Philadelphia City Hall!!

The Marriott in downtown Philadelphia is situated one block east of City Hall. The big ornate building with the scaffolding is City Hall. In 1952 they consolidated the town and the county into this building.

My task was to obtain a will for a client. So off I went. I saw this arched opening so I crossed over to it and walked through it with a little trepidation. There were maps on the wall telling you where rooms are located. So I tried one door but it was not right at all. I finally realized that the building is huge and has a courtyard in the middle. Radiating out from the center of the courtyard is a compass and there are archways at the major compass points that reveal the city and streets beyond but you enter through them to find the hallway and room you are seeking. It if very confusing, so if you go there study the map carefully. If you need a room on a higher floor read the instructions that are posted.

Armed with this information I walked across the courtyard to the other side and found the proper door that led me to the Registrar of Wills in room 180. This building is very old and the doors are narrow and it feels like walking into a closet. I entered and explained what I needed and was sent into the back. They promptly told me that I need to go to room 187 and get the proper information. The door to room 187 was not marked but I entered anyway. To the left was the old books and to right was the microfilm area. I ended up on the left side and a nice clerk helped me to interpret my information which was from the Orphan Court index listing. She pulled down a heavy book and we opened it and immediately I spied my individual. With a little discussion with her fellow co-worker we determined what was the correct number. A little more discussion and I discovered I could just use microfilm rather than order a copy. Otherwise I would have to go back to the Register of Wills room. So I went walked over to the counter on the right and talked to the clerk who pulled the microfilm and even put it on the machine for me. She was friendly and helpful. I found my information quickly and made my copies. They were $2.00 a page which is better than $5.00 a page which I have been charged in other probate offices.

My client had sent her letter asking for this will to the wrong office, although they are connected. She had sent it to the Orphans Court Room 415 at City Hall. I have seen this same problem with other indexes, so beware of the indexes you use, you may have to do a little more digging to find the proper number to obtain the will or probate file. My will was 1928. This is why it is important to read the information on a website before you come or even call them to confirm.

Unfortunately I do not think that this will is going to solve problems for my client. The deceased gave his money to this friend?

This experience went well…

About BJ MacDonald

Interested in travel, really into genealogy and researching my family history, classic novels and movies, fantasy and science fiction, photography, history and more... Here is a tip. Make sure you are commenting on the blog you were visiting and the post you were interested in. My blogs are listed by hovering over my pictures and clicking. Clicking one of them will take you back to the correct blog. You can try me here:
This entry was posted in Orphans Court, Philadelphia City Hall, Register of Wills. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s