Delaware Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections

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This entry was originally written by Roger D. Joslyn, CG, FUGA, FGBS, FASG, in Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.

This article is part of
Delaware sil.png
the Delaware Family History Research series.
History of Delaware
Delaware Vital Records
Census Records for Delaware
Background Sources for Delaware
Delaware Maps
Delaware Land Records
Delaware Probate Records
Delaware Court Records
Delaware Tax Records
Delaware Cemetery Records
Delaware Church Records
Delaware Military Records
Delaware Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections
Delaware Archives, Libraries, and Societies
Delaware Immigration
Delaware Naturalization
Ethnic Groups of Delaware
Delaware County Resources
Delaware Special Interests
Map of Delaware


Delaware History has been published by the Historical Society of Delaware semi-annually since 1946; volumes 1-7 were reprinted in 1968 by Kraus Reprint of Millwood, N.Y. The society has also published papers in sixty-seven volumes from 1879 to 1922 and in three volumes in a later series from 1927 to 1940.

The Delaware Genealogical Society Journal has published, since 1980, the usual fare of source record material, including Bible records, births of African Americans, Orphans' Court indexes (for Sussex County), and Maryland records. For The Maryland and Delaware Genealogist, see Maryland Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections.

Two short-lived periodicals with useful source record material are Delaware Historical and Genealogical Recall (1933; reprint, Wilmington: Delaware Genealogical Society, 1984) and Del-Gen-Data Bank, edited by Mary Fallon Richards (Wilmington: editor, 1986).


For a good list of Delaware papers, see Union List of Newspapers in Microform (Newark: Delaware University Press, 1964). The Historical Society of Delaware has an extensive collection of early northern Delaware newspapers, but papers in the adjoining states of Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey should also be consulted. Southern Delaware newspapers are at the Delaware Public Archives. F. Edward Wright, Delaware Newspaper Abstracts, 1786'95 (Silver Spring, Md.: Family Line Publications, 1984), covers two Wilmington papers. Mary Fallon Richards and John C. Richards edited five volumes of Delaware Genealogical Abstracts from Newspapers, covering 1729'1879 (Wilmington: Delaware Genealogical Society, 1995'2000).


By far the largest single collection of private, unpublished genealogical material on Delaware families is that of the Rev. Joseph Brown Turner at the Delaware Public Archives, compiled over a forty-year period and arranged by family name. Reverend Turner's interest in families of the Del-Mar-Va peninsula extended to the origins of some in the British Isles. The papers of Harold B. Hancock, also at the archives, likewise contain English material on Delaware families. The collections of the Rev. Charles Henry Black Turner (mostly southern Delaware) and Matilda Spicer Hart are at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

The Delaware Historical Records Survey, Inventory of the County Archives of Delaware No. 1 New Castle County (Dover, Del.: Public Archives Commission, 1941), which was published for only one county, is very useful for its historical background and for identifying records.

H. Clay Reed, 'Manuscript Books in the Historical Society of Delaware,' Delaware History 11 (1965): 65-82, is a finding aid to part of that society's collection.