A writ of habeas corpus is a procedure for obtaining a judicial determination of the legality of an individual's custody. This collection includes petitions for writs of habeas corpus and the writs themselves, showing the names of petitioners, persons to be brought to court, nature of dispute or alleged crime, dates of writs and accompanying documents, names of judges, and names of persons that the writs are filed against. Petitioners include indentured servants, runaway slaves, free African-Americans, convicted prisoners, those awaiting trial, relatives of prisoners, parties in child custody disputes, and relatives of army recruits and draftees. Arranged chronologically by date of filing. Handwritten, handwritten on printed forms, and a very few typewritten.
Liens filed by contractors showing names of parties including owner of property; description of property including location; nature of claim; description of materials and work done on property; volume and page number of recording in Mechanics' Liens Docket; and date filed.
Collection contains an index to the Slave Registers, Mayor's Register of Coloured Persons or Negro Entry Book, and returns filed within the county. There are official records for slaves and their children in Lancaster County, as well as freemen within Lancaster City. Also includes bills of sale, a manumission paper, and a certificate for free persons of color.
Formerly called "The Slave Records of Lancaster County Collection." Name changed and arrangement changed on 13 June 2007.
Added to database on 19 July 2017.
System of Arrangement
Series 1 consists of the Slave Registers, official county records registering slaves and their children.
Series 2 contains the Mayor's Register of Coloured Persons, bills of sale, manumission paper, and other records.
Restricted access for the Negro Entry Book found in Series 2, Folder 2: Use transcript in Folder 3 or microlfilm. Please make an appointment with the Director of Archival Services to use the original volume.
Collection may not be photocopied. Please contact Research Staff or Archives Staff with questions.
African American Records Collection (MG-240), Box #, Folder #, LancasterHistory, Lancaster, Pa.