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District Court, Prothonotary of the [Philadelphia County]

[Record Group 22]

22.1 Appearance Docket
1811-1874
236 volumes, index
Civil case entries list parties, attorneys, cause of action, summary of legal steps involved, disposition of case.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
22.2 Debit, Single Bill (D.S.B.) Docket
1811-1874
59 volumes, no index
Case entries list parties, attorneys, cause of action, amount of judgment handed down, property against which levied, notices of satisfaction (in effect, continuations of cases listed in Appearance Docket).
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
22.3 Execution Docket
1811-1874
120 volumes, index
Entries list parties, attorneys, amount realized by sale of property against which judgments formed a lien, or reason why judgment stayed. (cases listed in pursuance of entries in Appearance Docket & D.S.B. Docket.)
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
22.4 Equity Docket
1854-1868, 1871-1874
5 volumes, index
Case entries list parties, attorneys, date bill in equity filed, summary of legal steps involved.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
22.5 Tax Claim Docket
1859-1874
2 volumes, index
Case entries list claimee (plaintiff City of Philadelphia in each case), amount of claim, description of property against which claim made, satisfaction notices.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
22.6 Mechanic & Municipal Lien Dockets
1836-1874
25 volumes, index
Case entries list parties, attorneys, amount of claim and description of property against which made, satisfaction notices.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
22.7 City Claims & To Use Dockets
1854-1874
3 volumes, index
Case entries list claimee (plaintiff City of Philadelphia in each case), amount of claim and description of property against which made, summary of legal steps involved, satisfaction notices.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
22.8 Docket, Declarations of Intention of Naturalization
1818-1875
9 volumes, index
Entries list declarant's names, country of origin, sovereign, date of declaration; added variously are declarant's age and county of residence. Entries prior to 1828 contain detailed information about date and place of birth and date and port of embarkation and entry.
For similar records, see Common Pleas Court Docket, Declarations of Intention;
Quarter Sessions Court Docket, Declarations of Intention;
Mayor's Court Docket, Declarations of Intention;
General Sessions Court Docket, Declarations of Intention; and
Recorder's Court Docket, Declarations of Intention.

Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
22.9 Petitions for Naturalizations
1811-1874
18 cu.ft., index
Petitions list petitioner's name, country of origin, renunciation of former allegiance, voucher's name, date petition granted; included occasionally are port of entry and date and/or copies of declarations of intention, and addresses of petitioner and voucher. After 1864, various petitioners claim U.S. Army service in lieu of declaration. Such petitions give length of service and company and regiment in which served.
For similar records, see Common Pleas Court Petitions for Naturalizations;
Quarter Sessions Court Petitions for Naturalizations;
Mayor's Court Petitions for Naturalizations, and
Recorder's Court Petitions for Naturalizations.

Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
22.10 Partition Deeds
1811-1874
16 volumes, index
Entries include copy of court writ directing Sheriff to partition (normally) decedent's real estate among heirs bearing date, parties, land to be partitioned, and Sheriff's return listing date, jurors who determined the partition, its terms, and parties among whom partitioned; occasionally added is a plan of the distribution.

One partition case in District Court from period 1872-1874 is located in Common Pleas Court Partition Deeds, volume 3, W.B.M.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104


22.11 Sheriff's Deeds
1811-1874
91 volumes, index
Entries list date, plaintiff, defendant, purchaser, location and metes and bounds of property seized and sold, amount of purchase price.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
22.12 Narrative and Copy of Charge
1812-1868
140 cu.ft., no index
Papers in each case list court term, filing date, parties, cause of action, attorneys, and normally consist otherwise of a summary of facts in the complaint and (often) notices of legal steps taken in the matter and judgment rendered.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
22.13 Writs
1811-1874; missing: 1828, 1830-1831, 1861-1865
116 cu.ft., no index
Chiefly summonses, which list parties, court term and number of case, party summoned, date, and (often) sheriff's notice of service.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
22.14 Debit, Single Bill
1811-1842, 1854-1860, 1863-1866
40 cu.ft., no index
Papers bear names of parties, court term and number, date, amount of debt, amount for which bound.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
22.15 Precipes
1819-1874
60 cu.ft., no index
Precipes, or Praecipes, are original writs commanding the defendant to do the thing required, or show the reason why he he had not done it. Generally, they consist of a slip of paper upon which the particulars of a writ are written out.

The precipe papers of the District Court, which are not complete, list the names of the plaintiff and defendant, the plaintiff's attorney, the court term and number, date, amount of bail, what goods are attached, and garnishees. They are filed by court term and number found in the Appearance Docket
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104


22.16 List of Special Jurors
December 1873 - October 1874
4 pages, no index
Information includes number of the list, number of the court period and date of commencement, name, occupation, address, and ward for each Juror and rule number XXVIII of the Court concerning subpoenas for witnesses.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
22.17 Arrangement of Business
December 1873 to September 1874
4 documents, no index
Information includes inclusive dates for motion and argument lists, jury trials, and new trial motion list for each period of the particular court term, and the date of judgment days; appended are rules of the Court applicable to the lists.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
22.18 Insolvent List
June 1821 - June 1830
1 volume, index
Entries include Court term, insolvent's name, indication of personal or advertised notice and the newspapers in which advertised notices were placed, name of persons opposing the petition of insolvency, date discharged. Also there are included occasional entries of withdrawals, dismissals or continuances.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
22.19 (Law) Students' Register
1 April 1823 - 31 August 1872
2 volumes, index
Includes student's name, age and place of residence, name of preceptor with whom he is studying, date of registration and/or commencement of study. The volume for 1823-1842 includes the court order of 11 March 1823 providing for the registration of students and some court orders permitting the admission of persons as candidates for the practice of law.
for similar records 1854-1873, see Common Pleas Court, Law Students Register.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
22.20 Minute Book
May 6, 1811-January 2, 1875; missing: June 1849-August 1850; April 1856-May 1857; April-November 1862.
51 volumes, index,vols. December 1813-January 1875.
The Court's record of cases before it from which are taken entries which may be found in various dockets of the Prothonotary. Entries include date, Court term, case number, names of presiding judges, plaintiff, defendant, attorneys, and jury members, cause of action, motions by attorneys and rulings by the Court, motion and deferred motion lists, trial lists and requests for new trials, appointments of auditors, commissioners, and referees to a on behalf of the Court, admissions of attorneys to the Court registration of law students, judgments, sheriff sales, partitions, equity cases, insolvency cases, acknowledgment of bonds, and verdict of jury.
Vol. May 1811-January 1812 adds organizational proceedings of Court.
Vols. May 1811-April 1816 adds court orders arranging transaction of the Court's business.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
22.21 Argument List
January 2, 1860 - February 3, 1874
8 volumes, no index
Lists Court term and, within each term, the period, week and date of each argument list; number of each case on the list, Court term and number of case from original docket entry; names of plaintiff, defendant and of each party's attorney; notations of Court's action in each case (e.g. continuation, nonsuit, selection of jury and verdict, transferred to later list), and lists of transfer cases which appear at the end of entries for each term.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
22.22 General Motion List
March 1859 - September 1861
1 volume, no index
Lists Court term and number of each case and names of plaintiff and defendant and of each's attorney.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
22.23 Deferred Motion List
March 9, 1872-April 25, 1874
1 volume, no index
Lists Court term and date of deferred motion lists and, for each entry on the list, the Court term and number of the original case, names of plaintiff and defendant and of each's attorney, and notation of rulings or other action by the Court.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
22.24 Feigned Issue Docket
March 1849 - December 1874; missing: March 1859-December 1865
3 volumes, no index
Lists, under heading of court term, case number, names of plaintiff and defendant and of their attorneys, summary of legal steps taken, and disposition of the case.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
22.25 Trial List
September 1825
1 volume, no index
"List of Trials by Special Jury for September Term Commencing the 19th day of September 1825." Lists last names of plaintiff and defendant and of their attorneys, term and case number of case considered during this term.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
22.26 Judges Trial List
1832-1860; missing 1846-1849, 1854-1855
5 volumes, no index
Lists last name of plaintiff and defendant and of their attorneys, term and case number of each case considered during each term.
Volumes 1850-1853, 1858-1860 also contains references to disposition of each case.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
22.27 General Trial List
1861-1875; missing: 1865-1866
4 volumes, no index
Lists, in numerical order, case number within each term, last names of plaintiff and defendant and of their attorneys.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
22.28 Jury List
1838-1853
1 volume, no index
Lists of jurors for three week periods, organized by court term. Individual lists are organized alphabetically with attendance marks and/or excuses. A supplement list of talesmen is often found at the bottom of each page.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
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Last updated on November 8, 2000