Held at: Tri-County Heritage Society [Contact Us]P.O. Box 352, Morgantown, PA, 19543
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Tri-County Heritage Society. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
Members of the Welsh community in St. David's, Radnor Township (now in Delaware County, PA) settled in the area that is now Caernarvon Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania in 1718. William Davies, a member of the Welsh community, had hoped to establish a Welsh Barony in William Penn's province. When this was not possible, Davies and other members of the Welsh community sought to establish an exclusively Welsh settlement north and west of St. David's. In 1718, William Davies and other Welshman from St. David's were granted grants to land in the Conestoga Valley that had been previously inhabited by Native Americans. The settlers established themselves in the valley, and named their newly formed township "Caernarvon" after Caernarfon, a shire in Wales.
In 1729, Caernarvon Township became a part of Lancaster County when the county was formed out of Chester County. In 1752, Berks County was formed out of parts of Lancaster, Chester, and Philadelphia counties. The new county line divided Caernarvon Township, resulting in a Caernarvon Township in both Berks and Lancaster counties.
Morgantown, a village within the Township, developed out of land owned by the Morgan family who had moved from Radnor to the area in 1718. The village was named after Colonel Jacob Morgan, who laid out the town around 1770. Around that time, German families came to the area, establishing farms on lands that had been cleared to provide charcoal for the neighboring furnaces and forges. Farming and industry contributed to the growing prosperity of the area.
Morgantown and the surrounding Caernarvon Township grew to support various industries, farms, and local businesses. Grist mills, saw mills, cider mills, distilleries, furniture manufactories, lime kilns, carriage shops, and other industries and farms were established in the area.
The township continued as a mostly agrarian community until the arrival of the Pennsylvania Turnpike in 1950, transforming the area into more of a commercial and industrial center.
Tri-County Heritage Society and Tri-County Heritage Center. 225th Anniversary Celebration of the Founding of the Village of Morgantown, Pennsylvania, 1770-1995: Historical Background of Caernarvon Township and the Village of Morgantown. Morgantown, PA: Tri-County Heritage Center, 1995.
Caernarvon Township. "A Brief History of Caernarvon Township, Berks County." Accessed November 5, 2015. http://www.caernarvon.org/history/history.html.
Caernarvon Township tax records, 1913-1977, consist primarily of various tax reports for Caernarvon Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania and includes township tax reports, school tax reports, delinquent tax reports, and tax collector reports. The collection also includes township treasurer account books, 1916-1919; invoice books, 1913,1919; carbon copies of tax notices and receipts; ledger sheets; payroll records; booklets of taxable property assessments; deposit slips for school, road, county, and light taxes; record books of road, light, water, county, and school taxes; bank statements; checkbooks; tax audits; property transfer records; and financial reports.
A large portion of the materials are from John Snyder, tax collector for Caernarvon Township. A small amount of materials are from William Peck and William Young, who also served as tax collectors for Caernarvon Township.
There is a small amount of material from the Township, including materials from the Berks County Planning Commission relating to the development of Morgantown and materials primarily concerning road work in the Township, 1947-1952.
Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2014-2016 as part of a project conducted by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania to make better known and more accessible the largely hidden collections of small, primarily volunteer run repositories in the Philadelphia area. The Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR) was funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
This is a preliminary finding aid. No physical processing, rehousing, reorganizing, or folder listing was accomplished during the HCI-PSAR project.
In some cases, more detailed inventories or finding aids may be available on-site at the repository where this collection is held; please contact Tri-County Heritage Society directly for more information.
- Tri-County Heritage Society
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid prepared by Sarah Leu and Anastasia Matijkiw through the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories
- This preliminary finding aid was created as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
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