Difference between revisions of "Montour County, Pennsylvania Genealogy"

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==== Newspapers  ====
==== Newspapers  ====
'''Newspapers of Montour County'''
:*[http://www.usnpl.com/panews.php Pennsylvania Newspapers]
:*[http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/search/titles/results/?state=Pennsylvania&county=Montour&city=&year1=1690&year2=2012&terms=&frequency=&language=&ethnicity=&labor=&material_type=&lccn=&rows=20 Chronicling America] US Newspaper Directory 
'''Online Newspapers'''
To learn if there are newspapers online for a specific town or city in Pennsylvania, see [http://news.google.com/newspapers news.google.com/newspapers] and search for the town or the name of a newspaper.
'''Online Newspaper Abstracts'''
:*[http://www.pa-roots.org/data/list.php?611 PA-Roots Newspaper Articles] for Montour County, Pennsylvania.
===== 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 [[Montour County, Pennsylvania#Newspapers|Newspaper heading]]
{{Tip|Sometimes the fastest way of finding obituaries is to call or email the local [http://www.publiclibraries.com/ public library] in the area where the person died.  If the library does not have newspapers, a librarian often will know where they are kept.  If a death date is known, and the newspapers are at the library, someone on staff will usually make a search for a small fee, or will indicate someone who will do the search.}}<br>
'''Online Obituary Abstracts'''
:*[http://www.pa-roots.org/data/list.php?612 PA-Roots Obituaries] for Montour County, Pennsylvania.
==== Occupations  ====
==== Occupations  ====

Revision as of 23:42, 29 August 2012

United StatesGotoarrow.png Pennsylvania Gotoarrow.png Montour County

Montour County, Pennsylvania
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montour County
Location in the state of Pennsylvania
Map of the U.S. highlighting Pennsylvania
Location of Pennsylvania in the U.S.
Founded May 3, 1850
County Seat Danville
Montour County, Pennsylvania Courthouse.jpg
Address Montour County Courthouse
29 Mill Street
Danville, PA 17821
Montour County Website
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Historical Facts

Beginning dates for major county records
  • Parent Counties: Formed from Columbia County 3 May 1850. [1]
  • County Seat: Danville
  • Neighboring Counties: Montour County, Pennsylvania Genealogy residents may also have records in [2]Lycoming (north) • Northumberland (south) • Columbia (east)

Note of Interest

Smallest county in the state of Pennsylvania.

Boundary Changes


Bible Records


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-tombstone photos
Billion Graves
Pennsylvania Genealogy Epodunk
Pennsylvania Gravestones
Billion Graves
Names in Stone
Access Genealogy

See Pennsylvania Cemeteries for more information.


For tips on accessing Montour 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

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 Montour County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Church Records  in online catalogs like:

County-wide Database - Multi-denominational
Montour county pennsylvania churches.png

In 1842, the First Baptist Church of Danville was organized.  The Immanuel Baptist Church was created from members of the First Baptist Church in 1892, but the church was dissolved by the members in 1908.[3]


The first pastor was appointed for the Evangelical Church in 1867, although previous pastors did perform services before that time. This congregation was eventually called the Emanuel Evangelical Church and their first church building was dedicated in 1871.[3]


The first sign of the Lutheran denomination in Montour County was in 1820 with the creation of what is now known as the Pine Street Lutheran Church. Before then, they would go to the Lutheran Church in Mahoning Township, Northumberland County. In 1845, a church was built and the congregation was known as Evangelical Lutheran Church of Danville (now called St. John's Lutheran Church). But the congregation eventually outgrew the building and the Pine Street Lutheran Church was built in 1859.[3]

The Trinity Lutheran Church was created in 1859 from members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church (eventually called the Pine Street Lutheran Church) that did not agree with the location of the new church building agreed upon by the majority of the congregation.[3]

Methodist Episcopal

The St. Paul Methodist Episcopal Church was the second religious organization established in Danville in about 1791, although a permanent church building was not erected until 1839.[3]

The Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in 1868 from members of the St. Paul Methodist Episcopal Church who lived in the north side of town. [3]


The Mahoning Presbyterian Church, later changed to the Grove Presbyterian Church, was the first religious organization in Danville in about 1778.[4]

Protestant Episcopal

The Protestant Episcopal congregation (now known as Christ's Church) was officially established in 1829, sharing a church building with the Lutheran congregation. Difficulties with the Lutheran Congregation eventually lead to them leaving the church building in 1836 and was left exclusively to the Protestant Episcopal Church.[3]


The Shiloh Reformed Church in Danville was formally created in 1893, when it split from a larger congregation of the Reformed Church that began in 1856 and covered Danville, Catawissa, St. James (Mahoning) and Mausdale. [3]

Roman Catholic

St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church began as a mission in 1847. It's first building was on the corner of Center and Ferry streets and later moved to its current lot in 1869.[3]

Because of the large influx of German Catholics by 1859, a congregation was created and called the St. Hubert's German Catholic Church. Previously, German Catholics attended St. Joseph's Catholic Church.[3]


The B'nai Zion Synagogue was built in 1871. Previously, the congregation met in their schoolhouse built in 1853.[3]

Court Records

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

Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic Groups





Published Histories

Land and Property

Land records in Montour County began in 1850. These records are filed with the >Register and Recorder office in Danville, 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:

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 Montour County Pennsylvania Land in online catalogs such as:


Ancestor Tracks has posted free downloadable images fromthe atlas of Columbia and Montour Counties of Pennsylvania from Recent & Actual Surveys & Records Under the Superintendence of G.H. Walker & C.F. Jewett published by F.W. Beers & Co in 1876.  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 to be used commercially.  We hereby give permission to use them strictly for personal use; please attribute to Ancestor Tracks.  



Naturalization and Citizenship


Montour 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 Montour 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 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


Indentured Servants


Poorhouse, Almshouse

Probate Records

Probate matters in Montour 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.

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:

Montour County Only:

Additional Probate Indexes and Abstracts

Additional probate indexes or abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Montour County, Pennsylvania Genealogy probate wills in online catalogs like:


Montour County Courthouse
29 Mill Street
Danville, PA 17821
Phone: (570) 271-3010
County courthouse has:
  • 1893-1905: Birth and Death records
  • 1885 to present: Marriage license
  • 1883-1905: Delayed birth registration
  • 1850-1904: Naturalization Records
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 Montour County, Pennsylvania Genealogy is the Sunbury Pennsylvania Family History Center. For additional nearby Family History Centers, search online in the FHC directory.


The Thomas Beaver Free Library is located at 205 Ferry Street, Danville, Pennsylvania, 17821. Their phone number is (570) 275-4180. The Montour County Genealogical Society keep their genealogical records at the library.

The Montour County Genealogical Society collection includes but is not limited to the following records:

  • Obituary files
  • Family histories
  • Church records
  • County histories
  • Newsletters form various Pennsylvania genealogical societies
  • Surname files

Montour County Genealogical Society, MCGS
205 Ferry Street
Danville PA 17821

Genealogy Room: Thomas Beaver Free Library, 2nd Floor
Hours: Saturdays 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; Mondays 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Fee: $2.00 an hour for non-members, no charge for members

The collection includes records for Columbia, Montour and Northumberland Counties. Research requests may be submitted in writing using a printable form which includes the fee schedule.

Montour County Historical Society, MCHS
PO Box 8
1 Mill Street
Danville PA 17821

Located in the Montgomery House Museum, corner of Bloom and Mill Streets
Hours: Sundays 2:00–4:00 Sundays, Memorial day thru September
Or by appointment 275-7875 or 275-0383

A small library contains local and county histories, industrial record books, business and law ledgers, military references, photographs, tax records, and maps.


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.

County-wide Database
  • 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 Montour County, Pennsylvania Genealogy clerk's office for these records.


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:

Office of the Prothonotary
Montour County Court House
29 Mill Street
Danville, PA 17821
Phone: 570-271-3010


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 Montour County, Pennsylvania Genealogy 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


Populated Places


  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. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 Historical and Biographical Annals of Columbia and Montour Counties, Pennsylvania (Chicago, IL: J.H. Beers and Co., 1915), 352, 355), FamilySearch Books Online; Digital copy at Internet Archive; At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL book 974.83 H2b vol. 1.
  4. "History of Danville, Grove Presbyterian Church" in PA-Roots at http://www.pa-roots.com/index.php/montour-county/134-history-of-danville/391-history-of-danville-grove-presbyterian-church (accessed August 7, 2012).