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Cumberland County, Pennsylvania
Map
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Cumberland County
Location in the state of Pennsylvania
Map of the U.S. highlighting Pennsylvania
Location of Pennsylvania in the U.S.
Facts
Founded January 27, 1750
County Seat Carlisle
Courthouse
Cumberland County, Pennsylvania Courthouse.jpg
Address Cumberland County Courthouse
1 Courthouse Square
Carlisle, PA 17013
Cumberland County Website
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Contents

Historical Facts

Beginning dates for major county records
Birth
Marriage
Death
Deeds
Probate
1893
1885
1893
1750
1750
  • Parent Counties: Formed from Lancaster County 27 January 1750.[1]
  • County Seat: Carlisle
  • Neighboring Counties: Cumberland County, Pennsylvania residents may also have records in [2]Perry (north) • Franklin (west) • Adams (south) • Dauphin (east) • York (southeast)


The Scotch-Irish settled heavily in the Cumberland Valley. It is estimated that they made up 90% of the population in the eighteenth century.[3]

Boundary Changes [4]

  • 10 March 1682: Chester County was created from the Colonial lands, including the whole part of future Cumberland County.
  • 14 October 1728: Lancaster County was set off from Chester County, including the future Cumberland County.
  • 9 March 1771: Bedford County was created from Cumberland County. By this time, Cumberland County included all what is now of Mifflin, Juniata, Perry, Franklin, plus parts of Centre, Union, Snyder counties as well as the current county.
  • 9 September 1784: Franklin County was set off, no part of it was taken for any future counties.
  • 19 September 1789: Mifflin County was created from Cumberland and Northumberland counties, including the parts for future Centre and Juniata Counties.
  • 22 March 1820: Perry County was created from Cumberland County.

African Americans


Resources

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.


Census

For tips on accessing Cumberland 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.


Cumberland county pennsylvania churches.png
Finding Church Records at Other Repositories

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


County-wide Database - Multi-denominational
Contains church records of:
  • Jonathan Worrall, J.P./Misc. Marriae Licenses, 1890-1915
  • Big Spring: United Brethren in Christ
  • Boiling Springs: Boiling Springs Methodist Episcopal Church; Otterbein United Methodist Church; St. John's Lutheran Church; United Brethren in Christ
  • Bridgeton: First United Methodist Church
  • Carlisle: Allison United Methodist Church; First Presbyterian Church; First United Methodist Church; German Reformed Church; Grace United Methodist Church; Historical Society Carlisle Marriages and Deaths; Second Presbyterian Church; St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church; United Brethren in Christ
  • Chambersburg: United Brethren in Christ
  • Maurice River: Cumberland Circuit Methodist Episcopal Church; Harmony Circuit Methodist Episcopal Church; Port Elizabeth Methodist Episcopal Church
  • Mechanicsburg: Silver Spring Presbyterian Church; Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church; United Methodist Church
  • Millville: First Presbyterian Church on Maurice River
  • Mount Holly Springs: Wesley United Methodist Church
  • New Cumberland: St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church; United Brethren in Christ
  • New Kingstown: Trinity United Methodist Church
  • Newville: Big Spring Presbyterian Church
  • Philadelphia: Cohansey Baptist Church
  • Shippensburg: German Reformed Church; Grace United Church of Christ; Memorial Lutheran Church; Middle Spring Presbyterian Church; Presbyterian Church; United Methodist Church
  • Walnut Bottom: Trinity United Methodist Church
  • 1737-1898 - Cumberland County, Pennsylvania Church Records at Ancestry ($). Big Spring Presbyterian Church (Newville, Pa.), Bobenmayer Church (Upper Frankford, Pa.), First Evangelical Lutheran Church (Carlisle, Pa.), Meeting-House Springs, Middle Spring Presbyterian Church, Poplar Evangelical Lutheran Church (Shiremanstown, Pa.), German Reformed Church (Shippenstown, Pa.), St. James Episcopal Church, St. Stephen's Evangelical Lutheran Church (New Kingston, Pa.), First Presbyterian Church (Carlisle, Pa.), Trindle Spring Lutheran Church, Ziegler's Church (Mifflin Twp., Pa.) and other miscellaneous church records.
Catholic
  • "100 years of the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese 1843–1943". Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Quarterly, 17:1. FamilySearch Library book 974.8 B2wg. Contains chronolgy, map, county-by-county information.
Episcopalian

St. John's Church, Carlisle

Registers begin in 1793.[5]

Lutheran
Presbyterian

Silvers' Spring Presbyterian Church, near the present site of Mechanicsburg, was organized in 1734. Meeting House Spring Presbyterian Church was organized in Middleton Township (present site of Carlisle) in 1734. Big Spring Presbyterian Church was organized in what is now the town of Newville by 1737. Falling Spring Presbyterian Church was organized, at a Scotch-Irish settlement in what is now Franklin County (formerly Lancaster and then Cumberland counties), in 1738. Middle Spring Presbyterian Church, in Southampton Township, was organized by the 1740s. Upper West Conococheague Presbyterian Church was organized at what is now the town of Mercersburg in 1738. Another Presbyterian church at the "Conococheague Settlement" (present-day Greencastle) was organized by 1738.[3]

First Presbyterian Church

  • 1785-1812 - Marriage Record of the First Presbyterian Church, at Carlisle, 1785-1812 (Pennsylvania Archives, Series 2, Vol. 8, Part 4) at Ancestry ($); Google Books - free.
Lutheran

Court Records

Thousands of commissioners orders from the 1820s and 1830s have been indexed and digitized at the Cumberland County, PA Archives website.

Court of Common Pleas
Clerk of the Court

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.[6] For the Cumberland County, Pennsylvania Clerk of Courts address see the Courthouse section on this page.


Prothonotary
Orphan's Court (see Vital Records)
Quarter Sessions
  • 1750-1785 - Greene, Diane E. Cumberland County, Pennsylvania Quarter Session Dockets 1750-1785. Baltimore, Md.: Clearfield, 2001. Digital version at Ancestry ($); FHL Book 974.843 P2g.

Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic Groups

Germans

Gazetteers

Genealogy

History

Published Histories

Land and Property

Land records in Cumberland County began in 1750. These records are filed with the Recorder of Deeds office in Carlisle, 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

Land Records on Microfilm

Additional Resources

Note that the "Maps" section below 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 Cumberland County Pennsylvania Land in online catalogs such as:

Maps

https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/images/1/1c/Cumberland_county_pennsylvania_townships.pngCumberland county pennsylvania townships.png
About this image
Click the image to view an enlarged version


Ancestor Tracks has posted free, downloadable images from the 1872 Atlas of Cumberland Co., Pennsylvania, from Actual Surveys by and under the Direction of F.W. Beers.  This wall map located in the Library of Congress shows major landowners and geographic sites at the date of publishing.  While the physical maps are in the public domain, the images we have taken of the maps belong to us and are not to be used commercially.  We hereby give permission to use them strictly for personal use; please attribute to Ancestor Tracks.

Migration

Military

French and Indian War

In 1756, Colonel Armstrong recruited many Scotch-Irish men from Cumberland County. They attacked and destroyed the Indian village at Kittanning (present-day Armstrong County).[3]

Colonel Henry Bouquet led a group of Scotch-Irish men from Cumberland County to rescue Fort Pitt. They decisively defeated the Indians at the Battle of Bushy Run.[3]

Reverend John Elder, pastor of Derry and Paxtang churches, recruited Scotch-Irish rangers from his congregation in Cumberland County. Known as the Paxton Rangers or Paxton Boys, they provided security for white settlements between the Blue Mountains and the Susquehanna River. They are remembered for playing a prominent role in Pontiac's War.[3]

Revolutionary War

Local men served in the Cumberland County Militia. A guide at the Pennsylvania State Archives website identifies townships where specific companies recruited soldiers, see Revolutionary War Militia Battalions and Companies, Arranged by County.

Cumberland County men also served in the 1st Pennsylvania Regiment,[7] the 8th Pennsylvania Regiment[8] and the 9th Pennsylvania Regiment.[9]

Later Records

Various military records, including Civil War Board of Relief (1861-1862), Military Bounty Correspondence (1862), Military Enrollment (1870-1874), Military Exonerations (1846-1865), Military Fund (1845-1873), Military Papers Miscellaneous (1840-1923), and Militia Rolls (1849-1861) have been digitized at the Cumberland County, PA Archives website - Free.

Naturalization and Citizenship

Newspapers

Cumberland 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 Cumberland County

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

Officials

Cumberland County has preserved records of local men who served in various government capacities during the 1700s and 1800s, including assessors, attorneys, auditors, clerks of court, commissioners, constables, coroners, election officials, judges, juries, justices of the peace, lumber inspectors, notaries, policemen, poorhouse directors, prothonotaries, recorders of deeds, registrars of wills, sheriffs, surveyors, and treasurers. The records have been indexed and digitized at the Cumberland County, PA Archives website - Free.

Constables helped maintain law and order in the community. Many can be identified:

  • 1789-1927 - Constables' Returns 1789-1927 at Cumberland County, PA Archives - Free. Identifies locals who served as constables by name and township.

If your ancestors served as a tax collector, you may be able to identify him in these collections:

Periodicals

Poorhouse, Almshouse

Poorhouse Records History at Cumberland County, PA Archives - Free. Scanned images.

  • 1812-1948 - Orders, 1812-1948 at Cumberland County, PA Archives - Free. Index and scanned images.
  • 1868 - Poorhouse Vouchers at Cumberland County, PA Archives - Free. Index and scanned images.

Prisons

Probate Records

Probate matters in Cumberland 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:

Chester County Only:

Original Probate Records on Microfilm

Repositories

Archives
The Archives holds deeds (1831-1908), mortgages (1839-1924), births, marriages, and deaths (1852-1855), letters of administration (1887-1937) and more.
  • The Pennsylvania Archivescollection 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

Cumberland County Courthouse
1 Courthouse Square
Carlisle, PA 17013
Hours: M-F 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Phone: 717-240-6100
Toll Free: 1-888-697-0371

Recorder of Deeds
can be reached at 717.240.6370 and is open M-F from 8 am - 4:30 pm.

The Register of Wills and Clerk of Orphans' Court is located in room 102 of the County Courthouse and is available at 717-240-6345. The office is open from 8 am - 4:30 pm.

The County Archives (see above) holds deeds (1831-1908), mortgages (1839-1924), births, marriages, and deaths (1852-1855), letters of administration (1887-1937) and more.

Prothonotary Office
1 Courthouse Sq.
Suite 100
Carlisle, PA 17013
Phone: 717–240–6195

Many records stored at the courthouse are now available for free online.[10]

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 Cumberland County, Pennsylvania is the Carlisle Pennsylvania Family History Center. For additional nearby Family History Centers, search online in the FHC directory.


Libraries
Museums
Societies

Schools

Slavery and Bondage

Taxation

  • 1778-1782, 1785 - State and Supply Transcripts of the County of Cumberland: For the Years 1778, 1779, 1780, 1781, 1782 and 1785. (Pennsylvania Archives, Series 3, Vol. 20). Digital versions at Ancestry ($); Google Books - free.
  • 1798 - Pennsylvania, U.S. Direct Tax Lists, 1798 at Ancestry ($).

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.



Birth

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


  • 1852-1854 – Pennsylvania Births Ancestry.com – ($) Index with images.
Marriage

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

  • 1700-1821 - Pennsylvania Marriage Records Ancestry.com – ($) This database is incomplete for all counties.
  • 1725-1976 - Pennsylvania, Marriages, 1709-1940 - free index. Not complete for all years.
  • Pre-1810 – Pennsylvania Marriages Ancestry.com – ($) This database is incomplete for all counties. Includes 35,000 marriage records from vol. VIII of of the second series of the Pennsylvania Archives.
  • 1761-1786 - Marriage Bonds 1761-1786 at Cumberland County, PA Archives - Free. Index and some scanned images.
  • 1852-1854 - Pennsylvania Marriages Ancestry.com – ($) Index with images.
  • 1885-1950 - Pennsylvania County Marriage, 1885-1950 Extracted marriage records – free. This database is incomplete for all counties. May also contain marriage records earlier than 1885.
Divorce

Divorce records are available through the office of the Prothonotary. The office of the Prothonotary is located in the courthouse building. The [Cumberland County, PA Archives http://ccweb.ccpa.net/archives/Inventory.aspx?PSID=447 website] includes a list of divorces in the county between 1810 and 1967.

Death

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


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

Finding Vital Records at Other Repositories

Additional vital records can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Cumberland County, Pennsylvania Vital Records in online catalogs like:


Voter Registration

  • 1874-1893 - Voter Oaths at Cumberland County, PA Archives - Free. Identifies individuals by name, naturalization status, and often township of residence.

Web Sites

Places

Populated Places

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 3.2 3.3 3.4 Wayland F. Dunaway, The Scotch-Irish of Colonial Pennsylvania (Chapel Hill, N.C.: The University of North Carolina Press, 1944), 59-64. Free digital version at PA's Past: Digital Bookshelf at Penn State.
  4. Pennsylvania line : a research guide to Pennsylvania genealogy and local history, 1990 ed. (Laughlintown, Pa.: Southwest Pennsylvania Genealogical Services, 1990), [FHL book 974.8 D27p 1990].
  5. Philip Syng Physick Conner,"Registers of the Anglican Church in Pennsylvania prior to 1800," The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 12 (1888):341-349. For free online access, see WeRelate.
  6. Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania, Clerk of Courts in http://www.pacourts.us/T/CommonPleas/ClerksOfCourts.htm (accessed 25 Aug 2012)
  7. John B.B. Trussell and Charles C. Dallas, The Pennsylvania Line; Regimental Organization and Operations, 1776-1783 (Harrisburg, Pa.: Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1977). Digital version at Family History Archive.
  8. Wikipedia contributors, "8th Pennsylvania Regiment," http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/8th_Pennsylvania_Regiment, accessed 31 May 2012.
  9. Wikipedia contributors, "9th Pennsylvania Regiment," http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9th_Pennsylvania_Regiment, accessed 31 May 2012.
  10. Dick Eastman, "Cumberland County, Pennsylvania Archives Go Online," Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter, 15 July 2009, http://blog.eogn.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/2009/07/cumberland-county-pennsylvania-archives-go-online.html, accessed 5 September 2012.

 

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