As we approach the end of the year and embark on a new decade, I am taking stock of our accomplishments in the Bucks County Recorder of Deeds Office and looking forward to what is to come in the New Year.
When I was elected to the position of the Bucks County Recorder of Deeds in November 2017, I soon realized you don’t know what you don’t know. I didn’t know how rewarding serving this county would be and the pivotal role county government really does play in our daily lives.
For example, because the Recorder of Deeds Office is charged with maintaining the chain of title for property transactions in our county, I have had the pleasure of working with new homeowners, local taxing authorities, the title industry, realtors, history enthusiasts, as well as genealogists both professional and novice.
History and preserving the record has truly become a mission of mine. After taking office, I found our county’s original historic deed books on the cold, concrete floor in the county warehouse. I was horrified to see property records dating back to the time of William Penn tattered and brittle from years of neglect. Obviously, I went right to work figuring out what could be done. It led me on a quest that has been challenging, rewarding and exciting.
Thanks to dedicated funding to maintain the record, my colleagues on the Bucks County Records Improvement Committee, community and individual donations, as well as a federal and state grant, we have been able to restore nearly half of the historic records I found on the floor. I do not intend to give up on this project. But, I do want to thank each and every person who helped to get our most damaged and historic books repaired and now they will be preserved for the next 500 years!
I am also proud to have created the first ever Bucks County Fraud Alert System via our recording vendor Landex. This free service allows individuals to register up to five names with our office. Anytime a document is recorded in our office against that name, the individual will receive a notification.
Finally, I have been looking at other County Recorders of Deeds and their best practices. I hope to further open our records by allowing our older documents to be searchable online.
Today, our online documents are only searchable back to 1980. Especially in light of our good work in saving our historic records, I want to now make searching our documents as accessible as possible. Opening up the records online from 1979 and earlier will go a long way in helping our history and genealogy enthusiasts to conduct more in-depth research.
My goal is to make the Recorder of Deeds office more accessible and widely utilized. Thank you for allowing me to serve our community in this capacity. It is truly an honor. If you have any questions on how our office may serve you, please do not hesitate to call us at (215) 348-6209. Or, if you would like to come to Doylestown for a visit, my staff and I are always excited to give a tour.
Wishing you a happy, safe and prosperous New Year,
Robin Robinson, Bucks County Recorder of Deeds