Lancaster County, Pennsylvania Genealogy

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County Courthouse
Register of Wills
50 N. Duke St.
P.O. Box 83480
Lancaster, PA 17608-3480
email: Mary Ann Gerber -

Office of the Clerk of Courts
County of Lancaster
50 North Duke Street
P.O. Box 83480
Lancaster, PA 17608-3480
Phone: (717) 299-8275
Fax: (717) 295-3686

Quick History


Parent County

14 October 1728: Lancaster County was created from Chester County. [1]

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.

Record Loss


Populated Places

Neighboring Counties

Berks | Chester | Dauphin | Lebanon | York | Maryland counties: Cecil | Harford



You can search all available online transcriptions at this site:

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.




  • Come join our Lancaster County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Group at Facebook


  • Ancestor Tracks has published Early Landowners of Pennsylvania: Atlas of Township Warrantee Maps of Lancaster County which contains the Township Warrantee Maps on file at the Pennsylvania Archives in Harrisburg.  Each Warrantee Map was painstakingly platted by draftsmen from the original warrants, surveys, and patents of current Lancaster County.  The maps show precise outlines in metes and bounds of each original tract and all surrounding tracts in each township. Information included: names of the warrantee and patentee (first owners); tract name and size; dates of the warrant, survey and patent; patent book and page number; survey book and page number; and atlals coordinate.  Surveys have been placed online by the Pennsylvania Archives.
  • The keeping of land records began with the creation of the county. Lancaster County has placed it's land records on-line and can be viewed for free. You can log in as guest and do not have to be a registered user.  

Local Histories

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

History of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men.  Ellis, Franklin, 1828-1885 (Has been microfilmed on #547037 or on #1000559 Item 3)

History of Lancaster County : to which is prefixed a brief sketch of the early history of Pennsylvania.  Rupp, Israel Daniel, 1803-1878 (Has been microfilmed on #1036814 Item 3)

An authentic history of Lancaster County, in the state of Pennsylvania.  Mombert, J. I. (Jacob Isidor) , 1829-1913 (This book has been digitized.)

1875 Historical Atlas of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  Everts & Stewart (Has been microfilmed on #982071 Item 13)



The state of Pennsylvania has listed all of the volunteers in the Civil War, and this is the website for those serving from Lancaster County:

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission has set up the following website for those serving in the Revolutionary War from Lancaster County:


The Lancaster County Historical Society is a participant in the Lancaster County Digitization Project, a consortium of institutions interested in digitizing the county's newspaper and manuscript collections. Through this and other collaborative efforts we have been able to provide the several county newspapers in digital format. Online newspapers.

Lancaster Daily Intelligencer (1880-1890) on Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers


A number of wills and other probate records from the Lancaster County Probate office have been filmed by the Family History Library in Salt Lake and are available for viewing either in Salt Lake or in one of its affiliate Family History Centers.

Lancaster County has an on-line index for their probate files and can be viewed for free.

Lancester, Pennsylvania Probate Index, 1729-1850. Original data: An Index to the Will Books and Intestate Records of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania 1729-1850. by Eleanore Jane Fulton.


The Salt Lake City Family History Library has microfilmed many Lancaster County taxation records, and they are available in Salt Lake City or in one of its affiliate Family History Centers.

Vital Records

These records are held at the County Archives.

  • Marriage Licenses are recorded continuously from 1885 and an index are available on-line.
  • Old birth records from 1881 through 1906 are kept by the Register of Wills
  • Old death registrations from 1894 through 1907 are kept in the County Archives

Birth/Death records from 1907 to the present are kept by the Pennsylvania Department of Vital Records at New Castle, Pa. For full information go to:

The Lancaster County Register of Wills maintains a 24-hour telephone information line (717-295-2001) which gives specific details about how to access these birth/death records

Societies and Libraries

There are two very helpful societies in Lancaster County:

Lancaster County Historical Society
230 N President Ave
Lancaster, PA 17603
(717) 392-4633

The society has a research library.
The Family History Library has some of the journals they have published on microfilm.

Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society
2215 Millstream Rd
Lancaster, PA 17602-1499
(717) 393-9745

The society has an online catalog.

Family History Centers

Web Sites

  • FamilyHart Online Database This is an online family database containing over 630,000 records, mostly of Pennsylvania Dutch Extraction. Many of the families are from Lancaster County. This database adds 1,000 names per week which is updated online every quarter. It is the most comprehensive family database online for Pennsylvania Dutch families.


  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), [FHL book 973 D27e 2002].