My family is looking for our great-great grandfathers parents' names.
His name is Shadrach or Shedrick Montgomery, and he was born in Chester, Pennsylvania in 1790.
How can we find a birth record or parents wills without traveling to Pennsylvania?
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The US GenWeb project has a web page for the 1790 census for Chester County, PA. Here's the link: http://www.usgwarchives.net/pa/chester/census.htm
If you click on the text file "indx04.txt" under the "1790 Census Index, Surnames," you'll see that there were six Montgomery heads of households in Chester County:
LAST_NAME FIRST_NAME PAGE COL LINE FILE NAME DIVISION
Montgomery (Widow) 9 1 39 pg01c1.txt East Nottingham
Montgomery Ann 13 2 19 pg12c1.txt New London
Montgomery John 13 2 33 pg12c1.txt New London
Montgomery Michael 14 1 13 pg12c1.txt New London
Montgomery Robert 13 2 26 pg12c1.txt New London
Montgomery Samuel 13 2 27 pg12c1.txt New London
Those were the Montgomerys who were living in Chester County, PA in 1790, the year your ancestor was born. It's possible that one of them was his father or mother.
That website also has a list of wills from the county. The only Montgomery will on that page is for Ann Montgomery: http://files.usgwarchives.net/pa/chester/wills/m/montgomery-a.txt Unfortunately, her will does not mention a Shadrach or Shedrick, but you might be able to research the other listed relatives for clues to your ancestor.
The official website for Chester County, PA (www.chesco.org) has a list of wills that they have on file, covering 1714 to 1923. Here are the Montgomerys that they have from that time frame, along with the file date and township/location:
Montgomery Ann 1793 East Nottingham
Montgomery Hugh 1741
Montgomery James 1790 East Nottingham
Montgomery John 1730 New London
Montgomery John 1786 West Marlborough
Montgomery Joseph 1814 Upper Oxford
Montgomery Michael 1797
Montgomery Robert 1748 New London
Montgomery Robert 1790 New London
Montgomery Robert 1811 New London
Montgomery Susanna 1818 West Nantmeal
Montgomery William 1792 New London
You can e-mail them to request a photocopy of any of these wills. It doesn't say on their website how much it costs, but usually it's a few bucks for photocopying, plus postage. I hope this helps you find him!
Among FamilySearch.org's "Pennsylvania Probate Records" microfilms for Chester County is the "Decedents record index 1716-1880". The index includes the following:
1797 Michael Montgomery
1815 Robert Montgomery
1816 James Montgomery
1823 Susannah Montgomery
1825 William Montgomery
This may be of limited usefulness, though, since the decedent records microfilms only go up to 1810.