Pennsylvania County Resources

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This entry was originally written by Roger D. Joslyn, CG, FUGA, FGBS, FASG for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.

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The township is the basic political unit in the county and may have within its boundaries incorporated towns, boroughs, and cities, although these would have their own local governments.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is comprised of sixty-seven counties and here may be found records of land, estates, taxes, vital records, divorces, naturalizations, voter registration, court records, and so forth. In 1952 an archives was started in Philadelphia, the oldest city archives in the country. John Daly compiled a Descriptive Inventory to its holdings in 1970. The first county archives was established in Chester County in 1982 and is considered the model for the Commonwealth. A number of other county archives are underway at various stages throughout Pennsylvania. For more detail about county office holdings, see the County Records Survey, Record Series Inventory, 1985–86, available on microfiche from the state archives, although Philadelphia is not included, and Monroe County follows Montgomery out of alphabetical sequence. This survey updates the inventories prepared by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), although the latter have greater detail. See also Stevens and Kent’s County Government Archives cited under Vermont Court Records.

The first column below indicates the map coordinates. In the second column is the name of the county and the mailing address of the recorder of deeds, where deeds and mortgages are found. The third column shows the date of county formation, with the name or names of the parent county or counties. The fourth column gives the date the earliest deed was recorded. The last column gives the mailing address of the register of wills, if different from the recorder. Estate records are found in the register’s office or orphans’ court. (See Vermont Court Records for other county offices.)


Map County County Address Date Formed Parent County(ies) Deeds Register of Wills
G6 Adams Courthouse, Gettysburg 17325-2398 1800York18001800
A5 Allegheny County Office Bldg., 542 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh 15219 1788Washington/Westmoreland17881789, City-County Building, Pittsburgh 15219
B4 Armstrong Market St., Kittanning 16201 1800Allegheny/Lycoming/Westmoreland18051805
Armstrong was attached to Westmoreland County until 1805.
A4 Beaver 810 Third St., Bldg. B, Beaver 15009-0537 1800Allegheny/Washington18031800, 801 Third St., Beaver 15009
Beaver was attached to Allegheny County until 1803.
D6 Bedford 200 South Juliana St., Bedford 15522-1714 1771Cumberland17711771
J5 Berks 633 Court St., 3d Floor, Reading 19601-3594 1752Chester/Lancaster/Philadelphia17521752, 633 Court St., 2d Floor
There are unrecorded deeds back to 1717 on microfilm at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
E5 Blair 423 Allegheny St., Hollidaysburg 16648-2022 1846Huntingdon/Bedford18461846
H2 Bradford 301 Main St., Towanda 18848-1824 1810 (as Ontario)Luzerne/Lycoming (renamed and formally organized, 1812)18121812
K5 Bucks 55 East Court St., Doylestown 18901 1682original16841683
B4 Butler 124 West Diamond St., P.O. Box 1208, Butler 16001-1208 1800Allegheny18041804
Butler was attached to Allegheny County until 1803.
D5 Cambria 200 South Center St., Ebensburg 15931 1804Somerset/Bedford/Huntingdon18461819, P.O. Box 298, Ebensburg 15931-0298
Cambria was attached to Somerset County until 1807.
E3 Cameron 20 East Fifth St., Emporium 15834-1469 1860Clinton/Elk/McKean/Potter18601863
J4 Carbon Hazard Sq. and Rt. 209, P.O. Box 87, Jim Thorpe 18229-0087 1843Monroe/Northampton18431843, 1 Hazard Sq., P.O. Box 286, Jim Thorpe 18229-0286
E4 Centre Willowbank Co. Office Bldg., 414 Holmes St., Bellefonte 16823-1488 1800Lycoming/Mifflin/Huntingdon18011800, Willowbank Co. Office Bldg., 414 Holmes St., Ste. #2, Bellefonte 16823
J6 Chester 235 West Market St., Ste. 100, P.O. Box 100, West Chester 19380 1682original16881924, 1714–1923*, 2 North High St., Ste. 109, P.O. Box 2748, West Chester 19380-0991
*Located at Chester County Archives and Records Service, Government Services Bldg., Ste. 80, 610 Westtown Rd., West Chester, PA 19382.
B3 Clarion Main St., Clarion 16214 1839Venango/Armstrong18401840
D4 Clearfield 230 East Market St., P.O. Box 361, Clearfield 16830-0361 1804Lycoming/Huntingdon18051823
Not organized for judiciary purposes until 1822, Clearfield functioned as a part of Centre County.
F3 Clinton Water and Jay Streets, P.O. Box 943, Lock Haven 17745-0943 1839Lycoming/Centre18391839
H3 Columbia 35 West Main St., Box 380, Bloomsburg 17815-0380 1813Northumberland18131813
A2 Crawford 903 Diamond Sq., Meadville 16335 1800Allegheny18001800
G6 Cumberland 1 Courthouse Sq., Carlisle 17013 1750Lancaster17501750
H5 Dauphin Front & Market Sts., Rm. 102, P.O. Box 1295, Harrisburg 17108-1295 1785Lancaster17851785, Front & Market Sts., Rm. 103, Harrisburg 17101
K6 Delaware Govt. Admin. Bldg. #107, 201 West Front St., Media 19063 1789Chester17891789
D2 Elk P.O. Box 314, Ridgway 15853-0314 1843Jefferson/McKean/Clearfield18441844
A1 Erie 140 West 6th St., Rm. 121, Erie 16501 1800Allegheny18231823
Erie was attached to Crawford County until 1803. A courthouse fire destroyed pre-1823 records.
B6 Fayette 61 East Main St., Uniontown 15401-3514 1783Westmoreland17841784
C2 Forest 526 Elm St., P.O. Box 423, Tionesta 16353-0423 1848Jefferson/(part of Venango;annexed 1866)18571855
Forest was attached to Jefferson County until 1857.
E6 Franklin 157 Lincoln Way East, Chambersburg 17201-2211 1784Cumberland17841784
E6 Fulton North Second St., McConnellsburg 17233 1850Bedford18501851
A6 Greene 93 East High St., Waynesburg 15370 1796Washington17961796
C4 Indiana 825 Philadelphia St., Indiana 15701-3934 1803Lycoming/Westmoreland18061803
Indiana was attached to Westmoreland County until 1806.
C3 Jefferson 200 Main St., Brookville 15825-1236 1804Lycoming18281832
Jefferson was attached to Westmoreland County until 1806 and to Indiana County until 1830.
F5 Juniata P.O. Box 68, Mifflintown 17059-0068 1831Mifflin18311831
J3 Lackawanna North Washington Ave., Scranton 18503 1878Luzerne18781878
J6 Lancaster 50 North Duke St., Lancaster 17602-2805 1729Chester17291729, 50 North Duke St., Lancaster 16702-3480
Some early court records have been transferred to the Lancaster County Historical Society, 230 N. President Ave., Lancaster, PA 17603.
A4 Lawrence County Government Center, 430 Court St., New Castle 16101 1849Beaver/Mercer18491849
H5 Lebanon 107 Municipal Bldg., 400 S. 8th St., Lebanon 17042-6794 1813Dauphin/Lancaster18131813, 105 Municipal Bldg., 400 South 8th St., Lebanon 17042-6794
J4 Lehigh 17 S. 17th St., Rm. 350, Allentown 18101-2400 1812Northampton18121812, 455 W. Hamilton St., Rm. 124, Allentown 18101-1614
J3 Luzerne 200 N. River St., Wilkes-Barre 18702-2685 1786Northumberland17871786
A flood in 1972 destroyed some estate files.
G3 Lycoming 48 W. 3d St., Williamsport 17701-6519 1795Northumberland17951795
D2 McKean 500 West Main St., P.O. Box 3426, Smethport 16749-3426 1804Lycoming18271827, P.O. Box 202, Smethport 16749-0202
Attached to Centre County until 1814 and to Lycoming County for judicial and elective purposes, McKean was not fully organized until 1826.
A3 Mercer Box 109, Courthouse, North Diamond St., Mercer 16137-0109 1800Allegheny18031804, Box 112, Courthouse, Mercer 16137-0112
Attached to Crawford County until 1804.
F5 Mifflin 20 North Wayne St., Lewistown 17044-1770 1789Cumberland/Northumberland17891789
K3 Monroe Courthouse Sq., Stroudsburg 18360 1836Pike/Northampton18361836
K5 Montgomery P.O. Box 311, Norristown 19404-0311 1784Philadelphia1784*1784†
* Some early deed books are in the county archives (see below) and the county historical society. † Most records through the mid-1980s are in the Montgomery County Archives Center, 1880 Markley St., Norristown 19401.
H3 Montour 29 Mill St., Danville 17821-1945 1850Columbia18501850
K4 Northampton 7th and Washington Streets, Easton 18042-7401 1752Bucks17521752
G4 Northumberland 2d and Market Streets, Sunbury 17801-3408 1772Lancaster/Berks/Bedford/Cumberland/Northampton17701771
Ontario (renamed Bradford, 1812)
G5 Perry Center Sq., 25 W. Main St., P.O. Box 223, New Bloomfield 17068-0223 1820Cumberland18201820
K6 Philadelphia City Hall #154, Broad and Market Streets, Philadelphia 19107-3200 (for deeds from 1952; earlier at City Archives) 1682original16841682, City Hall, Rm. 180, Philadelphia 19107 (for indexes), 3101 Market St., Philadelphia 19104 (for records)
The city and county of Philadelphia were combined in 1854 and city and county offices merged in 1952. The orphans’ court is in Room 415 of City Hall, and the City Archives is located at 3101 Market St., Ste. 150, Philadelphia 19104 <www.phila.gov/phils/carchive.htm>. E-mail: archives@phila.gov.
K3 Pike 412 Broad St., Milford 18337 1814Wayne18141814, 506 Broad St.
E2 Potter 1 East Second St., Coudersport 16915 1804Lycoming18061836
Attached to Lycoming County until 1814 and to McKean County for judicial purposes, Potter was not fully organized until 1835.
H4 Schuylkill 401 North Second St., Pottsville 17901 1811Berks/Northampton (parts of Columbia andLuzerne added 1818)18111811
G4 Snyder P.O. Box 217, Middleburg 17842-0217 1855Union18551855
C6 Somerset 300 North Center St., Ste. 400, Somerset 15501 1795Bedford17951795, 111 North Center Ave., Ste. 170, Somerset 15501
H3 Sullivan Courthouse, Main St., Laporte 18626 1847Lycoming18481847
J2 Susquehanna 11 Maple St., P.O. Box 218, Montrose 18801-0218 1810Luzerne18121812
Susquehanna was attached to Luzerne County until 1812.
F2 Tioga 116 Main St., Wellsboro 16901-1410 1804Lycoming18061806
G4 Union 103 S. 2d St., Lewisburg 17837-1903 1813Northumberland18131813
B3 Venango 1168 Liberty St., Franklin 16323-1252 1800Allegheny/Lycoming18051806
Venango was attached to Crawford County until 1805.
C2 Warren 204 4th St., Warren 16365-2318 1800Allegheny/Lycoming18191820
Attached to Crawford County until 1805 and then to Venango, Warren was formally organized in 1819.
A6 Washington 100 W. Beau St., Washington 15301-4402 1781Westmoreland17811781, 1 S. Main St. #1002, Washington 15301
K2 Wayne 925 Court St., Honesdale 18431-9517 1798Northampton17981798, 925 Court St., Honesdale 18431-1996
B5 Westmoreland 2 North Main St., Ste. 503, Box 160, Greensburg, PA 15601 1773Bedford17731773, 2 N. Main St., Ste. 301, Greensburg 15601-2405
J2 Wyoming 1 Courthouse Sq., Tunkhannock 18657-1216 1842Luzerne18421843
H6 York 28 East Market St., York 17401-1501 1749Lancaster17491749
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