Lancaster County, Pennsylvania Genealogy

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United StatesGotoarrow.png Pennsylvania Gotoarrow.png Lancaster County

Guide to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania ancestry, family history and genealogy in 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.

Lancaster Pennsylvania family History Center


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Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Map
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County
Location in the state of Pennsylvania
Map of the U.S. highlighting Pennsylvania
Location of Pennsylvania in the U.S.
Facts
Founded October 14, 1728
County Seat Lancaster
Courthouse
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania Courthouse.jpg
Address Lancaster County Courthouse
Register of Wills
50 N. Duke St.
P.O. Box 83480
Lancaster, PA 17608-3480
Lancaster County Website
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Lancaster County Pennsylvania Historical Facts

Beginning dates for major county records
Birth
Marriage
Death
Land
Probate
1893
1885
1893
1729
1729
Palancaster.jpg

Parent Counties: Formed from Chester County 14 October 1728. [1]

County Seat: Lancaster

Neighboring Counties: Lancaster County residents may also have records in [2]

Many Scotch-Irish immigrants settled in Lancaster County in the early eighteenth century. The area was predominantly a German place of settlement.[3][4]

Boundary Changes

  • 14 October 1749: York County set off.
  • 14 October 1751: Berks County set off.
  • 27 January 1750: Cumberland County set off.
  • 21 March 1772: Northumberland County set off.
  • 16 October 1813: Lebanon County set off.

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

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Bible Records

Biographies

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.


Lancaster County USGenWeb Project This site has several listings for Lancaster County cemetery records.

Cemeteries of Lancaster County in Adamstown & Akron Boroughs and Bart, Brecknock, & Caernarvon Townships. Lists of cemeteries, some with lists of burials

Cemeteries in Lancaster County at Find A Grave

The Family History Library has a number of cemetery records in books and on films.  They would be available either in the Family History Library in Salt Lake City or in one of its affiliate Family History Centers.

Individual cemeteries:

Census

For tips on accessing Lancaster 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.

Church Records

Finding Church Records at Other Repositories

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


County-wide Database - Multi-denominational
Lancaster county pennsylvania churches.png
Contains the church records of:
  • Columbia: Presbyterian Church; United Church of Christ
  • Eden: Mount Hope United Methodist Church
  • Ephrata: Bethany United Church of Christ
  • Lancaster: First Presbyterian Church; Salem United Church of Christ; St. John's Episcopal Church
  • Leacock: Christ Episcopal Church
  • Lititz: St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church
  • Maytown: St. John's Lutheran Church
  • Millersville: St. Paul Lutheran Church
  • Mohnton: Swamp Lutheran Church
  • Reamstown: Salem Lutheran Church
  • Rohrerstown: Trinity Lutheran Church
  • Rothsville: Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church
  • 1723-1800 Humphrey, John T. Pennsylvania Births, Lancaster County, 1723-1800. 2 vols. Washington, D.C.: Humphrey Publications, 1997. FHL Book 974.815 K2h.
Contains records from the following churches: Sadsbury Monthly Meeting, Sadsbury Township; Little Britain Monthly Meeting, Little Britain Township; St. James' Protestant Episcopal Church, Lancaster; Muddy Creek Lutheran Church, East Cocalico Township; Emanuel Lutheran Church, Elizabeth Township, also called Old Warwick Lutheran Church; Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Lancaster; Moravian Church, Lancaster; First Reformed Church, Lancaster; Trinity Lutheran Church, New Holland; St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church, Lancaster; Zion Lutheran Church, Manheim; Muddy Creek Reformed Church, East Cocalico Township; Bangor Protestant Episcopal Church, Caenarfon [sic] Township; Bergstrasse Lutheran Church, Ephrata Township; Records of Rev. John Waldschmidt; Records of Rev. John Cuthbertson; Records of Rev. Traugott Frederick Illing; Christ Lutheran Church, Elizabethtown; St. Michael's Lutheran Church, Strasburg; Swamp Reformed Church, West Cocalico Township; Zion Reformed Church, Elizabeth Township, also known as Reyer's Reformed Church; Blasser Reformed Church, West Donegal Township; White Oak Lutheran and Reformed churches, Penn Township; Zeltenreich/Seltenreich Reformed Church, Earl Township; Maytown Reformed Church, East Donegal Township; St. Paul's Reformed Church, Manheim; Pequea Reformed, Strasburg Township; Maytown Lutheran Church, East Donegal Township; Cocalico Reformed Church, Ephrata; Records of Rev. John Casper Stoever, Jr.; Moravian Church, Lititz.
Amish

Lancaster County had one of the largest Mennonite and Amish populations in Pennsylvania in the 1800s.

Catholic
  • 1787-1804 St. Mary's Catholic Church, Lancaster, PA Marriages, Baptisms, Burials 1787-1804 at PAGenWeb - free.
Church of the Brethren
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The Blue Ridge District of the Eastern States Mission comprised church members living in southeastern Pennsylvania. District headquarters were in Lancaster, with branches located in Bucks, Fulton, Lancaster, and York counties.

Ephrata Community
  • 1728-1853 Sachse, Julius F. "The Registers of the Ephrata Community," The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Burials 1728-1853: Vol. 14 (1890):297-312, Burials 1730s-1813: 387-402. For free online access, see WeRelate. Also available on the Church of the Brethren Network website.
Episcopalian

St. James's Church, Lancaster

Registers begin in 1755.[5]

  • 1755-1759 Private Marriage Register of Rev. Thomas Barton, in York County, Pennsylvania in "Private Church Registers to 1800, York County, Pennsylvania" at Ancestry ($).
  • 1755-1756, 1783-1796 St. James Church, Lancaster, Baptism Index 1755-1756 and 1783-1796 in International Genealogical Index at FamilySearch - free. Batch C507311.[6]

St. John's Church, Pequea

Registers are lost, but some parishioners appear in the registers of St. James's Church, Lancaster.[5]

St. Thomas's Church, Caernarvon

Registers are lost, but some parishioners appear in the registers of St. James's Church, Lancaster.[5]

Bangor Church, Caernarvon

Registers are lost, but some parishioners appear in the registers of St. James's Church, Lancaster. An old trunk was discovered at Bangor Church with "sundry account-books and ancient title-deeds."[5]

Evangelical

Salem Church of the Evangelical Association, Lancaster

Trinity Church, Lititz

Lutheran
  • Weiser, Frederick Sheely. Parochial Registers for Lutheran Congregations in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, 1729-1960: A Guide to Genealogical Resources in the Parish Records of Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, As Well As to Translations and Copies in Print in Public Institutions. Lancaster, Pa.: unknown, 1961. Digital version at Ancestry ($).

Evangelical Lutheran

Rev. John Casper Stoever's Records, 1730-1779:

Book: Records of Rev. John Casper Stoever, Baptismal and Marriage, 1730-1779. (Harrisburg, PA: Harrisburg Pub.,1896). Digital version: Internet Archive.
Transcripts:
- Rev. John Casper Stoever’s Baptisms in Alphabetical Order
- Marriage Records of Rev. John Casper Stoever with all 1,429 marriages compiled by Mildred Smith (Lancaster County Genealogy Project).

Augustus Evangelical Lutheran Church, New Providence

Bergstrasse Evangelical Lutheran Church, Ephrata Township

Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church, Elizabethtown

Cocalico Evangelisch Luttnusche

Evangelical Church, Lutheran County

Evangelical Lutheran Congregation, Mount Joy

Holy Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church

Swamp Lutheran Church, Reinholds

Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, New Holland

White Oaks Lutheran and Reformed Church, Penn Township

Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, Manheim

Mennonites

Lancaster County had one of the largest Mennonite and Amish populations in Pennsylvania in the 1800s.

Presbyterian

The first Scotch-Irish settlement in Lancaster County was made at Chickies Creek in 1714. Donegal Presbyterian Church was built there shortly thereafter. Pequea Presbyterian Church, constructed at another early Scotch-Irish settlement, was built in 1724.[3]

Paxtang Church and 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. This ground later fell within the bounds of Dauphin County and still later Lebanon County after those counties split off.[3]

Cedar Grove Presbyterian Church, East Earl

Middle Octorara Presbyterian Church, Quarryville

Seltenreich Presbyterian Church

Quaker
  • 1800s-1900s Pennsylvania Quaker Records: Warrington, York County, Little Brittain, Lancaster County, Centre, Centre County, West Branch, Clearfield County, Dunnings Creek, Bedford County. n.p. Digital versions at Ancestry ($); Internet Archive - free.
Reformed

First Reformed Church, Lancaster

Keller's Reformed Church, Cocalico

Muddy Creek Reformed Church, East Cocalico Township

Reformed Church of Cocalico

Reformed Church of Maytown

  • 1774-1819 - Transcript of baptismal record of the Reformed Church of Maytown, Lancaster County, 1765 (1774)-1819. Typescript held at the Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Digital version at Ancestry ($).

Reihers or Zion's Reformed Church, Brickerville

Zion's Reformed Church, Brickerville

Roman Catholic

St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church

Court Records

Lancaster County, Pennsylvania Genealogy court records are housed at the Lancaster County, Pennsylvania Genealogy 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. Lancaster County 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.[7]

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.[8] For the Lancaster County, Pennsylvania Genealogy 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 Lancaster County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Prothonotary office information.


Office of Prothonotary
Katherine Wood-Jacobs – Prothonotary
50 N. Duke St
P.O. Box 83480
Lancaster, PA 17608-3480
Phone: 717-299-8282
Fax: 717-293-7210
Email: kwoodjacobs@co.lancaster.pa.us

Orphan's Court (see Vital Records)

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.[9]

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


In Lancaster County the Register of Wills and the Clerk of the Orphans' Court are the same individual. The only birth records stored in Lancaster County are dated from 1881 to 1906.

Register of Wills Office
Mary Ann Gerber, Register of Wills
50 N. Duke St.
P.O. Box 83480
Lancaster, PA 17608-3480
Email: MGerber@co.lancaster.pa.us

Finding Court Records at Other Repositories

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


Directories

Emigration and Immigration

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


Major Scotch-Irish Settlements in the 1730's Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

Ethnic Groups

Germans
Huguenots

Shirk, Willis L., Jr. "Assimilating into the Amerian Milieu: French Huguenots in Eighteenth Century Lancaster County", Lancaster Historical Society Journal, 95:3, 74.

Gazetteers

Genealogy

History

Published Histories

Some of the Lancaster County histories available in the Family History Library:

Land and Property

Land records in Lancaster County began in 1728. These records are filed with the Recorder of Deeds office in Lancaster, 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

Maps

  • MacInnes, Sharon Cook and Angus MacInnes. Early Landowners of Pennsylvania: Atlas of Township Warrantee Maps of Lancaster County, PA. Apollo, Pennsylvania: Closson Press, 2008. FHL book 974.815 E7ms
  • Gilbert, Geri. The Warrant Maps of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania: Including an Every-name Index.Morgantown, Pennsylvania: Masthof Press, 2005. FHL Q book 974.815 R2g

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

Maps

Media:Lancaster county pennsylvania townships.pngLancaster county pennsylvania townships.png
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Migration

Military

French and Indian War

In 1756, Colonel Armstrong recruited many Scotch-Irish men from Lancaster 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 Lancaster 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 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

Local men served in the Lancaster 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.

Lancaster County men also served in the 1st Pennsylvania Regiment,[10] the 5th Pennsylvania Regiment,[10] and the 9th Pennsylvania Regiment.[11]

Civil War

Pennsylvania Volunteers of the Civil War lists Lancaster County Pennsylvania Soldiers in the Civil War - Civil War Books, Rosters, Medal of Honor Recipients, and Soldier Biographies.

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.


Online Naturalization Indexes and Records

Original Naturalization Records on Microfilm

  • 1743 Extract aus der Registratur der Supreem Court zu Philadelphia FHL Collection

Finding Naturalization Indexes at Other Repositories

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

Newspapers

Lancaster County, Pennsylvania Genealogy 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 Lancaster County

Online Newspapers

  • Lancaster Intelligencer 1833-1852
  • Marietta Register 1883-1890
  • Mariettian 1858-1860
  • Marietta Advocate and Farmers' and Mechanic's Intelligencer 1833-1835
  • Marietta Pioneer 9/1827-9/1828
  • Pioneer (Marietta) 9/26/1828-1/8/1830

The Lancaster County Digitization Project is a consortium of institutions interested in digitizing the county's newspaper and manuscript collections. Several Lancaster county newspapers are provided in digital format through this and other collaborative efforts.

Online Newspaper Abstracts

Newspaper Collections

Father Abraham 6/12/1868-4/29/1870; 10/25/1872-12/13/1872
Lancaster Intelligencer 12/28/1847-12/27/1871

Newspaper Extracts and 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



Probate

Online Probate Indexes

Periodicals

Poorhouse, Almshouse

Probate Settlement papers are usually in possession of the Lancaster Historical Society

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.


  • Evangelical and Reformed Historical Society (ERHS) and United Church of Christ Archives (UCC)
    Philip Schaff Library
    Lancaster Theological Seminary
    555 W. James Street
    Lancaster, PA 17603
    Phone: 717-290-8734
    This site has church records and family histories that used to be at the Franklin and Marshall College Library.
  • Franklin and Marshall College Library
    Archives and Special Collections
    450 College Ave
    P.O. Box 3003
    Lancaster, PA 17604
    Phone: 717-291-4223
    Has some genealogical data about College faculty, students and administrators only. All church records and family histories were moved to the Lancaster Theological Seminary in 1967 (see above).
  • Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society - Archives
    2215 Millstream Rd
    Lancaster, PA 17602-1499
    Phone: 717-393-9745
    Fax: 717-393-8751
    Email: lmhs@lmhs.org
    This is the official depository for records of the Atlantic Coast and Lancaster Conferences of the Mennonite Church. In addition, it has many records of other organizations affiliated with them. It also has helps for genealogists.
  • Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
    Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
    300 Gap Road
    P. O. Box 15
    Strasburg, PA 17579
    Phone: 717-687-8628
    The Library has thousands of historic books and magazines about railroads. The Archives has a large collection of photographs, maps, and manuscripts. Try their catalogs to see specific information.
Courthouse
  • Register of Wills
    50 N. Duke St.
    P.O. Box 83480
    Lancaster, PA 17608-3480
    Email: MGerber@co.lancaster.pa.us
    The Register of Wills and Clerk of Orphans' Court Office provides a variety of services to the public such as the probate of decedent estates, issuance of marriage licenses, collection of inheritance taxes and maintenance of records pertaining to adoptions, guardianships and estates.
  • Clerk of Courts
    50 North Duke Street
    P.O. Box 83480
    Lancaster, PA 17608-3480
    Phone: 717-299-8275
    Fax: 717-295-3686
    Email: ClerkofCourts@co.lancaster.pa.us
    The Clerk of Courts maintains criminal records for the courts and the 519,000 plus citizens of Lancaster County. Many of the records are scanned.
  • Recorder of Deeds
    150 N. Queen St.
    P.O. Box 1478
    Lancaster, PA 17608-1478
    Phone: 717-299-8238
    Fax: 717-299-8393
    An online sight allows users to search records from 1729-1981 which requires you to sign in.
Family History Centers

Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes. See Family History Center for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.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 Lancaster County, Pennsylvania Genealogy is the Lancaster Pennsylvania Family History Center. For additional nearby Family History Centers, search online in the FHC directory.


Libraries
The Lancaster Public Library is part of the Lancaster Public Library System that serves 16 libraries. They have shared online catalog which has a sizable genealogy and biography collection.
Online Catalog
The library has historical and family records, maps, photographs, etc. Call ahead to make an appointment with a research librarian. The museum has three original log structures dating from 1750-1847, and a brick house dating to 1877.
Museums
Tours explain Amish life and customs.
Has historical documents relating to African American history.
The cloister has a small research library that is open weekdays by appointment only. Limited genealogical materials are available. "The staff is unable to answer genealogical queries, but can provide some advice on available sources." For an appointment, call the Curator.
This historical center has a library and archives with many records of genealogical value. Their collection contains over 15,000 volumes, as well as maps, family files, subject information files, photographs, oral histories, microfilm, and CDs. A reference collection consisting of indexes, genealogical and historical journals, and books is available for browsing. All other books are housed in closed stacks and must be requested at the reference desk.

Lancaster city and county directories 1847-1922 and directories for several other Lancaster cities have been digitized and are available online.

Has good information about U.S. Railroads, including a timeline.The museum also has a library and archives.
Societies
The society has a research library, with an Online Search.
The Family History Library has some of the journals they have published on microfilm.
The society has an online catalog.
  • Lancaster County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Group
    Facebook

Taxation

  • Pre-1729 Eshelman, H. Frank. Assessment Lists and Other Manuscript Documents of Lancaster County Prior to 1729. Digitized by Internet Archive - free.[12]
  • 1751, 1756-1758 Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Tax Lists 1751, 1756, 1757, 1758: With Additional Tax Lists and Index at FamilySearch Books Online - free.
  • 1771-1773, 1779, 1782 Proprietary and State Tax Lists of the County of Lancaster: For the Years 1771, 1772, 1773, 1779 and 1782. (Pennsylvania Archives, Series 3, Vol. 17). Digital versions at Ancestry ($); Google Books - free.
  • 1798 Pennsylvania, U.S. Direct Tax Lists, 1798 at Ancestry ($).

The Salt Lake City Family History Library has microfilmed many Lancaster County taxation records, and they are available in Salt Lake City and can be accessed in its satellite Family History Centers.

Vital Records

For birth, marriage and death records prior to 1906 contact:

Lancaster County Archives
150 North Queen Street, Suite 10
Lancaster PA 17603
Phone: 717-299-8319
Fax: 717-735-9606
Email: archives@colancaster.pa.us

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

The following records are available at the Lancaster County 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


Online Resources:

  • 1726-1930 Pennsylvania, Births and Christenings, 1709-1950 - free index. Not complete for all years. 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.

Old birth records for Lancaster County from 1881 through 1906 are kept by the Register of Wills.

Birth and Death

Birth/Death records from 1907 to the present are kept by the Pennsylvania Department of Vital Records at New Castle, PA

Marriage

Pennsylvania marriages are located at the county level. Contact the Lancaster County, Pennsylvania clerk's office for marriage records from 2004 to the present. It is best to contact the Lancaster County Archives for marriage records prior to 2004.

The following records are available at the Lancaster County Archives :

  • 1852-1855 Marriage Registrations
  • 1885-2004 Marriage License Applications

Online Resources:

Divorce

Divorce records are available through the office of the Prothonotary. The office of the Prothonotary is located in the courthouse building. Records may be obtained by visiting or writing.

  • 1851-1997 Divorce Records, online index (select Index Book Search)
Death

The following records are available at the Lancaster County Archives :

  • 1803-1804, 1846-1907 Lancaster County Death Index 1803-1804 and 1846-1907 in International Genealogical Index at FamilySearch - free.[6]
  • 1852-1855 Death Registrations, online index
  • 1894-1907 Death Registrations
  • 1874-1978 Death Affidavits

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



Finding Vital Records at Other Repositories

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


Lancaster County Pennsylvania Genealogy Websites

  • FamilyHart Online Database This is an online family database containing over 843,000 records, mostly of Pennsylvania Dutch Extraction. Many of the families are from Lancaster County. This database adds 1,500 names per week which is updated online every quarter. It is the most comprehensive family database online for Pennsylvania Dutch families.

Lancaster County Pennsylvania Places

Populated Places

Lancaster 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, "Lancaster County, Pennsylvania" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lancaster_County,_Pennsylvania.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Wayland F. Dunaway, The Scotch-Irish of Colonial Pennsylvania (Chapel Hill, N.C.: The University of North Carolina Press, 1944), 50. Free digital version at PA's Past: Digital Bookshelf at Penn State. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "way" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "way" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "way" defined multiple times with different content
  4. Wikipedia
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 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. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 6.15 6.16 6.17 6.18 6.19 6.20 6.21 6.22 6.23 6.24 6.25 6.26 6.27 6.28 6.29 6.30 6.31 6.32 6.33 6.34 6.35 6.36 6.37 Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/images/9/92/Igipennsylvaniaf.pdf. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "vr" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "vr" defined multiple times with different content
  7. The Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania http://www.pacourts.us/T/CommonPleas/ accessed 10 July 2012.
  8. Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania, Clerk of Courts in http://www.pacourts.us/T/CommonPleas/ClerksOfCourts.htm (accessed 25 Aug 2012)
  9. The Philadelphia Courts at http://www.courts.phila.gov/common-pleas/orphans/ accessed 10 July 2012
  10. 10.0 10.1 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.
  11. Wikipedia contributors, "9th Pennsylvania Regiment," http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9th_Pennsylvania_Regiment, accessed 31 May 2012.
  12. Our thanks to FamilyHart at PAGenWeb for this link.