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Kent County

Delaware, USA



Gen Tool-Kit

Researching by Surname

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Contact Information





     Kent County is a county located in the central part of the U.S. state of Delaware. The county seat is Dover, the state capital.  It is named for Kent, an English county.

In about 1670 the English began to settle in the valley of the St. Jones River earlier known as Wolf Creek. On June 21, 1680, The Duke of York chartered St. Jones County, which was carved out of New Amstel/New Castle County and Hoarkill/Sussex County. St. Jones County was transferred to William Penn on August 24, 1682, and became part of Penn's newly chartered Delaware Colony.

Penn ordered a court town to be laid out, and the courthouse was built in 1697. The town of Dover, named after the city of Dover in England's Kent, was finally laid out in 1717, and became the capitol of Delaware in 1777. In 1787 Delaware was first to ratify the U.S. Constitution, and became "the First State." Kent County was a small grain farming region in the 18th Century.

Counties adjacent to Kent County are New Castle County (north), Salem County, New Jersey (northeast), Cumberland County, New Jersey (east), Cape May County, New Jersey (east), Sussex County (south), Caroline County, Maryland (southwest), Queen Anne's County, Maryland (west), and Kent County, Maryland (west). 



Gen Tool-Kit

gen tool-kit

     Our “Gen-Tool Kit” has been primarily designed for those researchers who may be traveling to this location to perform on-site studies of their family history, or to just visit some of the interesting historical sites located in the area.  It can be very satisfying to mix research with sightseeing at historical and scenic spots.  Such activity not only gives you an understanding of the land but a needed break from intense research sessions.  When visiting an ancestral county for genealogical research we’ve found that the three most important places to visit are the county courthouse; the county library; and the county historical and/or genealogical societies.  It is also good to plan ahead by contacting any site you intend visiting in order to ascertain where it is and when it will be open.  This is especially true with regard to historical and genealogical societies.  We hope that the following information will provide you with a better idea of what resources are available, within this county, to the family historian.

County Court Records 

 All Departments below are in the Kent County Courthouse 555 Bay Road, Room 113, Dover, DE 19901, unless otherwise noted below. The Official County website is located at  NOTE: The record dates below are from the earliest date to present time. Most earlier records and many into the twentieth century have been transferred to the Delaware State Archives .

·         Kent County Clerk of Chancery Court has Court Records from 1681and is located at the courthouse. Phone Number: (302) 736-2040

·         Kent County Clerk of the Peace has Marriage Records from 1829-1898 and is located at the courthouse. Phone Number: 302) 744-2346.

·         Kent County Register of Wills has Probate Records from 1766 and is located at courthouse. Phone Number: 302-744-2330.    


Libraries, Museums & Archives


Historical & Genealogical Societies


Historical Places

Your LINK to the Historical Places and Districts in KENT County

U.S. National Register of Historic Places

National Park Service

National Historic Landmarks

National Battlefields

National Historic Sites

National Historical Parks

National Memorials

National Monuments


by Surname

The following are names of persons, found within our databases,

as having been either born, married or died in this location.

To find out more about each surname listed above click on the corresponding Link.

McVicker; Moreland; Pinnell; Scruggs and allied families


Bozarth; Peiffer; Quigley; Rhubart and allied families


Dellinger; Knecht; Pfeffer; Silar and allied families

Additional information regarding these and other surnames may also be found at:

Surname Locator Resources

Free Genealogy Surname
 Search From Google

Use this free genealogy site to help you get the best genealogy searches from Google™ by using your family tree, for your research. It will create a series of different searches  using tips or "tricks"

that will likely improve your results. The different searches will give you many different ways of using Google and the Internet to find ancestry information about  this  or  any  other  Surname. 

Where in the World do These
 Surnames Come From?

Click on the LINK to the right to see more information about the World distribution of any surname.  You can

get greater detail for any of the maps by clicking on the area, i.e state, county that you are interested in.


ancestral gen-sites

Map of the County

Family History Notes

Gen-Site Profiles


Map of the county

Map of the County

The Red Starin the map designates the location of the seat of government for this county.  Yellow Stars designate seats of government in adjacent counties.   A Purple Dotshows the location of identified ancestral Gen-Site(s).

NOTE: for a better view of this map use the following ZOOM feature -

from the keyboard you can increase or decrease the zoom value in 10% increments.

To zoom IN, press Ctrl and the  + (plus) button. To zoom OUT, press Ctrl and the - (minus)  button.  To restore the zoom to 100%, press Ctrl and the 0 (zero) button.

Family history notes

Family History Notes

Our 7th great-grandfather, Thomas Vanderford, came to Kent County, Delaware with his elder brother George around 1740 and settled in that area of the county known as Murderkill Hundred, (see map above).  In 1745 George purchased 233 acres in the middle of "Great Geneva,." located on the south side of Tibdury Branch of Dover River.  Thomas Vanderford appears in 1748 land records for Gum Pond, Horse Head Neck, Murderkill Hundred.  In 1751 Thomas bought 350 acres in the Forrest of Murderkill Hundred on the southeast side of Tappahanna Marsh.  He then gave 175 acres of this the tract called “Tappahanna” to his son Charles.  When George died in 1758 he left to his three sons, Hollingsworth, John and Matthew, 150 acres in the "Great Geneva." Thomas passed away in 1767without a will and his estate was settled by his son Charles.

    The following gen-sites have been identified as places located within this county where our direct ancestors are known to have been, born, married, died or resided.

Gen-site profiles

Gen-Site Profiles

Dover;   Murderkill Hundred


LOCATION:  Country: United States;   State: Delaware;   County: Kent;  Place: Dover; Coordinates/Map:  39° 9′ 43″ N, 75° 31′ 36″ W

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The Kent County Courthouse located on the Green in Dover.


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 for larger image

DESCRIPTION:   The city of Dover is the capital of Delaware. It is also the county seat of Kent County.  It is located on the St. Jones River in the Delaware River coastal plain. It was named by William Penn for Dover in Kent, England.  Dover was founded as the court town for newly established Kent County in 1683 by William Penn, the Proprietor of the territory generally known as the "Lower Counties on the Delaware." Later, in 1717, the city was officially laid out by a special commission of the Delaware General Assembly. The capital of the state of Delaware was moved here from New Castle in 1777 due to its central location and relative safety from British raiders on the Delaware River.  It became the permanent capital city of Delaware October 1781. The city's central square, known as The Green, was the location of many rallies, troop reviews, and other patriotic events. To this day, The Green remains the heart of Dover's historic district and is the location of the Kent County Courthouse.


INTERNET WEB LINK(s):  Kent County & Greater Dover Convention and Visitors Bureau

City of Dover; 

Murderkill Hundred

LOCATION:  Country: United States;   State: Delaware;   County: Kent;   Place: Murderkill Hundred; Coordinates/Map: 39° 2′ 32″ N, 75° 34′ 18″ W

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A bridge over Murderkill Creek in Killens Pond State Park, Felton, DE

38° 58' 47.67" N  75° 32' 41.41" W 


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DESCRIPTION:  Murderkill Hundred was a hundred in Kent County.  Murderkill Hundred was created in 1682 as one of the original Delaware Hundreds. It was divided into North Murderkill Hundred and South Murderkill Hundred in 1855.  Original boundaries were St. Jones Creek on north, and Murderkill Creek on south, extending from Delaware River to Maryland line.

ANCESTORS ASSOCIATED WITH THIS GEN-SITE:   Thomas Vanderford (c. 1690-1767); George Vanderford (c.1684-1758), see “Family History Notes” above.

INTERNET WEB LINK(s): David Rumsey Historical Map Collection: North & South Murderkill;

North Murderkill Hundred (in Kent County, DE);  South Murderkill Hundred; 


LOCATION:  Country: United States;   State: Delaware;   County: Kent;   Place:; Coordinates/Map:





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populated places

by Location

Gazetteer of Places in This County

Link to State-Wide Resources

Where in the World

are My Ancestors?


Gazetteer of Places

The list below will assist in your research regarding the matching of your ancestor’s birth, marriage, death dates and the place(s) within this locality at which these events may have occurred.


Map of Kent County Delaware

Kent County Physical, Cultural & Historic Features

Kent County ZIP Codes | Area Codes

Kent County Land - Property, Farms & Ranches

Profiles for 390 cities, towns and other populated places in Kent County Delaware


Links To Populated Places Within This County




Census-designated places

Other localities

Find Physical Features* Within This County

* includes but not limited to Cemeteries, Churches, Locales,

Military Installations;  Populated Places, Post Offices, Schools, Streams, and Trails

Links to More Locations in This U.S. State

State-Wide Resources

For more information about the U.S. State in which this county is located  click  on  these  LINKS:


Where in the world

Where in the World
are My Ancestors?

Resources which enhance our knowledge of the places inhabited by our ancestors are almost as important as their names. The LINK



to the right will take you to Maps, Gazetteers,   and other helpful  resources  that will assist you in discovering Ancestral Locations. 

resources Website


This search engine may

provide you with additional

information to assist with

your research about this topic.

General Resources

·         Our Genealogy Reference Library (USA Locations)

·         Genealogy Forum: U.S. States

·         Family Search, IGI Batches, Localities

· Resources by county

· – U.S. Message Boards

·         Cyndi's List - General U.S. Sites

·         Access Genealogy

Locality Specific Resources

·         Kent County, Genealogy Forum

·         Kent County, at Rootsweb

·         Cyndi's List - U.S. – Kent County, Delaware

·         Linkpendium > Genealogy> Kent County

·        Kent County & Greater Dover Visitors Bureau


Our Genealogy 
Reference Library

The following Link will take you to our library of genealogy reference books.   Here you may find books about the history and records of this county and other places such as towns and churches.  The collection also contains research works about military units and personnel during America’s wars, in addition too resource texts about the ethnic and religious groups who may have settled in this locality.


Research Library – Table of Contents


Image Gallery

During our research we have collected images and photographs that are of general interest to a variety of localities.  Some of them are presented on this website because we believe they tend to provide the reader with additional information which may aid in the understanding of our ancestors past lives.


Barratt's Chapel, located in Kent County, was built in 1780, on land donated by Philip Barratt.  Barratt who had recently become a Methodist, wanted to build a center for the growing Methodist movement in Delaware.  Barratt's Chapel is the oldest surviving church building in the United States built by and for Methodists.


If you have any photographs or other images relating to this 
 county, we would greatly appreciate hearing from you.


Use the following LINK to ascertain whether we have any images that pertain to this location.



Free Image Search
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topic you are searching in the box and click “Search Images”. At the “Images” display page you will see the image, as well  as the  website to  which it is linked.


Contact Information 

Contact information


Snail mail:

889 Dante Ct.
Mantua, NJ 08051



Pony Express:

27 Christopher Dr.
Burton, NB E2V3H4