of children and parents. The names of uncles, aunts and grandparents also appear in the records as guardians or persons the court has identified as persons to give consent to guardianships and apprenticeships. Ages of orphans are often stated or inferred. The proceedings show the name of the administrator, the total value of the estate, an indication of indebtedness, and the existence of property, real and personal. For purposes of economy, the names of judges and persons appointed by the court to divide or value the land, and arbitrators, have been omitted as they provide little value to the genealogist.

F. Edward Wright

2001, 5½x8½, paper, index, 197 pp.