Clarion County, Pennsylvania Genealogy

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Guide to Clarion County, Pennsylvania ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, and military records.

County Facts
County seat: Clarion
Organized: March 11, 1839
Parent County(s): Venango, Armstrong[1]
Neighboring Counties
Forest  • Venango  • Butler  • Armstrong  • Jefferson
See County Maps
Clarion County Pennsylvania Courthouse.jpg
Location Map
Clarion County PA Map.png
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County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The county is located in the west central area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Clarion County Courthouse
421 Main Street
Clarion, PA 16214
Phone: 814-226-1119
Fax: 814-227-2501
Register and Recorder's Office Phone: 814-226-4000 Ext. 2500
Prothonotary Phone: 814-226-1119
Register of Wills/Orphans' Court Phone: 814-226-4000, ext 2500 Fax: 814-226-1117
Clarion County Website

Recorder's office holds birth and death records 1893-1906, marriage records from 1885, probate and land records from 1840
Prothonotary Clerk has divorce records from 1880 and court records from 1874[3]

Clarion County, Pennsylvania Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Information for this chart was taken from various sources, often containing conflicting dates. This information should be taken as a guide and should be verified by contacting the county and/or the state government agency.

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[4]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1893 1885 1893 1874 1840 1840 1790
*Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1906. General compliance by 1915.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

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

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

  • Formed from Venango and Armstrong Counties 11 March 1839.[5]
  • County seat: Clarion[6]
  • Before 1795: The area of future Clarion County was part of Northumberland County.
  • 13 April 1795: The future Clarion was located in the newly formed Lycoming County when Lycoming was formed from Northumberland..
  • 12 March 1800: The future Clarion was located in portions of Venango and Armstrong Counties when they were formed from Lycoming County. About 1/3 of Clarion County was in Venango County and 2/3 in Armstrong County.[7]

For animated maps illustrating Pennsylvania county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Pennsylvania County Boundary Maps" (1673-1878) may be viewed at the website.

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit HomeTown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[8]

Census-designated places

History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

Business, Commerce, and Occupations[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Clarion County, Pennsylvania online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
Tombstone Transcriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See Pennsylvania Cemeteries for more information

Additional Cemetery Resources

Census Records[edit | edit source]

Federal Census

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1850 23,565
1860 24,988 6.0%
1870 26,537 6.2%
1880 40,328 52.0%
1890 36,802 −8.7%
1900 34,283 −6.8%
1910 36,683 7.0%
1920 36,170 −1.4%
1930 34,531 −4.5%
1940 38,410 11.2%
1950 38,334 −0.2%
1960 37,480 −2.2%
1970 38,414 2.5%
1980 43,362 12.9%
1990 41,699 −3.8%
2000 41,765 0.2%
2010 39,988 −4.3%
Source: "".

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Church records and the information they provide vary significantly depending on the denomination and the record keeper. For members, they may contain: age, date of baptism, christening, or birth; marriage date and maiden name; death/burial date. For general information about Pennsylvania denominations, see Pennsylvania Church Records.

Clarion county pennsylvania churches.png

County-wide Database - Multi-denominational

Contains church records of the First United Methodist Church (New Bethlehem, Pa.).

Many church histories, record transcriptions, photos, and related resources are online at the Clarion County Genealogy & History Web site.


  • "100 years of the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese 1843 -1943". Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Quarterly, 17:1. FamilySearch Library book 974.8 B2wg. Contains chronolgy, map, county-by-county information.

Foxburg Presbyterian Church

List of Churches and Church Parishes

Court Records[edit | edit source]

For information about records kept in the Orphan's court, Prothonotary Court, Court of Common Pleas, and other courts in counties of Pennsylvania, visit the Pennsylvania Court Records Wiki page.

Directories[edit | edit source]

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

For online resources, passenger lists, and specific groups coming to Pennsylvania, see Pennsylvania Emigration and Immigration.

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups[edit | edit source]

For groups that came, see People section of the Pennsylvania Emigration page.

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

The Orphan's Court ensures the best interests of those not capable of handling their own affairs: minors, incapacitated persons, decedents' estates, and more.[11]

Land and Property Records[edit | edit source]

Land and property records can place an ancestor in a specific location and reveal family relationships. Records include: deeds, abstracts, indexes, mortgages, leases, grants, sheriff sales, land patents, maps and more. For more information, see Pennsylvania Land and Property.

Media:Clarion county pennsylvania townships.pngClarion county pennsylvania townships.png
About this image

Land records in Clarion County began in 1839. These records are filed with the Register and Recorder's office in Clarion, Pennsylvania.

Land Records Online

  • 1806-1946 Deed books, 1806-1888; Indexes to Deeds, 1806-1946 FHL film 1315283 (first of 27 films) - images only; click on the camera icon to view images; Early records for the area that would later become Clarion County are for the applicable parent counties.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Armstrong CountyButler CountyVenango CountyForest CountyJefferson CountyPA CLARION.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


  • Maps of Pennsylvania (1673-1878)
  • Ancestor Tracks has posted free, downloadable images from Caldwell's Illustrated Historical Combination Atlas of Clarion County, 1877. 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.
  • Charles Reeves has also prepared the most-complete version available today of Caldwell's 1877 Illustrated Historical Combination Atlas of Clarion County, using pages from an original atlas and supplementing those with images from the Library of Congress. These high-resolution images are available on CD from Mr. Reeves' Web site.
  • FamilySearch Places: Map of cities and towns in this county - How to Use FS Places

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Civil War

World War II

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Naturalization records can contain information about immigration and nativity. Prior to 1906, it is rare to find the town of origin in naturalization records. For more information, see Pennsylvania Naturalization

Online Naturalization Indexes and Records

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Newspapers may contain obituaries, births, marriages, deaths, anniversaries, family gatherings, family travel, achievements, business notices, engagement information, and probate court proceedings. Newspapers are often found in local or university libraries, historical or genealogical societies, or state archives in the area where the newspaper was published. See Pennsylvania Newspapers for more information.

Newspapers of Clarion County

Online Newspapers

To learn if there are newspapers online for a specific town or city in Pennsylvania, see and search for the town or the name of a newspaper.

Online Newspaper Abstracts

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Obituaries are generally found in local newspapers where the person died or where family members lived. Local libraries or societies may have indexes or other sources.

Online Obituary Abstracts

Obituary Excerpts and Abstracts

  • Leader Vindicator (New Bethlehem, Pennsylvania) and Josephine Y. Baggs, Obituaries, ca. 1988 (SLC, Utah, 1991) FHL film 1697507 item 7 Obituaries collected by Josephine Y. Baggs in 1989 of people who lived in Armstrong or Jefferson Counties. Arranged alphabetically.
  • Reed, Sally Jordan, Clarion Democrat, Clarion Jacksonian, Clarion Republican, Republican Gazette, Obituaries from the Clarion Democrat (Shippenville, Pennsylvania:S.J. Reed, c2000-2002) In various libraries (WorldCat); FHL book 974.869/C2 V4r 1901-1920

Other Records[edit | edit source]

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Probate matters in Clarion County are handled by the Orphans' Court and start when the county was created.

In addition to wills and administrations, the Orphans' Court also handles: audits of accounts of executors, administrators, trustees, and guardians; distribution of estates; appointments of guardians; adoptions; appeals from the Register of Wills; inheritance tax appeals, and various petitions and motions.

Online Probate Indexes and Records

School Records[edit | edit source]

Social Security Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[edit | edit source]

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

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. County marriage records were kept in earnest in 1885. Births and deaths, at the county level, were begun in 1893 and kept through 1905. For the most complete set of records, contact the County Orphans' Court.

Birth[edit | edit source]

Early births 1893–1905 are located at the County Orphans' Court. For more information, see Pennsylvania Vital Records.

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Pennsylvania marriages were created by county officials. Contact Clarion County Courthouse

Death[edit | edit source]

Early deaths 1893–1905 are located at the County Orphans' Court. For indexes and records, 1906 and later, see Pennsylvania Vital Records.

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Divorce records are available through the office of the Prothonotary.

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

Listed below are archives in Clarion County. For state-wide archival repositories, see Pennsylvania Archives and Libraries.

National Archives at Philadelphia
14700 Townsend Road
Philadelphia, PA 19154-1096
Phone: 215-305-2044
Fax: 215-305-2052

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Center and Affiliate Library Locator map - search for local Family History Centers or Affiliate Libraries

  • Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
  • FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.

Local Centers and Affiliate Libraries

Libraries[edit | edit source]

Listed below are libraries in Clarion County. For state-wide library facilities, see Pennsylvania Archives and Libraries.

Clarion County Library System
644 Main Street
Clarion, PA 16214
Phone: 814-226-7172
Multiple locations

Eccles-Lesher Memorial Library
673 Main Street
P.O. Box 359
Rimersburg, PA 16248
Phone: 814-473-3800
Resources include a burial database with a wealth of cemetery and burial records for Clarion County; these records often have parents' names, spouse name, sometimes additional marriage information.

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

Listed below are societies in Clarion County. For state-wide genealogical societies, see Pennsylvania Societies.

Clarion County Historical Society
17 S 5th Avenue
Clarion, PA 16214
Phone: 814-226-4450

Websites[edit | edit source]

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The usage of "Mormon" and "LDS" on this page is approved according to current policy.

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Pennsylvania.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2.,_Pennsylvania accessed 2/1/2017
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists : United States of America, 10th ed., (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002) Clarion County, Pennsylvania, p.589
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Pennsylvania.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  5. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Pennsylvania.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  6. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Pennsylvania.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  7. Pennsylvania Line: A Research Guide to Pennsylvania Genealogy and Local History, 1990 ed (Laughlintown, Pa.: Southwest Pennsylvania Genealogical Services, 1990). FHL Book 974.8 D27p 1990.
  8. Wikipedia contributors, "Clarion County, Pennsylvania," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Pennsylvania, accessed 17 January 2020.
  9. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at
  10. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at
  11. The Philadelphia Courts at Common Pleas accessed 10 July 2012
  12. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at
  13. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at