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Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania genealogy and family history research page. Guide to genealogy, history, and courthouse sources including birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, wills, deeds and land records, Civil War records, Revolutionary War records, family histories, cemeteries, churches, tax records, newspapers, and obituaries.

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Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania
Map
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Susquehanna County
Location in the state of Pennsylvania
Map of the U.S. highlighting Pennsylvania
Location of Pennsylvania in the U.S.
Facts
Founded February 21, 1810
County Seat Montrose
Courthouse
Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania Courthouse.jpg
Address Susquehanna County Courthouse
11 Maple Street
Montrose, PA 18801
Susquehanna County Website
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Contents

Susquehanna County Pennsylvania Historical Facts

Beginning dates for major county records
Birth
Marriage
Death
Deeds
Probate
1893
1885
1893
1812
1812
Pasusquehanna.jpg
  • Parent Counties: Formed from Luzerne County 21 February 1810. [1]
  • County Seat: Montrose
  • Neighboring Counties: Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania residents may also have records in [2]

Susquehanna County was once a part of Connecticut, along with Luzerne, and several other northeastern Pennsylvania counties.  For further information on this go to:  http://www.cslib.org/susqsettlers.htm

Susquehanna County is named for the Susquehanna River. which runs through the county.  In 1810 the county had 10 townships and 3500 residents.  In the 2000 Federal Census, Susquehanna County had 27 townships and 13 towns.  Residents numbered 42,238.

Boundary Changes

For animated maps illustrating Pennsylvania county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Pennsylvania County Boundary Maps" (1673-1878) may be viewed for free at the MapofUS.org website.

Records Loss

For a list of record loss in Pennsylvania counties see: Pennsylvania Counties with Burned Courthouses

Bible Records

Cemeteries

Cemetery records often reveal birth, marriage, death, relationship, military, and religious information.

Online Grave Transcripts Published Grave Transcripts County Cemetery Directories

Findagrave.com

Family History Library Findagrave.com

Interment.net

WorldCat Names in Stone

USGenWeb

Billion Graves

Pennsylvania Genealogy

Epodunk

Pennsylvania Gravestones

Billion Graves

Names in Stone

Access Genealogy

Ancestry($)




See Pennsylvania Cemeteries for more information.


There are four different titles for Cemeteries in Susquehanna County listed in the FamilySearch Catalog, with three of them having been microfilmed.  They are listed under Pennsylvania, Susquehanna.  (See under websites)


A listing of Susquehanna County cemeteries is given on website:

http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~mjwanc/suscem.htm

Census

For tips on accessing Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania Federal (or United States) census records online, see: Pennsylvania Census.

There are no county or state census records available for Pennsylvania. County and city tax records can be used as a substitute when census records are not available.

Church Records

Church records and the information they provide vary significantly depending on the denomination and the record keeper. They may contain information about members of the congregation, such as age, date of baptism, christening, or birth; marriage information and maiden names; and death date. In Pennsylvania, church records are often used as a substitute for birth, marriage, and death information. For general information about Pennsylvania denominations, view the Pennsylvania Church Records wiki page.
Susquehanna county pennsylvania churches.png


The Susquehanna County Historical Society has a great listing of all the township and borough churches, giving current and past information. Also, some information of what records may be located.
Directions

  • Type the name of the township you want in the box labeled "Search this site with Google" and press enter
  • You will see a list of findings with one being "(name of township) Township"
  • Click on the Link, this will take you to the Township page
  • In the middle of the page you will see "Churches"
  • Below will be a list of churches and then a list of other churches with dates, histories, and possible records

Additional church records can be located at Linkpendium and by searching the FamilySearch Catalog. The FamilySearch Catalog has a plethora ofchurch recordsfor Susquehanna County, many are limited in the time frame they cover. When searching the FamilySearch Catalog, be sure to also search at the town and township level.

Finding Church Records at Other Repositories

Additional church records can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania Church Records  in online catalogs like:

County-wide Database - Multi-denominational
Contains records of:
  • Clifford: United Methodist Church
  • Great Bend: Grace Church Episcopal Great Bend
  • Hallstead: First Presbyterian Church
  • Montrose: St. Paul's Episcopal Church; United Methodist Church
  • New Milford: St. Mark's Episcopal Church

The following book has a section on Churches, including a brief history and pictures of many of the early structures.

  • Looking Back, Souvenir Book of the Susquehanna County Sesquicentennial Celebration 1810-1960. by Sesquicentennial Committee. FHL book 974.834 H2L or film 1320543 item 7

OnLine Church records for Susquehanna Co., Pa. by Rootsweb OnLine Church records for Susquehanna Co., Pa. by Rootsweb

Presbyterian

Court Records

Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania court records are housed at the Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania Courthouse. For many counties copies of court records may be found at the Pennsylvania State Archives and in the FamilySearch collection. Note that within these collections some films may contain the same records, but have different titles. Other titles are not duplicates. See Finding Court Records at other repositories within this section for links to the online catalogs for these two collections. Films at the Pennsylvania State Archives are not available for inter-library loan. If court records are available FamilySearch films may be ordered at a local Family History Center.

Court of Common Pleas

The Courts of Common Pleas are the trial courts of Pennsylvania. Major civil and criminal cases are heard in these courts. Judges also decide cases involving adoption, divorce, child custody, abuse, juvenile delinquency, estates, guardianships, charitable organizations and many other matters.

The Common Pleas courts are organized into 60 judicial districts. Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania has its own judicial district. Judges of the Common Pleas courts are elected to 10-year terms. A president judge and a court administrator serve in each judicial district.[4]

Clerk of the Courts

The Clerk of Courts prepares and maintains the records for the Criminal Division of the Court of Common Pleas. The Clerk signs and affixes the Seal of the Courts to all writs and processes, administers oaths and affirmations, and assumes custody of the seal and records of the Courts. The Clerk certifies and distributes orders of the Court. The Clerk also certifies and prepares bills of costs for the defendants and utilizes the computerized financial management system to disburse fines, costs and restitution.[5] For the Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania Clerk of Courts address see the Courthouse section on this page.

Prothonotary

The office of the Prothontary is the custodian of all civil matters in the county. This includes naturalization, immigration, equity actions, judgements, federal and local tax leins, city liens, family court, arbitrations, license suspension appeals, appeals to higher court, commercial code filings, applications for passports and divorce proceedings. See the Courthouse section on this page for the Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania Prothonotary office information.

Orphan's Court

See Vital Records
The Orphans' Court is responsible for a wide range of matters. The name of the Court is derived from the more general definition of "orphan," that being a person or thing that is without protective affiliation or sponsorship. This would include those not capable of handling their own affairs, minors, incapacitated persons, decedents estates, nonprofit corporations and trusts. It is the role of the Court to ensure that the best interests of the person or entity are not compromised.

It is believed the name of this court was borrowed from the Court of Orphans of the city of London, England which had the care and guardianship of children of deceased citizens, in their minority.[6]

For Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania Orphans' Court contact information see the Courthouse section on this page.

Finding Court Records at Other Repositories

Additional court records can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania Court Records in online catalogs like:

Emigration and Immigration

For information about emigration into Pennsylvania, see the Pennsylvania Emigration and Immigration page.


Ethnic Groups

Germans

Gazetteers

Genealogy

History

There are several good histories of Susquehanna County, but the one by Emily Blackman is superior:

History of Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania : from a period preceding its settlement to recent times, including the annals of geography of each township... by Emily C. Blackman  (FHL 1425564 Item 5)

Another history is:  Centennial history of Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania by Rhamanthus Menville Stocker

974.834 H2  (FHL 1000573 Item 1)

Other histories are listed in the FamilySearch Catalog under Pennsylvania, Susquehanna. (See website below)


It is important to remember too that this area of Pennsylvania was once Connecticut.  The information on this website will lead you to other historical/genealogical records of Wyoming Valley:

http://www.cslib.org/susqsettlers.htm

Published Histories

Land and Property

Land records in Susquehanna County began in 1810. These records are filed with the Register and Recorder office in Montrose, Pennsylvania.

Land and property records can place an ancestor in a particular location, provide economic information, and reveal family relationships. Land records include: deeds, abstracts, indexes, mortgages, leases, grants, sheriff sales, land patents, and maps. Property records include liens as well as livestock brands and estray records.

The following are examples of available resources:

Online Land Records

  • 1974 - present Images are available on-line from 1974 to the present using the Landex system. There is a fee to view the images.

Land Records on Microfilm

Additional Resources

Note that the "Maps" section below also includes maps related to land ownership.

See Pennsylvania Land and Property for more information about using land records, especially about original land warrants, surveys, and patents filed at the state land office.

Additional resources can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Susquehanna County Pennsylvania Land in online catalogs such as:

Maps


There is a clickable map of Susquehanna County which gives information concerning each township, but their online site is not working. 

Migration

Military

Naturalization and Citizenship

Naturalization records can contain information about immigration and nativity. Prior to 1906, it is rare to find the town of origin in naturalization records. See Pennsylvania Naturalization for more information about the types of records and availability.

Naturalizations granted at the county level were kept by the office of the Prothonotary. Naturalizations could also be granted on the Federal Court level.

Naturalization records available for Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania include the following:

Online Naturalization Indexes and Records

Finding Naturalization Indexes at Other Repositories

Additional naturalization indexes can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania naturalization in online catalogs like:

Newspapers

Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania newspapers may contain genealogical value including obituaries, births, marriages, deaths, anniversaries, family gatherings, family travel, achievements, business notices, engagement information, and probate court proceedings.

To access newspapers, contact public libraries, historical/genealogical societies, college or university libraries, or state archives in the area where the newspaper was published.

For information on state-wide newspapers see Pennsylvania Newspapers

Newspapers of Susquehanna County

  • The Susquehanna County Independent/Weekender
    24 S. Main St.
    Montrose PA 18801
    Phone: (570) 278-6397
    E-mail: indyweek@epix.net
    http://www.independentweekender.com
    This newspaper was preceded by the following weekly newspapers:
  • The Montrose Independent (1927-1985)
  • Independent Republican (1855-1926)
  • The Montrose Democrat (1879-1926)

Online Newspapers

To learn if there are newspapers online for a specific town or city in Pennsylvania, see news.google.com/newspapers and search for the town or the name of a newspaper.

Online Newspaper Abstracts

Obituaries

Obituaries are generally found in local newspapers where the person died. However, sometimes an obituary is found in the location from which he or she originated. To find an obituary, see the information under the Newspaper heading



Online Obituary Abstracts

Occupations

Indentured Servants

Periodicals

Poorhouse, Almshouse

Probate Records

Probate matters in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania are handled by the Orphans' Court and start when the county was created. To obtain original probate records, contact the Orphan's Court in the County Courthouse.

In addition to wills and administrations, the Orphans' Court also handles: audits of accounts of executors, administrators, trustees, and guardians; distribution of estates of decedents, incompetents, and minors; appointment and control of guardians; adoptions; appeals from the Register of Wills involving probate matters; inheritance tax appeals and various petitions and motions.

Online Probate Records
Original probate records for some Pennsylvania counties are available free online as digital images at FamilySearch.org. The dates vary significantly for each county and not all counties are listed. Some counties may only have probate indexes. This Pennsylvania collection of images may be browsed through the links listed below:
Complete Collection:

Susquehanna County Only:

Original Probate Records on Microfilm

Additional Probate Indexes and Abstracts

Additional probate indexes or abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania probate wills in online catalogs like:

Repositories

Archives
  • The Pennsylvania Archives collection contains county archive records that can be searched onsite. Currently the Archives' staff cannot provide research or make copies of these records. Their collections include Almshouse Registers; Tax records; Birth, Death and Marriage Indexes and Records; Midwife records; African American records; Wills; Deeds; Naturalizations; Coroner's inquests; and Orphan's Court dockets. A list of the Archive's county holdings are on Microfilm or Manuscript form.
Courthouse

Susquehanna County Courthouse
PO Box 218
11 Maple Street
Montrose, PA 18801
Phone: 570-278-4600
Fax: 570-278-2963
Office hours: 8:30–4:30 Monday through Friday.
From the community webpage you will have access to each clerk, the pronthonotary, recorder of deeds, and administrator.

Orphan's Court
Toll Free Phone: 800-386-4981
E-mail: susqded@susqco.com
Copies are $2.00 for a regular copy and $3.00 for a certified copy.
Birth and death records can be obtained in person or through the mail.
Susquehanna County Prothonotary
Susquehanna County Courthouse
105 Maple Street
PO Box 218
Montrose, PA 18801
Phone: 570-278-4600
Hours: Mon–Fri 8:30am to 4:30pm
Family History Centers

Family History Centers (FHCs) are branches of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, and are located all over the world. Their goal is to provide resources for family history research.

The main FHC for Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania is the Vestal New York Family History Center. For additional nearby Family History Centers, search online in the FHC directory.

Libraries

Susquehanna County Free Library Association consists of four public libraries and Outreach Services in Susquehanna County. Each library has access to Heritage Quest, accessible with your library card from home and Ancestry.com from the library system. A list of the libraries in this system and their website and contact information is found here.

Museums

Soldier's Orphan School Museum
Orphan School Road
Harford, PA 18823
Phone: 570-434-2496

The Soldier's Orphan School Museum features historical exhibits and a library concerned with the Franklin Academy and Soldier's Orphan School. [7]
Societies

Susquehanna County Historical Society
18 Monument Square
Montrose, PA 18801
Phone: 570-278-1881
E-mail: info@susqcohistsoc.org

Hours: May 1 to September 30— Monday–Thursday 9:00–5:00
October 1 to April 30—Monday and Thursday 9:00–5:00
Tuesday and Wednesday 12:00–5:00

Their journal information is available at: suspulib@epix.net  

Genealogical Research Society of Northeastern Pennsylvania, Inc. (GRSNP)
110 Main Street
Peckville, PA 18452
Phone: 570-383-7661
FAX: 570-383-7466
E-mail: info@grsnp.org

Hours: Monday through Thursday 9:00–2:00 and Wednesday night 6:00 pm–900 pm and Saturday by appointment
A simple search of a dated name or event $20 - Detailed searches are at the rate of $40 an hour. Postage and photocopies up to $1 are included.[8]

The GRSNP serves northeastern counties:

  • Lackawanna
  • Luzerne
  • Monroe
  • Pike
  • Susquehanna
  • Wayne
  • Wyoming

There resources include the research center and library, newsletters, and database queries.[9]


Brooklyn Historical Society
PO Box 112
Brooklyn, PA 18813
Phone: 570-434-2606

This historical society collects and preserves the rich heritage of the region. [10]

Harford Historical Society
PO Box 1023
Harford, PA 18823
Phone: 570-289-4405

The Harford Historical Society preserves the heritage of Harford through a variety of special events throughout the year.[11]


Taxation

The Family History Library has microfilmed the following tax records:

Tax Assessment Records from 1813-1865.  The record gives the record of each township, and each is on a separate roll of film.  Some of the townships may also include Military Lists for the years ca 1855-1863. See the FamilySearch Catalog listed under the websites for film numbers.


Unseated Land Records 1820-1904.  These are additional tax records in the FamilySearch Catalog (1927752, Items 2-9, and 1927823, Item 1)

Vital Records

Vital records are handled by the County Orphans' Court. Between the years 1852-1855 Pennsylvania made a failed attempt to record birth, marriage and death events at the county level. While the records for that time period are available, there were few events recorded. County marriage records were kept in earnest in 1885. Births and deaths, at the county level, were begun in 1893 and kept through 1905. Abstracts and copies of vital records are available for some counties, but most are incomplete. For the most complete set of records, always contact the County Orphans' Court.

See also How to order Pennsylvania Vital Records

Birth
  • 1852-1854 – Pennsylvania Births Ancestry.com – $ Index with images.

Early births 1893–1905 are located at the County Orphans' Court. See the heading Court Records on this page for contact information.

Indexes for Pennsylvania birth records are available through the Department of of Health for 1906 and 1907. Once an individual is located in the index a non certified Birth certificate can be obtained by writing and sending $3.00 to:

Division of Vital Records
ATTN: Public Records
P.O. Box 1528
New Castle, PA 16103

Marriage

Pennsylvania marriages are located at the county level. Contact the Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania clerk's office for these records.

  • 1700-1821 - Pennsylvania Marriage Records Ancestry.com – ($) This database is incomplete for all counties.
  • 1725-1976 - Pennsylvania, Marriages, 1709-1940 - free index. Not complete for all years. This index is an electronic database of information. The entries are primarily from the International Genealogical Index (IGI) along with some entries derived from compiled and original records such as: Family Records, Church Records, Civil Registration. It may also include indexes generated by the internet indexing project sponsored by the LDS Church.
  • Pre-1810 – Pennsylvania Marriages Ancestry.com – ($) This database is incomplete for all counties. Includes 35,000 marriage records from vol. VIII of of the second series of the Pennsylvania Archives.
  • 1835-1976 - Pennsylvania, Marriages, 1709-1940 - free index. Not complete for all years.
  • 1852-1854 - Pennsylvania Marriages Ancestry.com – ($) Index with images.
  • 1885-1950 - Pennsylvania County Marriage, 1885-1950 Extracted marriage records – free. Most of the records consist of marriage licenses, certificates, applications, docket books, and affidavits. This database is incomplete for all counties. May also contain marriage records earlier than 1885.
  • 1885–present – Marriage licenses issued by the county are only available from 1885 to the present at:
Clerk of the Orphans Court
Susquehanna County Courthouse
105 Maple Street
PO Box 218
Montrose, PA 18801
Phone: 570-278-4600
Hours: Mon–Fri 8:30am to 4:30pm
Divorce

Divorce records are available through the office of the Prothonotary. The office of the Prothonotary is located in the courthouse building.

Death
  • 1852-1854 – Pennsylvania Deaths Ancestry.com – $ Index with images

Early deaths 1893–1905 are located at the County Orphans' Court. See the heading Court Records on this page for contact information.

Indexes for Pennsylvania death records are available through the Department of Health for 1906 through 1962. Once an individual is located in the index a non certified death certificate can be obtained obtained by writing and sending $3.00 to:

Division of Vital Records
ATTN: Public Records
P.O. Box 1528
New Castle, PA 16103

Susquehanna County Pennsylvania Genealogy Websites

Susquehanna County Pennsylvania Places

Populated Places

Susquehanna County Pennsylvania Genealogy References

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), [FHL book 973 D27e 2002].
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Adams County, Pennsylvania" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adams_County,_Pennsylvania (accessed 17 July 2012).
  3. 3.0 3.1 Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/images/4/49/Igipennsylvaniapppppp.pdf.
  4. The Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania http://www.pacourts.us/T/CommonPleas/ accessed 10 July 2012.
  5. Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania, Clerk of Courts in http://www.pacourts.us/T/CommonPleas/ClerksOfCourts.htm (accessed 25 Aug 2012)
  6. The Philadelphia Courts at http://www.courts.phila.gov/common-pleas/orphans/ accessed 10 July 2012
  7. http://explorepahistory.com/attraction.php?id=1-B-244F
  8. http://www.grsnp.org/Research_Services_and_Center.php
  9. http://www.grsnp.org/Home_Page.php
  10. Information found on Explore PA History at http://explorepahistory.com/attraction.php?id=1-B-2C0E
  11. Information found at ExplorePAHistory: http://explorepahistory.com/attraction.php?id=1-B-2113

 

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  • This page was last modified on 18 July 2014, at 23:25.
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