Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania Genealogy

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

County Facts
County seat: Scranton
Organized: August 21, 1878
Parent County(s): Luzerne[1]
Neighboring Counties
Susquehanna  • Wayne  • Luzerne  • Wyoming  • Monroe
See County Maps
Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania Courthouse.jpg
Location Map
Lackawanna County PA Map.png
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County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The county was named for the Lackawanna River. The county is located in the northeast corner of the state.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Lackawanna County Courthouse
200 North Washington Avenue
Scranton, PA 18503
Phone: 570-963-6773 FAX: 570-963-6477
Register of Wills / Clerk of Orphan's Court Phone: 570-963-6702
Recorder of Deeds Phone: 570-963-6775 Email:
Lackawanna County Website

County Comm Office has marriage, divorce, probate and court records from 1878[3]

Lackawanna 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
bef 1906 1878 bef 1906 1878 1878 1878 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 Luzerne County 21 August 1878. [5]
  • County seat: Scranton[6]

For animated maps illustrating Pennsylvania county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Pennsylvania County Boundary Maps" (1673-1878) may be viewed for free 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:[7]

Unincorporated communities
  • Winton
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 Lackawanna 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.
1880 89,269
1890 142,088 59.2%
1900 193,831 36.4%
1910 259,570 33.9%
1920 286,311 10.3%
1930 310,397 8.4%
1940 301,243 −2.9%
1950 257,396 −14.6%
1960 234,531 −8.9%
1970 234,107 −0.2%
1980 227,908 −2.6%
1990 219,039 −3.9%
2000 213,295 −2.6%
2010 214,437 0.5%
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.

County-wide Database – Multi-denominational

Lackawanna County Pennsylvania Churches
Contains the church records of:
  • Carbondale: Clarks Green United Methodist Church; First Presbyterian Church; Peckville United Methodist Church
  • Jermyn: Trinity Church Carbondale and St. James Church; Worth Baptist Church
  • Newton: United Methodist Church
  • Scranton: Dallas United Methodist Church; Elm Park United Methodist Church; Emmanuel Lutheran Church; Hyde Park Presbyterian Church; Petersburg Presbyterian Church; Providence United Methodist Church; St. David's Episcopal Church; St. John's Lutheran Church; St. Luke's Episcopal Church; St. Mary's Greek Catholic Church; Westminster Presbyterian Church

Because Lackawanna County was not formed until 1878, many early congregations are discussed in the Luzerne County church records.

The Baptist church was first organized in Scranton in 1859.

An early church and cemetery was built near Roaring Brook. Later the congregation moved to Scranton in the Hyde Park area. The Cathedral was erected in 1865. The property included a convent and college. [8]

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Ward and Branch Records of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  • Scranton
  • Scranton Dist

Early services were conducted by the Wilkes-Barre leaders. A congregation was organized in 1851, with service in the Methodist church. A frame church was built in Scranton in 1853 and, later a new edifice was completed in 1871. [9]


Methodism was first introduced into Luzerne County in about 1787. Meetings were held in homes and shops. By 1800, monthly meetings were held in Providence. he first meetinghouse was erected in 1828 in Carbondale. Most early preaching was done by traveling circuit-riding ministers. Later congregations were found in Hanover, Newport and the Plains. [10]

In the 1840's the Methodist congregation built a church in Scranton. This building was used every other week for Methodist services and for various other congregations the other weeks. [11]

Presbyterians met in Scranton in the Methodist church in the 1840's. In 1845 they moved their meetings to the Odd Fellow's Hall. A new building was completed in 1852. [12]

Presbyterian Church, Baldmount

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.[14]

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.

Land records in Lackawanna County began in 1878. These records are filed with the Recorder of Deeds office in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Online Land Records

  • The Recorder of Deeds offers online access to land records. Log in is required. (IQS Lackawanna County web access technical support 800-320-2617.)
  • Merrifield, Edward. "The Territory of Scranton Immediately Prior to the Lackawanna Iron and Coal Co. Purchase." Lackawanna Institute of History and Science. Historical series, no. 4. Scranton, 1896. Digital version at Internet Archive. At various libraries (WorldCat)
Media:Lackawanna county pennsylvania townships.pngLackawanna county pennsylvania townships.png
About this image

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Monroe CountyLuzerne CountyWyoming CountySusquehanna CountyWayne CountyPA LACKAWANNA.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Migration[edit | edit source]

The migration routes used by early European settlers to and from Lackawanna County included: [15]

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

Naturalization records for Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania include the following: 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 Lackawanna 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

Other Records[edit | edit source]

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Probate matters in Lackawanna 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 Lackawanna County Courthouse

*1885-1950 Pennsylvania County Marriage, 1885-1950 at FamilySearch - How to Use this Collection; index and images

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 Lackawanna County Courthouse.

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

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

Albright Memorial Library

Albright Memorial Library
500 Vine Street
Scranton, PA 18509
Phone: 570-348-3000
The Albright Library remains in its original 1893 building and has a genealogy research room which includes census records, vital records, newspapers, family surname files, a biographical index to their local history collection, some church records, and Scranton city directories. The library will do research for a fee. The library is housed in its original building built in 1893.

Museums[edit | edit source]

Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum
22 Bald Mountain Road
McDade Park
Scranton, PA 18504
Phone: 570-963-4845

Societies[edit | edit source]

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

Lackawanna Historical Society
The Catlin House
232 Monroe Ave.
Scranton, PA 18510
Phone: 570–344–3841

Northeast Pennsylvania Genealogical Society, Inc. (NEPGS)
57 North Franklin Street
Wilkes-Barré, PA 18701
Phone: 570-829-1765

Websites[edit | edit source]

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 2/12/2017
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists : United States of America, 10th ed., (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002) Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania, p.590
  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. Wikipedia contributors, "Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Pennsylvania, accessed 24 January 2020.
  8. Benjamin H. Throop, A Half Century in Scranton (Scranton, Pennsylvania : [Scranton Republican], 1895, 282-282 FamilySearch Digital Library.
  9. Benjamin H. Throop, A Half Century in Scranton (Scranton, Pennsylvania : [Scranton Republican], 1895), 283-284. FamilySearch Digital Library.
  10. Horace Hollister,History of the Lackawanna Valley (New York: C. A. Alvord, 1869), 322-326. FamilySearch Digital Library.
  11. Benjamin H. Throop, A Half Century in Scranton (Scranton, Pennsylvania : [Scranton Republican], 1895), 283-284. FamilySearch Digital Library.
  12. Benjamin H. Throop, A Half Century in Scranton (Scranton, Pennsylvania : [Scranton Republican], 1895), 283-284. FamilySearch Digital Library.
  13. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at
  14. The Philadelphia Courts at Common Pleas accessed 10 July 2012
  15. Handybook, 850-51.