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2019 News

Volunteers Sought for Historical / Genealogical Records Preservation Effort

January 4, 2019

Contact: Mary Domres, medomres@buckscounty.org

The Bucks County Register of Wills and Clerk of the Orphans’ Court is recruiting people who are passionate about preserving history to join its newly formed Historical and Genealogical Records Preservation and Restoration Advisory Committee.

The committee will advise Don Petrille, the Register of Wills and Clerk of the Orphans’ Court, on the permanent preservation and restoration of historic and valuable records in the custody of his office. Petrille is seeking the advice of historians, genealogists, professionals and the general public on prioritizing these efforts. RegWills doc1

Those priorities, as well as available storage resources, will be discussed at the committee’s first meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, January 16, in the Community Room of the Bucks County Administration Building, 55 East Court Street in Doylestown. The committee will also evaluate notable citizens, historical events, critical locations and important Orphans’ Court cases in Bucks County history.

Petrille’s office also is offering citizens an innovative opportunity to help by volunteering from home.

As the office has digitized its records collection, it was discovered that many images, dating to the 18th and 19th centuries, were never indexed in its computer databases. In early 2019, training will be offered in data entry to accurately index digitized images. Trained volunteers will be able to view and index images from their homes through a secure document-sharing website, making all entries searchable by the public.

Email dpetrille@buckscounty.org for more information or to sign up.

The office of Register of Wills and Clerk of the Orphans Court is responsible for admitting wills to probate, appointing administrators of intestate estates, collecting inheritance taxes on behalf of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, issuing marriage licenses and processing filings involving estate disputes, incapacitated persons, guardianships and adoptions. Don Petrille has served Bucks County as head of this office since 2012.