Kent County, Delaware Genealogy
Kent County was established on June 21, 1680 from Whorekill (Hoarkill) County and New Castle County (originally named St. Jones County, renamed in 1682). The county was named by William Penn for the English county of Kent.
Areas neighboring Kent County are New Castle County, Salem County, New Jersey, Cumberland County, New Jersey, Cape May County, New Jersey, Sussex County, Caroline County, Maryland, Queen Anne’s County, Maryland, Kent County, Maryland.
Kent County vital records can be found at the Delaware Office of Vital Records which has copies of birth, marriage, divorce and death records. There is a fee for each copy requested. Please refer to the information to the Statewide Vital Records in Delaware for current fees and application process.
You can search online for Kent County Birth, Marriage, Divorce or Death Records. You can also Order Electronically Online or can download an application for Delaware Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, Death Certificate Application to mail. Same day service is available to walk-in customers. This is the fastest way to obtain a birth certificate. Walk-in address is Jesse S. Cooper Building – (302) 744-4549 – Office Hours 8:00 AM – 4:15 PM Monday through Friday except Holidays
Kent Co. Mortality Schedules is available for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Kent Co. Industry and Agriculture Schedules can be acquired for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Kent Co. Union Veterans Schedules can be acquired for 1890. There’s free down loadable and printable census forms to aid with your research.
Kent County Society and Family History Resources
A list of Kent County Historical and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives. See Also Delaware Archives, Genealogical and Historical Societies for statewide Addresses and links.
- Delaware Genealogy Community (plus.google.com)
- Delaware State Genealogy Network (facebook.com)
- Downstate Delaware Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 1787, Dover, DE 19903-1787
- Greater Harrington Historical Society, 110 Fleming St, Harrington, DE 19952; 302-398-3698
- Lower DelMarVa Genealogy Society, P.O. BOX 3602, Salisbury, DE 21802-3602
- Smyrna Heritage Association, 7 W South Street, Smyrna, DE 19977-1455
- Kent County, Delaware Message Boards (boards.ancestry.com)
- Kent County, Delaware Genealogy Forum (genforum.genealogy.com)
- USGenWeb Archives for Kent County (usgwarchives.net)
Kent County Courthouse and Government Records
Genealogist typically overlook the value of Kent County court, probate, and land files as a source of genealogy and family history details. Buried away in Delaware courthouses and archives everywhere are the desires and worries of countless Delaware people.
The possibilities are excellent that your particular ancestors and forefathers have left a comprehensive document of at least some facets of their lives in the Kent County court records. Even if your forefathers is not brought up in a Court case, take into account all of the other procedures which could have lead to him or her showing up in court records.
- Kent County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
- Address: 414 Federal Street, Dover, DE 19901
- Phone: 302-735-3900
- Kent County Clerk of the Peace functions include Witnessing County documents; attends all formal Levy Court Meetings; records all acts as custodian for the Minutes of the Levy Court Meetings; advertises and posts County ordinances; countersigns warrants drawn on County funds. Issues marriage licenses and performs marriages (civil ceremonies) in the County.
- Marriage Records: 1829-1898
- Kent County Register of Wills purpose is to record wills and documents pertaining to estate matters in Kent County, Delaware. The office is responsible for overseeing the appointments of personal representatives and for administering estate proceedings. This office is also held accountable for making sure that the estates are in compliance with the Delaware Law. All estate matters are maintained as permanent records.
- Probate Records: 1766
- Kent County Register of Deeds is responsible for indexing and maintaining copies of legal documents pertaining to land, mortgages, appointments, etc. Only the most recent deeds are in the office, however. Most have been transferred to the archives.
- Land Records: 1680
Kent County Genealogy Links
The following are links to Family history and genealogy, Records and Resources relating to Kent County. A majority of these genealogy links fall into 3 categories: Business Sites, Private Sites or Organization Sites. Some have free access some have to have a cost. This is merely a list which has been collected or submitted. I do not recommend or promote one genealogy site above another. Feel free to submit your own preferred Kent County genealogy or family history related sites.
Kent Co. DE Books, Newspapers & Publications
Kent Co. DE Birth, Marriage & Death Records
Kent Co. DE Court, Probate Land and Tax Records
Kent Co. DE Census Records
- Delaware Census Records Research Guide
- Delaware Census, 1790-1890 (search.ancestry.com)
- Kent County, DE Census Records Links
- Selected African Americans in Delaware, 1890 U.S. Census (search.ancestry.com)
- Kent County, DE Census QuickFacts