Germantown (Philadelphia, Pa.) general court records

Collection Am.371

(0.2 Linear feet ; 2 volumes)

Summary Information

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Germantown (Philadelphia, Pa.) general court records
Date [inclusive]
0.2 Linear feet ; 2 volumes
Finding aid prepared by Sarah Newhouse
This collection was processed during the Digital Center for Americana Project Phase II, which was funded by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Richard Lounsbery Foundation.
Language of Materials note
Volume 1 of this collection is entirely in English, as is its transcription. Volume 2 is mostly in German with some Dutch and an English index and a few entries in English at the end of the volume.
Text [Volume]
This collection contains the records of the Germantown (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) town council or General Court and the civil court or Court of Record, dating from 1691 to 1707. The matters addressed by these court sessions include property disputes and transfers, apprenticeships, deeds of sale for goods and land, assault and battery, violations of liquor laws, and other matters.

Preferred Citation note

Cite as: [Indicate cited item or series here], Germantown (Philadelphia, Pa.) general court records (Collection Am .371), The Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

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Scope and Contents note

Volume 1 (1691-1696, 1701-1707), the Court of Record minutes, is in English, although half of the pages are blank, and is accompanied by two transcripts: one typed and one handwritten transcript. The first entry in this volume is for August 1, 1691. Volume 2, the General Court minutes, is mostly in German and includes some entries in Dutch; the last two pages of the records are in English and are the only surviving pages of the original Court of Record minutes. It has bound with it an index of names for Philadelphia County Deed Book E. 1, Vol. 5. The first entry of this volume is for April 2, 1691.

Although these volumes cover some of the same dates, the contents are unique. Volume 1 is an 1850s English transcription of the minutes of the Court of Record, the originals of which are now lost. The minutes relate to civil suits, fines and the acknowledgment of deeds in the borough of Germantown. Volume 2 contains the original minutes of Germantown town council known as the General Court, an index for a Philadelphia Deed Book, and an outline plan of the town of Germantown. The minutes document the election of borough officers, passage of town regulations and ordinances, fines, and taxes. The Volume 2 is commonly referred to as the Gemantown “Raths Buch.” Researchers should note that each volume is a distinct record and not be confused by the similarity of the dates.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

 The Historical Society of Pennsylvania July 2011

1300 Locust Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19107

Conditions Governing Access note

This collection is open for research.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

At the Historical Society of Pennsylvania:

Acta Germanopolis : records of the Corporation of Germantown, Pennsylvania, 1691-1707. Edited and with an introduction by J.M. Duffin; with a foreword by Don Yoder. (Call number UPA/Ph F 159 .G3 A28 2008)

Christian Lehman collection on Philadelphia colonial settlement (Collection 0362)

Concord School House of Upper Germantown records (Collection Am .3707)

Extracts from the records of the courts held in Germantown, from 1691 to 1707 (from the original record in the office of the Recorder of Deeds for the city and county of Philadelphia). (Call number Va .64)

Pastorius, Francis Daniel. Papers, 1683-1719 (Collection 475)

Pastorius, Francis Daniel. Records, 1683-1909. (Collection Am .3714)

Upper Germantown Burying Ground record book (Collection Am .3707)

William Penn Germantown Charter, 1689 (Collection Am .3038)

Copy of Mathias Zimmerman plan of lots in Germantown and Cresheim townships (Collection Am .3721)

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Controlled Access Headings

Geographic Name(s)

  • Germantown (Philadelphia, Pa.).


  • Court records--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia County--Philadelphia--Germantown
  • Germantown (Philadelphia, Pa.)--History--Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775.
  • Germantown (Philadelphia, Pa.)--History--Sources.

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