Source Information Pennsylvania, U.S., Oyer and Terminer Court Papers, 1757-1787 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012.
Original data:

Courts of Oyer and Terminer. Series 126. Supreme Court, Record Group 33. Pennsylvania State Archives, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

About Pennsylvania, U.S., Oyer and Terminer Court Papers, 1757-1787

This database contains records created by the Oyer and Terminer court in Pennsylvania in the years 1757–1787. The Pennsylvania State Archives offers the following description of Oyer and Terminer courts:

Courts of Oyer and Terminer and General Gaol Delivery were established by the Pennsylvania Constitution of 1790 at the county level to hear and determine capital crimes (murder, rape, treason, burglary, robbery, arson, and others), formerly a function of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The Supreme Court Justices, by nature of their position, were justices of Oyer and Terminer and Gaol Delivery in the counties.

What You Can Find in the Records

Records come from courts in Pennsylvania’s first nine counties: Bedford, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Cumberland, Lancaster, Northampton, Philadelphia, and York. Documents include jury lists, witness lists, lists of constables and justices of the peace, depositions, indictments, coroners' inquisitions, and returns of criminals, as well as case files, minutes, court proceedings, and hearing notices from the Esquires of Justice. Since some of the documents precede the Revolutionary War, many of the court cases were individuals against the King of England.

Details found in the records vary widely but include

  • names
  • dates
  • townships
  • county

There will not be records for every year in each county.