This is an index to records filed in the Court of Common Pleas (civil cases). They contain sworn or affirmed statements of witnesses or plaintiffs and defendants in the cases. They include affidavits, rules to take depositions, depositions, and interrogatories Index
Written declarations or statements of facts made voluntarily or confirmed by oath or affirmation of the party involved, taken before an officer having authority to administer such an oath (typically a justice of the peace). The papers were signed by the person making the statement and the witness. Additionally, they contain the name of the plaintiff, defendant and the filing date.
Rules to take Deposition
Rules of the court to take statements of witnesses (usually aged, infirm and departing) before any judge or justice of the peace. Contains name of plaintiff and defendant, type of case, court term case began, date of rule, signature of prothonotary, filing date, and may give cost for having the paper filed. * Index will indicate these papers as depositions*
Testimony of witnesses answering questions in pursuance of a commission to take testimony issued by the court. The adverse party was given notice of the depositions and this distinguished it from an affidavit. They typically contain the date of testimony; name of plaintiff, defendant and witness; witness's sworn or affirmed and signed statement that the testimony was true; signed statement of justice who took statement; questions asked of witness; date filed. They may contain age, occupation and place of residence of witness, plaintiff or defendant; witness's relationship with the parties involved.
Questions asked of witnesses in a case, written by either the plaintiff's or defendant's attorney. They may contain the name of the plaintiff and defendant, type of case, court term case began, the questions, signature of attorney, name of those selected to take the testimony and date paper was filed. *
Who Was Indexed?
We attempted to index all individuals who were relevant to the case or whose personal information warranted their inclusion into the index. Generally, attorneys, judges, sheriffs and justices of the peace are not indexed.
This field also contains business and organization names.
* Catanese, Lynn Ann. Guide to Records of the Court of Common Please in Chester County, Pennsylvania 1681-1900. West Chester: Chester County Historical Society, 1987.