Hundreds of Bucks County deed books dating to 17th century to be restored

Jim Melwert
November 19, 2018 - 1:36 pm
Old deed books (right) next to the newly restored deed books in Bucks County.

Jim Melwert/KYW Newsradio

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DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — Hundreds of deed books in Bucks County dating back to the 1600s are being restored after they were found rotting away in a warehouse. 

Bucks County recorder of deeds Robin Robinson said she found the deed books when she took office earlier this year.

She said not only is it part of her job as recorder of deeds to make sure the books are available to anyone who comes in, but it’s also a part of history.

"William Penn’s name is in these books," she said. "This is everybody who purchased property or was given property. The record was kept here."

The owner would keep the original deed, but it was copied by hand into the books. The pages were scanned and are saved on microfiche.

The restoration is paid for with record improvement fees, grants, and also a Bucks County Adopt-A-Book Program that Robinson created.

Robinson said by flipping through the books, they found an entry freeing a slave.

"So we don’t know what else is in there to find. It’s gonna be a treasure hunt daily when people come here and look through these books and find these kind of things. It’s thrilling," she said.

Eventually, all 1,400 books will be housed on the lower level of the county administration building. Robinson is taking the books on tour to libraries around the county starting in the spring.