Perry County, Pennsylvania GenealogyEdit This Page
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|Perry County, Pennsylvania|
Location in the state of Pennsylvania
Location of Pennsylvania in the U.S.
|Founded||March 22, 1820|
|County Seat||New Bloomfield|
|Address|| Perry County Courthouse|
P.O. Box 37
2 East Main St.
New Bloomfield, PA 17068
Perry County Website
|Beginning dates for major county records|
- Parent Counties: Formed from Cumberland County 22 March 1820. 
- County Seat: New Bloomfield
- Neighboring Counties: Perry County, Pennsylvania Genealogy residents may also have records in Snyder (north) • Cumberland (south) • Juniata (northwest) • Northumberland (northeast) • Dauphin (east) • Franklin (southwest)
- Named for Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, hero of Battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812.
- One of reasons the county was created because residents did not want to travel over the mountains to get to Carlisle which was the seat of Cumberland County.
Cemetery records often reveal birth, marriage, death, relationship, military, and religious information.
|Online Grave Transcripts||Published Grave Transcripts||County Cemetery Directories|
|Family History Library||Findagrave.com|
|WorldCat||Names in Stone|
|See Pennsylvania Cemeteries for more information.|
Family History Library Catalog:
"Registration of graves and cemeteries in the eastern area of the county of Juniata : consisting of the townships of Delaware, Fayette, Fermanagh, Greenwood, Monroe, Susquehanna and Walker and the borough of Thompsontown with some cemeteries of Snyder and Perry counties..." It is on one microfilm and has only pieces of Perry, but it could be useful.
30 Perry County, Pennsylvania cemetery records : complete tombstone inscriptions is a 348 page book that includes an index.
"no. 3 (Aug 1978) - Bloomfield burials in 1890" is an article written by Isaac Simmers.
"no. 2 (April 1977) - Burial grounds" is another article but contains information on the Van Camp burial ground; Burial gound report; Limestone Presbyterian Churchyard; German tombstones in Zion (Toboyne) Chuchyard at Blain.
"no. 4 (1979) - Perry Valley burial grounds" another article but is an from the "Newport News" on May 27, 1897 listing names of persons buried in the area without tombstones or whose tombstones have been destroyed.
Ancestry's Red Book:
"Large collections of cemetery records are located at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, and at many local libraries and historical societies. The Pennsylvania State Library maintains the state’s Daughters of the American Revolution cemetery collection (see page 7). Records for several Philadelphia funeral directors are in the Collections of the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania (housed at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania).
The Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania microfilmed cemetery records throughout the commonwealth and is currently indexing cemetery records in their collections. Various compilations of cemetery inscriptions have been published, such as those for the western counties by Closson Press and Mechling Books."
On Cyndi's List there are some websites dealing with cemeteries.
http://www.daddezio.com/cemetery/junction/CJ-PA-NDX.html is useful as it gives the locations of the cemeteries in Pennsylvania that one can then go and search if needed.
http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=csr&CScnty=2290 has the name of the cemetery, how many intered and some photos. You can search the site by names and will reveal multiple states.
For tips on accessing Perry County, Pennsylvania Genealogy 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.
Calvinism and Presbyterianism were the first in Perry County because Scotch-Irish settled the area first. In the early 1800s, as the Scotch-Irish moved out, more Germans moved in creating more Lutheran and German Reformed churches.
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 Perry County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Church Records in online catalogs like:
Ancestry's Red Book is the digitized version that has links to multiple societies and churches for more information on what is contained or how to contact them to get information.
County-wide Database - Multi-denominational
St. Michael's Lutheran Church was in Pfoutz Valley and was organized between 1770 and 1773. The Lebanon Lutheran Church was also an early church in the area in 1790 sharing a church with the Loysville Reformed Church. Mt. Zion Lutheran Church organized in about 1809, met in the old Union Church with St. Peter's Reformed Church.
- 1846-1847 – Marriages performed by John William Heim, Perry County, Pennsylvania - original at the Wentz Library of the Lutheran Theological Seminary, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; FHL 553473
- 1901-1947 - Church records[Newport Evangelical Charge] – Newport Charge included the following churches: Calvary at Newport, Ebenezer at Milford now Wila, Mt. Zion at Elliottsburg, Stony Point in Southwest Madison Township, St. Mary's in Liverpool and Messiah or Hunter's Valley in Spring Township; FHL 555502
- Classified index to Churches between the mountains : a history of the Lutheran congregations in Perry County, Pennsylvania by Rev. D. H. Focht – A book that is more about history, but it may lead to where one needs to look; FHL 33326
- 1893-1930 - Church records, 1893-1930 [Newport Methodist] which covers Newport, Millerstown, and Donnally Mills. In 1906 Newport was its own charge;
The Centre Presbyterian Church was one of the first churches in the area being organized in 1766. Dick's Gap Church and Blain Presbyterian Church or the Upper Church of Blain were both organized in 1767.
- Pastor's register of baptisms, communicants, burials - Transcribed from a register in possession of Mrs. F. A. Blair, Blairs Mills, Pa; FHL 473620
Loysville Reformed Church shared their church with the Lebanon Lutheran Church. St. Peter's Reformed Church was organized in about 1809 and met with Mt. Zion Lutheran Church in the Old Union Church.
- 1856-1917 - Church records [Perry Circuit of the United Brethren in Christ] covers Classes attached to Perry Circuit are listed in the catalog entry; FHL 1053128
Court of Common Pleas
Clerk of the Court
Orphan's Court (see Vital Records)
Emigration and Immigration
Land and Property
Land records in Perry County began in 1820. These records are filed with the Register and Recorder office in New Bloomfield, 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
- 1820–present Images are available online using the Landex system. There is a fee to view the images.
Land Records on Microfilm
- 1820-1950 Deed Book, 1820-1866; Indexes, 1820-1950 FHL film 22010 (first of 23 films)
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 Perry County Pennsylvania Land in online catalogs such as:
- Historical Society of Pennsylvania
- WorldCat (For instructions see WorldCat Online Catalog.)
- Family History Library Catalog (For instructions see FHL Catalog Place-name Search.)
Ancestor Tracks has posted free downloadable images from the 1877 Atlas of Perry, Juniata & Mifflin Counties under the Direction of Beach Nichols, published by Pomeroy, Whitman & Co. 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.
Naturalization and Citizenship
Probate matters in Perry County, Pennsylvania Genealogy 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.
Additional Probate Indexes and Abstracts
Additional probate indexes or abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Perry County, Pennsylvania Genealogy probate wills in online catalogs like:
- Perry County Courthouse
- P.O. Box 37
- 2 East Main Street
- New Bloomfield, PA 17068
- Telephone: (717) 582-2131
- Copies of documents including birth, marriages, deaths, divorces, land, and probate records can be obtained by using: Pennsylvania Public Record. Click on the link for the record you wish to request.
Family History Centers
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.
|Use substitute records for birth, marriage and death information. These substitute records include Bible Records, Cemeteries, Church Records, Newspapers, and Probate Records.|
- 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.
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.
Pennsylvania marriages are located at the county level. Contact the Perry County, Pennsylvania Genealogy clerk's office for these records.
- 1725-1976 - Pennsylvania, Marriages, 1709-1940 - free index. Not complete for all years.
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:
Prothonotary and Clerk of Court
Office P.O. Box# 325
New Bloomfield, PA 17068
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 Perry County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Vital Records in online catalogs like:
- Historical Society of Pennsylvania
- WorldCat (For instructions see WorldCat Online Catalog).
- FamilySearch Catalog (For instructions see FamilySearch Catalog Place-name Search).
- USGenWeb project. May have maps, name indexes, history or other information for this county. Select the state, then the county.
- Family History Library Catalog
- http://www.tcrpc-pa.org/assets/adeptiv/upload/attach/2011%20PC%20CDB.pdf, is a free pamphlete with information about the boroughs and townships in there current times, but does give office locations and contact information.
Perry county has two types of municipalities, boroughs and twonships. It has 9 boroughs: Blain, Duncannon, Landisburg, Liverpool, Marysville, Millerstown, Bloomfield, New Buffalo, and Newport; and 21 townships: Buffalo Township, Carroll Township, Centre Township, Greenwood Township, Howe Township, Jackson Township, Juniata Township, Liverpool Township, Miller Township, Northeast Madison Township, Oliver Township, Penn Township, Rye Township, Saville Township, Southwest Madison Township, Spring Township, Toboyne Township, Tuscarora Township, Tyrone Township, Watts Township, and Wheatfield Township. Bloomfield, though sometimes named New Bloomfield, is the county seat.
- ↑ Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), [FHL book 973 D27e 2002].
- ↑ Wikipedia contributors, "Adams County, Pennsylvania" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adams_County,_Pennsylvania (accessed 17 July 2012).
- ↑ Ancestry.com. Ancestry's Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1998.
- ↑ Harry Harrison Hain, History of Perry County, Pennsylvania (Harrisburg, PA: Hain-Moore Company, 1922), 281 and 284); Digital Version Online at Internet Archive; FamilySearch Books Online; At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL book 974.845 H2h.
- ↑ Harry Harrison Hain, History of Perry County, Pennsylvania (Harrisburg, PA: Hain-Moore Company, 1922), 284, 302, and 305); Digital Version Online at Internet Archive; FamilySearch Books Online; At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL book 974.845 H2h.
- ↑ Harry Harrison Hain, History of Perry County, Pennsylvania (Harrisburg, PA: Hain-Moore Company, 1922), 284, 290-292, and 294); Digital Version Online at Internet Archive; FamilySearch Books Online; At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL book 974.845 H2h.
- ↑ Harry Harrison Hain, History of Perry County, Pennsylvania (Harrisburg, PA: Hain-Moore Company, 1922), 305-306); Digital Version Online at Internet Archive; FamilySearch Books Online; At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL book 974.845 H2h.
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