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United StatesGotoarrow.png Pennsylvania Gotoarrow.png Dauphin County


Dauphin County, Pennsylvania
Map
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Dauphin County
Location in the state of Pennsylvania
Map of the U.S. highlighting Pennsylvania
Location of Pennsylvania in the U.S.
Facts
Founded March 4, 1785
County Seat Harrisburg
Courthouse
Dauphin County, Pennsylvania Courthouse.jpg
Address Dauphin County Courthouse
101 Market Street
Harrisburg, PA 17101
Dauphin County Website
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Contents

Historical Facts

Beginning dates for major county records
Birth
Marriage
Death
Deeds
Probate
1893
1885
1893
1785
11785


Named for Louis-Joseph, Dauphin of France, first son of Louis XVI. The title "Dauphin" signified heir-apparent.

Many Scotch-Irish immigrants settled in what is now Dauphin County (then Lancaster County) in the early eighteenth century. It was predominantly a German area of settlement.[3]

Boundary Changes

16 Feb 1813: Lebanon County was created from parts of Dauphin and Lancaster counties.

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 Dauphin 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.

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

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

County-wide Database - Multi-denominational
  • 1744-1844 - Dauphin County, Pennsylvania Church Records at Ancestry ($). Includes records from Salem Reformed Church (Harrisburg, Pa.), Lykens Valley Lower Church (David's Reformed) (Killingern, Upper Paxtang, Pa.), Fetterhoff's Lutheran and Reformed Church, Fredricktown Church (Hummelstown, Pa.), Hoffman Reformed Church, Lykens Valley Lower Church, Middletown Church, Paxtang and Derry Presbyterian Churches, Reformed Church (Hummelstown, Pa.), St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church, Salem Reformed Church (Harrisburg, Pa.), Shoop's Reformed Church, Wenerich's Reformed Church, Zion Church.
Lutheran
Methodist
Presbyterian

The Paxtang Church and the Derry Church were both organized in 1729.[3]

  • 1741-1810 - Marriage Record of Paxtang and Derry Churches, 1741-1810 (Pennsylvania Archives, Series 2, Vol. 8, Part 10) at Ancestry ($); Google Books - free.

The Hanover Presbyterian Church was built in 1736 in a Scotch-Irish settlement in what is now Lebanon County. This settlement was previously in Lancaster County, before Dauphin County was formed.[3]

Reformed

Court Records

Court of Common Pleas
Clerk of the Court
Prothonotary
Orphan's Court (see Vital Records)

Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic Groups

Germans

Gazetteers

Genealogy

History

Published Histories

Land and Property

Land records in Dauphin County began in 1785. These records are filed with the Recorder of Deeds office in Harrisburg, 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

  • 1979–present Dauphin County offers online access to records. Fees apply for copies. Check the website for current information on availability and fees.

Land Records on Microfilm

Maps

  • MacInnes, Sharon Cook and Angus MacInnes. Early landowners of Pennsylvania : Atlas of Township Warrantee Maps of Dauphin County, PA. Apollo, Pennsylvania : Closson Press, 2009. FHL book 974.818 E7ms

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

Additional Resources

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 Dauphin County Pennsylvania Land in online catalogs such as:

Local Histories

Maps

Ancestor Tracks has posted free, downloadable images of The Combination Atlas Map of Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, Compiled, Drawn and Published from Personal Examinations and Surveys by Everts & Stewart, 1875.  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 be used commercially. We hereby give permission to use them strictly for personal use; please attribute to Ancestor Tracks.

Atlas of Township Warrantee Maps of Dauphin County and a Companion Scans of Township Warrantee Maps plus Current Road Overlays CD ($) is also available from Ancestor Tracks.  They show precise outlines in metes and bounds of each original tract and all surrounding tracts in the township, giving the names of the warrantee and patentee; dates of the warrant, survey, and patent; and the patent and survey book and page of the recorded patent.

Migration

Military

French and Indian War

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

Reverend John Elder, pastor of Derry and Paxtang churches, recruited Scotch-Irish rangers from his congregation in what is now Dauphin County (then Lancaster 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

Men from what is now Dauphin County (then Lancaster County) served in the 1st Pennsylvania Regiment.[4]

War of 1812

Anderson, John, Dr. John Anderson papers, 1812-1814, 1819 Microfilm of original records in the Bureau of Archives and History in Harrisburg. Contains enlistment records relating to Pennsylvanians in the War of 1812. FHL Film 1032585 Item 3.

Naturalization and Citizenship

Newspapers

Dauphin 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 Dauphin County

Online Newspapers

Daily Patriot and Unio 15 October 1860-31 October 1863
Pennsylvnia Daily Telegraph 21 January 1859- 26 Nov 1862
Evening Telegraph 28 Nove 1862 - 11 Mar 1864
Pennsylvania Telegraph 12 Mar 1864 - 31 Dec 1864

Online Newspaper Abstracts

Newspaper Excerpts and Abstracts

  • Marriages and Deaths from Dauphin Co. Newspapers, (SLC, Utah, 1980) FHL film 1298604
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

Obituary Excerpts and Abstracts

  • Stroh, Alice F., Cemetery Records of Dauphin County, Pennsylvania (SLC, Utah, 1978) FHL film 1026670 item 5
  • Deaths from Berks, Dauphin and Philadelphia Counties Newspapers, 1791-1864 (SLC, Utah, 1964) FHL 272941

Occupations

Indentured Servants

Periodicals

Poorhouse, Almshouse

Probate Records

Repositories

Archives
Courthouse

Dauphin County Courthouse
Room 103
Front Market Streets
Harrisburg, PA 17101
(717) 780-6500 Phone

Family History Centers
Libraries
Museums
Societies

The Historical Society of Dauphin County
219 South Front Street
Harrisburg, PA 17104
(717) 233-3462

Taxation

  • 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

Marriage

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

  • 1725-1976 - Pennsylvania, Marriages, 1709-1940 - free index. Not complete for all years.
  • 1700-1821 - Pennsylvania Marriage Records Ancestry.com – ($) This database is incomplete for all counties.
  • Pre-1810 – Pennsylvania Marriages Ancestry.com – ($) This database is incomplete for all counties. Includes 35,000 marriage records from vol. VIII of of the second series of the Pennsylvania Archives.
Divorce

Divorce records are handled by the office of the Prothonotary. While no on-line indexes or records are available, records may be obtained by visiting or writing to the Prothonotary at:

Dauphin County Prothonotary
101 Market Street
Room 101
Harrisburg, PA 17101
Phone:717–780-6520

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 Dauphin County, Pennsylvania Vital Records in online catalogs like:

Web Sites

  • USGenWeb project. May have maps, name indexes, history or other information for this county. Select the state, then the county.
  • Family History Library Catalog

Places

Populated Places

Middletown Borough

Hershey

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), 50, 150-154. Free digital version at PA's Past: Digital Bookshelf at Penn State.
  4. 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.

 

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