The Coroner’s Office is responsible for holding inquests when an individual dies of a suspicious or unknown cause, by misfortune, suicide or violence. The inquests or coroner’s reports are the result of these investigations.
The information contained in each inquest varies by time period. The following is a general guideline of the information that may be found:
1720-1916 – Name of deceased, place of inquest, jurors & witnesses, cause of death
1930-1957 – Name of deceased, place of inquest, witnesses, cause of death, age, occupation, race, sex and marital status
Please note that all of this information may not appear on every inquest. The information provided depended on the circumstances of the inquest and the individual filing the report. Some records may even supply more information such as parents (usually in the case of a minor) or spouse’s name. It should also be noted that the date listed in the index may not correspond closely with date of death. It is important to view the original documents.
The following records are included in this index:
Coroner’s Reports (Inquests) - Record produced by the Coroner during an inquisition
Coroner’s Dockets - Log book of investigations done by the Coroner’s Office
Coroner’s Bills - Document submitted to the County Commissioners requesting reimbursement for expenses related to Coroner activity
Quarter Sessions Inquests- According to an 1841 state law, Justices of the Peace could hold inquests but only with the approval of the Court of Quarter Sessions. This index includes both docket entries and reports of inquests conducted by Justices of the Peace.