I'm trying to locate the probate of James Wright from March 4, 1760 in Frederick County, Virginia and see references on the web to it being in Pennsylvania Archives Series II. I cannot find any such online document, so perhaps this is a hardbound book? Looking on google books, I see references as far back as 1884. On Amazon I can find a DVD. My local library does not have any match.

Where can I find Pennsylvania Archives Series II, preferably online or an alternate source of the probate of James Wright so I can see dates and hopefully read the original will?


2 Answers 2


Fold3 has the Pennsylvania Archives available for free and it's searchable.



The Pennsylvania Archive Series can be located in multiple places and it is sometimes called different things. I found it pretty quickly in the following two places.

Ancestry.com has it online for its paid members as the Pennsylvania Archive Series 1664-1902.

I also found it in one of my favorite places to sometimes monitor for historical items I do not have access to locally and do not easily have access to without hiring a genealogist. eBay. You regulary see scanned copies of historical document collections available there as well as old yearbooks, maps of areas over time, historical histories of churches and counties that were popular in the early 20th century to publish, etcetera. Original copies after I am done with them I put back into circulation on eBay as I don't want the document to be locked up by me and accessible to others.

An example: The seller "TheHistoricalArchive" specializes in these scanned documents and item C769-70 is the one you are looking for that you will get the entire collection or item C761 is the specific volume if you do not want the entire collection and the same as the one you found on Amazon. There are other sellers out there that do sell such documents but this seller seems to have what you are specifically looking for.

This is a hardbound book from the series you are looking for but the series but the dates and content likely do not line up.

Note: Some of the links to specific Ebay items will expire about 90 days after this post

  • I have a paid membership at ancestry.com, going to that link allows one to browse the series 2 (which I presume is the match) but I don't see how to search. When going from James Wright's search page, I don't see Pennsylvania Archive Series listed either.
    – WilliamKF
    Dec 9, 2014 at 15:38
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    Yes I am referring to those documents and odds are they have not been name/keyword indexed and just scanned if they are not showing up in searches. This is sometimes the case and you have to skim through the content manually. The advantage of purchasing the images yourself on eBay is you can OCR them yourself to search them if you have a program to do it to speed it searches of large collections but home versions tend to be error prone. I took a quick scan and considering the content you are looking for I would recommend looking at Series II, Vol 18, Part 5.
    – CRSouser
    Dec 9, 2014 at 17:21
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    @WilliamKF -- On Google Books, there is a guidebook Lost in Pennsylvania?: Try the Published “Pennsylvania Archives” by Christine Crawford-Oppenheimer -- see WorldCat to find it in a library near you.
    – Jan Murphy
    Dec 9, 2014 at 17:34
  • The hardbound you linked to in eBay is Series Nine. The reference in the question is to Series Two. (I just double-checked the entry on Ancestry.com to make sure there is no Series Eleven. If there had been, there would be the possibility of confusion between references to Series Two (written as II) and Series Eleven (written as 11). Note that each Series has different Volumes within it, further increasing the chance of someone writing an incomplete citation.
    – Jan Murphy
    Dec 9, 2014 at 17:46
  • @JanMurphy Thanks Jan. I just fixed the link to reference a Series II.. but it is not likely the one they are looking for now that I have looked through a couple of the digital copies of it. Thanks for the ref on navigating the series too.
    – CRSouser
    Dec 9, 2014 at 17:50

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