Lehigh County, Pennsylvania

From FamilySearch Wiki

(Difference between revisions)
(intro)
(stub grad)
(7 intermediate revisions by 5 users not shown)
Line 1: Line 1:
[[United States]][[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Pennsylvania|Pennsylvania]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] '''Lehigh County'''  
+
''[[United States]][[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Pennsylvania|Pennsylvania]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]]'' '''Lehigh County'''  
  
'''Lehigh 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.
+
'''Lehigh 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.  
 +
 
 +
{{PADC}}
  
 
{{Infobox U.S. County
 
{{Infobox U.S. County
Line 20: Line 22:
 
<br>  
 
<br>  
  
== Historical Facts  ==
+
== Lehigh County Pennsylvania Historical Facts  ==
  
 
{| width="100%" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1" border="2"
 
{| width="100%" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1" border="2"
Line 39: Line 41:
 
|}
 
|}
  
*'''Parent Counties''': Formed from [[Northampton County, Pennsylvania|Northampton]] County 6 March 1812. <ref name="HBG">[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/50140092&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;referer=brief_results ''Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed.''] (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), [FHL book 973 D27e 2002].</ref>  
+
*'''Parent Counties''': Formed from [[Northampton County, Pennsylvania|Northampton]] County 6 March 1812. <ref name="HBG">[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/50140092&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;referer=brief_results ''Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed.''] (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), [FHL book 973 D27e 2002].</ref>  
 
*'''County Seat:''' Allentown<br>  
 
*'''County Seat:''' Allentown<br>  
 
*'''Neighboring Counties''': {{PAGENAME}}&nbsp;'''residents''' may also have records in <ref>Wikipedia contributors, "Adams County, Pennsylvania" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adams_County,_Pennsylvania (accessed 17 July 2012).</ref>[[Carbon County, Pennsylvania|Carbon]] (north){{•}}[[Northampton County, Pennsylvania|Northampton]] (east){{•}}[[Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania|Schuylkill]] (west) {{•}}[[Montgomery County, Pennsylvania|Montgomery]] (south) {{•}} [[Berks County, Pennsylvania|Berks]] (southwest) {{•}} [[Bucks County, Pennsylvania|Bucks]] (southeast)
 
*'''Neighboring Counties''': {{PAGENAME}}&nbsp;'''residents''' may also have records in <ref>Wikipedia contributors, "Adams County, Pennsylvania" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adams_County,_Pennsylvania (accessed 17 July 2012).</ref>[[Carbon County, Pennsylvania|Carbon]] (north){{•}}[[Northampton County, Pennsylvania|Northampton]] (east){{•}}[[Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania|Schuylkill]] (west) {{•}}[[Montgomery County, Pennsylvania|Montgomery]] (south) {{•}} [[Berks County, Pennsylvania|Berks]] (southwest) {{•}} [[Bucks County, Pennsylvania|Bucks]] (southeast)
Line 47: Line 49:
 
==== Boundary Changes  ====
 
==== Boundary Changes  ====
  
== Resources  ==
+
== Lehigh County Pennsylvania Genealogy Resources  ==
  
 
==== Bible Records  ====
 
==== Bible Records  ====
Line 303: Line 305:
 
==== Naturalization and Citizenship  ====
 
==== Naturalization and Citizenship  ====
  
{{PANaturalization}}<br> ''Naturalization records available for Lehigh County, Pennsylvania include the following:''<br> <br> '''Online Naturalization Indexes and Records'''<br>  
+
{{PANaturalization}}<br>  
 +
 
 +
Naturalization records for Lehigh County, Pennsylvania include the following:<br>  
 +
 
 +
'''Online Naturalization Indexes and Records'''<br>  
  
 
:*'''1795-1952''' – {{RecordSearch|1937344|Pennsylvania, Eastern District Naturalization Indexes, 1795-1952}} on [http://familysearch.org FamilySearch.org] - free, National Archives publication M1248, browsesable images of card index<br>
 
:*'''1795-1952''' – {{RecordSearch|1937344|Pennsylvania, Eastern District Naturalization Indexes, 1795-1952}} on [http://familysearch.org FamilySearch.org] - free, National Archives publication M1248, browsesable images of card index<br>
Line 316: Line 322:
  
 
:*'''1812-1906''' Naturalization records, 1812-1906. {{FHL|574995|item|disp=FHL film 1381991 (first of 20).}} Index 1812-1908.<br>
 
:*'''1812-1906''' Naturalization records, 1812-1906. {{FHL|574995|item|disp=FHL film 1381991 (first of 20).}} Index 1812-1908.<br>
 +
 +
{{PAnaturalization2|Lehigh|714573}}
  
 
==== Newspapers  ====
 
==== Newspapers  ====
Line 390: Line 398:
 
===== Family History Centers  =====
 
===== Family History Centers  =====
  
*[[Introduction to LDS Family History Centers]]  
+
{{PAfhc|Allentown}} <br>
*[[Allentown Pennsylvania Family History Center]] (Whitehall)
+
 
 +
*[[Introduction to LDS Family History Centers]]
  
 
===== Libraries  =====
 
===== Libraries  =====
Line 475: Line 484:
 
{{Template:PA vitals repositories|Lehigh|805560}}  
 
{{Template:PA vitals repositories|Lehigh|805560}}  
  
== Web Sites ==
+
== Lehigh County Pennsylvania Genealogy Websites ==
  
 
*USGenWeb project. May have maps, name indexes, history or other information for this county. Select the state, then the county.  
 
*USGenWeb project. May have maps, name indexes, history or other information for this county. Select the state, then the county.  
 
*{{FHL|Pennsylvania%2C+Lehigh|subject|disp=Family History Library Catalog}}
 
*{{FHL|Pennsylvania%2C+Lehigh|subject|disp=Family History Library Catalog}}
  
=== Places  ===
+
== Lehigh County Pennsylvania Places  ==
  
=== References  ===
+
== Lehigh County Pennsylvania Genealogy References  ==
  
 
<references />  
 
<references />  
  
{{Pennsylvania|Pennsylvania}} {{Pennsylvania-stub}}  
+
{{Pennsylvania|Pennsylvania}}  
  
 
[[Category:Lehigh_County,_Pennsylvania]]
 
[[Category:Lehigh_County,_Pennsylvania]]

Revision as of 17:43, 7 March 2013

United StatesGotoarrow.png Pennsylvania Gotoarrow.png Lehigh County

Lehigh 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.

Hand and keyboard.jpg Pennsylvania
Online Records


Lehigh County, Pennsylvania
Map
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lehigh County
Location in the state of Pennsylvania
Map of the U.S. highlighting Pennsylvania
Location of Pennsylvania in the U.S.
Facts
Founded March 6, 1812
County Seat Allentown
Courthouse
Lehigh County, Pennsylvania Courthouse.jpg
Address Lehigh County Courthouse
455 West Hamilton Street
Allentown, PA 18101-1614
Lehigh County Website
Adopt-a-wiki page
Pa-rootsbuttonwiki.gif This page adopted by:
PA Roots and its members
who welcome you to contribute.
Adopt a page today


Contents

Lehigh County Pennsylvania Historical Facts

Beginning dates for major county records
Birth
Marriage
Death
Deeds
Probate
1893
1885
1893
1812
1812


Boundary Changes

Lehigh County Pennsylvania Genealogy 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-transcripts
USGenWeb-tombstone photos

Billion Graves
Pennsylvania Genealogy
Epodunk
Pennsylvania Gravestones

Billion Graves

Names in Stone

Access Genealogy

Ancestry($)




See Pennsylvania Cemeteries for more information.


The records of the Fountain Hill Cemetery, Fountain Hill, Bethlehem, PA have been digitally immaged. Records from 1872 to the present were recorded. The persons interred in the cemetery are mostly from the Bethlehem, PA area, especially those from the South side of Bethlehem and ethnic Slovenes who lived there.

The Genealogical Society of Utah created the images as part of project PENN0061D. They are not available to the public as of October 2009.


The Mennonite Heritage Center
565 Yoder Road
Harleysville PA 19438-1020
215-256-3020
library@mhep.org
Hours: Tuesday thru Friday, 10am–5pm, Saturday, 10am–2pm

The Cemetery Database at the Mennonite Heritage Center includes 86,000 burial records from 125 local cemeteries.  Records cover cemeteries in the counties of Berks, Bucks, Butler, Chester, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, and Westmoreland. The database provides transcriptions from Mennonite, Brethren, Lutheran, Reformed, Union, Baptist, Methodist, Episcopal, community, and private cemeteries. Search the list of cemeteries and the alphabetical surname lists in Adobe PDF format.

Visit the Mennonite Heritage Center to search the cemetery database by various criteria. The transcriptions are available for further research at the MHC library.

Census

For tips on accessing Lehigh 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.

Finding Church Records at Other Repositories

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


The Lehigh County Pennsylvania Historical Society has a list of church records available in their collection. You can access these records by completing a search request form.

County-wide Database – Multi-denominational
Lehigh county pennsylvania churches.png
Contains the church records of:
  • Jonathan Worrall, J.P./Misc. Marriage Licenses, 1890-1915
  • Alburtis: Zion Lehigh Evangelical Lutheran Church
  • Allentown: Asbury United Methodist Church; Christ Lutheran Church; Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church Allentown; Jordan United Church of Christ; Salem United Church of Christ; Salem United Methodist Church; St. John's United Church of Christ; St. Joseph's Evangelical Lutheran Church; St. Paul's Lutheran Church; The Church of the Mediator; Trinity United Church of Christ; United Methodist Church
  • Catasauqua: Presbyterian Church of Catasaqua
  • Coplay: St. John's Lutheran Church
  • Emmaus: Emmaus Moravian Church; Old Moravian Cemetery; St. John's Lutheran Church; St. Margaret's Episcopal Church
  • Old Zionsville: United Church of Christ
  • Schoenersville: Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church; Christ Reformed Church
  • Slatington: Christ Episcopal Church; Methodist Episcopal Church; St. John's United Church of Christ
  • Spinnerstown: Trinity Great Swamp Church
  • Wescosville: Bethany United Methodist Church
  • 1734-1800 - Humphrey, John T. Pennsylvania Births, Lehigh County, 1734-1800. Washington, D.C.: Humphrey Publications, 1992. FHL Book 974.827 K2h
Contains the baptism records of Egypt Reformed Church in Whitehall Township; Great Swamp Reformed Congregation, Lower Milford Township; St. Paul's Lutheran and Reformed Congregations in Upper Saucon Township, also known as St. Paul's Blue Church; Jordan Lutheran Congregation in South Whitehall Township; Daniel Schumacher's baptismal register; First Evangelical Lutheran Congregation in Upper Milford Township; Moravian Congregation at Emmaus in Salisbury Township; Zion's Lutheran Church in Lower Macungie Township; Ziegel Church in Weissenberg Township; Reformed Congregation in Upper Milford Township, also known as Zion's Reformed Church in Zionsville; Weissenberg Lutheran and Reformed Congregations in Weissenberg Township; Reformed Congregation in Lower Milford Township; Zion Lutheran Congregation, Zionsville, Upper Milford Township; Jerusalem Lutheran and Reformed Congregations in Western Salisbury Township; Frieden's Union Church, Friedensville, Upper Saucon Township; Schlosser's Reformed Church in North Whitehall Township, also known as Union Church in Unionville; Jordan Reformed Congregation in South Whitehall Township; Zion Reformed Church, Allentown; Jerusalem Lutheran and Reformed Congregations in Eastern Salisbury Township; Lowhill Lutheran and Reformed Congregations in Lowhill Township; Heidelberg Lutheran and Reformed Congregations in Heidelberg Township; Reformed Congregation at Schoenersville in Hanover Township; Lutheran Congregation at Schoenersville in Hanover Township; Trexlertown Union Church in Upper Macungie Township; Union Church at Neffs in North Whitehall Township; Chestnuthill Reformed Congregation in Lower Milford Township; St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Allentown; Allemangel Moravian Congregation in Lynn Township.
Lutheran

Lutheran churches in Lehigh County were German in respect to the language used in the services and to the origin of the clergy. Congregations were established as early as 1734 in Upper Milford. Reformed and Lutheran congregations often shared a building. Union organizations were two congregations who purchased property and erected a church shared by both organizations. Fifteen Lutheran congregations existed in 1784.

Early records of the "Blue Church" have been published:

Burials at Christ Church (united Lutheran and Reformed congregation) at Shoenersville have been published:

A register of burials for St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church survives:

Ebenezer Union Church 1740-1990 -- Stones of Help. Appendixes B and D have lists of baptisms with names of children with their dates of birth and baptism and names of their parents. Also lists of confirmations, marriages, and funerals. - free.

Mennonite

The first Mennonite congregation was established in 1738 in Upper Saucon. Two congregations existed after 1784.


Moravian

Moravians established a settlement at Bethlehem in 1741. The Bethlehem Digital History Project (winner of a National Endowments for the Humanities prize) includes community records, Bethlehem diary, bills of sale and manumissions, business activity, meeting minutes, Moravian Indian diaries 1763-1765, registers of baptisms, marriages, and deaths, and church regulations.

There was also a Moravian congregation at Emmaus:

Reformed

As early as 1747 there were at least ten Reformed congregations in Lehigh County. By 1784 there were seventeen congregations.

Court Records

Lehigh County, Pennsylvania court records are housed at the Lehigh 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. Lehigh 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.[3]

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

In Lehigh County, the Clerk of Courts is known as the Clerk of Judicial Records.

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 Lehigh County, Pennsylvania Prothonotary office information.

In Lehigh County the Prothonotary is known as the Civil Division

Orphans, 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.[5]

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


Lehigh Orphans' Court
455 Hamilton Street
Allentown, Pennsylvania  18101-1614 Phone: 1-610-782-3220

www.lccpa.org

Finding Court Records at Other Repositories

Additional court records can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Lehigh 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

Published Histories

Land and Property

Land records in Lehigh County began in 1812. These records are filed with the Recorder of Deeds office in Allentown, 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

  • 1984–present Images are available online 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 Lehigh County Pennsylvania Land in online catalogs such as:

Maps

https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/images/6/6a/Lehigh_county_pennsylvania_townships.pngLehigh county pennsylvania townships.png
About this image
Click the image to view an enlarged version


Ancestor Tracks has posted free downloadable images from the 1876 Illustrated Atlas of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania.  This atlas 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.

Migration

Early migration routes to and from Lehigh County, Pennsylvania for settlers included:[6]

Military

Civil War

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 for Lehigh County, Pennsylvania include the following:

Online Naturalization Indexes and Records

Original Naturalization Records on Microfilm

Finding Naturalization Indexes at Other Repositories

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

Newspapers

Lehigh 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 Lehigh County

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 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 Lehigh 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:

Lehigh 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 Lehigh 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

Lehigh County Courthouse
455 West Hamilton Street
Allentown, PA 18101-1614

Clerk of Courts is also called Clerk of Judicial Records
Divisions of this court include Civil Division, , Criminal Division, Recorder of Deeds, and Register of Wills
Telephone: 610-782-3148

Prothonotary also known as the Civil Division under the Clerk of Judicial Records.
Telephone: 610-782-3148
Fax: 610-871-2895

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

Libraries

The Mennonite Heritage Center
565 Yoder Road
Harleysville PA 19438-1020
215-256-3020
Hours: Tuesday thru Friday, 10am–5pm, Saturday, 10am–2pm

The Mennonite Historians of Eastern Pennsylvania support the the John L. Ruth Historical Library and Museum at the Mennonite Heritage Center. Located in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania the records and resources of this treasure also cover the counties of Bucks, Chester, Berks, Lehigh, Northampton, and Philadelphia. The website provides a comprehensive overview of library resources, online cemetery database, manuscript collections, photo collections, archival collections, and more.


Allentown Public Library
1210 W. Hamilton St.
Phone: 610-820-2400

Ask a question online
Hours:
Mon-Thurs: 9 am - 9pm
Friday: 9 am - 6pm
Sunday: CLOSED

The library collection includes a number of family histories.


Bethlehem Area Public Library

Main Library
11 West Church Street
Bethlehem, PA 18018
Phone: 610- 867-3761
Bethlehem Room for local historical research.
Bethlehem Room Hours
Monday through Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Thursday and Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Online Bethlehem Obituary/Biographic Article Index

Museums

Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum
432 W. Walnut Street
Allentown, PA 18102
Phone: (610) 435-1074

Museum of Indian Culture
2825 Fish Hatchery Road
Allentown, PA 18103
(610) 797-2121
Email: info@museumofindianculture.org

Facilities include an onsite research library about the Lenape Indians.

Societies

Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum
432 W. Walnut St.
Allentown, PA 18102
Phone: 610–435-1074

The Historical Society's collection includes:

  • Church and Cememtery records – includes records of neighboring counties. See the archived list.
  • Repository for early county records including Orphans' Court, tax and prison records
  • Compiled family histories
  • Newspapers – Local German and English-language newspapers
  • Marriage records on film and card index for newspaper obituary and marriage announcements
  • City directories for Allentown
  • Wills on film, with translated German text
  • Land, census and original survey maps

The Historical Society conducts research for a fee.

Taxation

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
  • 1726-1930 Pennsylvania Births and Christenings, 1709-1950 This index is an electronic index for the years 1726 to 1930. It is not necessarily intended to index any specific set of records. This index is not complete for any particular place or region. This collection may include information previously published in the International Genealogical Index or Vital Records Index collections.
  • 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 Lehigh 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.
  • 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.
Divorce

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

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 Lehigh County, Pennsylvania Vital Records in online catalogs like:

Lehigh County Pennsylvania Genealogy Websites

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

Lehigh County Pennsylvania Places

Lehigh 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. The Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania http://www.pacourts.us/T/CommonPleas/ accessed 10 July 2012.
  4. Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania, Clerk of Courts in http://www.pacourts.us/T/CommonPleas/ClerksOfCourts.htm (accessed 25 Aug 2012)
  5. The Philadelphia Courts at http://www.courts.phila.gov/common-pleas/orphans/ accessed 10 July 2012
  6. Handybook, 847-61.