A historical photo of a street in York, PA

Property & Business Research

Business Property Research

With an abundance of raw materials, readily available sources of power, a willing work force, York County was destined to become a center of business and industry. The History Center’s collection includes many original records of local businesses, organizations and business leaders.

In 1999, the Agricultural and Industrial Museum of York County merged with the Historical Society of York County, forming the York County Heritage Trust. The business records collection of the Agricultural and Industrial Museum joined the records already amassed by the Historical Society. A grant from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) made it possible to survey the records, and to identify, arrange and describe them. The project included the development of a searchable database available at the bottom of this page. This project made it possible to preserve the correspondence, ledgers, daybooks and sundry materials that document York County’s rich history.

Home Property Research

It is recommended that the researcher begin by developing a lineage of previous owners by researching property deeds. It is important to realize that not all York County deed transfers have been recorded and that many unrecorded deeds still remain in private hands Additionally, the Library & Archives has many unrecorded deeds in its collection. All recorded deeds beginning in 1749 are found at the York County Archives located at 150 Pleasant Acres Road, York. The grantor and grantee indexes for the York County Deed Books from 1749 through 1943 are searchable on their website. Please keep in mind that many unrecorded deeds still remain in private hands.

The Library & Archives also has copies of recorded York County deed transfers from 1749 to 1850 on microfilm, but it is best to begin with recent property transfers and work backwards. If you have recently purchased a property or had it refinanced, request a copy of the title search from your settlement company. The title search will provide a list of prior owners over the past several decades.

The names of the previous owners and their dates of ownership, these names and dates that will become the “keys” to access the resources found in the Library & Archives.