Searching historical government records starts with finding the appropriate index. Indexes are the gateway or finding aid to thousands of records within the Lancaster County Archives. Online indexes are transcribed from original records and indexes. They also include the hand written indexes originally kept by courthouse clerks over a century ago. When searching indexes, always be open to surname spelling variations as names were often recorded simply by how they were interpreted by the clerks. Many records were also filed at the courthouse years after the event occurred so expand your search several years beyond that date.