Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Genealogy

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

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

County Facts
County seat: Norristown
Organized: September 10, 1784
Parent County(s): Philadelphia[1]
Neighboring Counties
Lehigh  • Berks  • Philadelphia  • Delaware  • Chester  • Bucks
See County Maps
Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Courthouse.jpg
Location Map
Montgomery County PA Map.png
Adopt-a-wiki page
Pa-rootsbuttonwiki.gif This page adopted by:
PA Roots and its members
who welcome you to contribute.
Adopt a page today

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

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

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Montgomery County Courthouse
2 E Airy St
P.O. Box 311
Norristown, PA 19404-0311
Phone: 610-278-3224
Office of the Prothonotary Phone: 610-278-3360
Recorder of Deeds Phone: 610-278-3289
Register of Wills/Orphan's Court Phone: 610-278-3400
Montgomery County Website

Clerk of the Orphan Court has birth and death records 1893-1913 and marriage records from 1885
Register of Willshas probate records from 1784
Recorder of Deeds has land records from 1784
Prothonotary Office has divorce and court records from 1784[3]

Office of the Prothonotary is responsible for recording and filing a wide variety of legal papers such as: personal injury, medical malpractice, divorce, custody, protection from abuse, judgments, change of name, District Justice appeals, processes passport applications, Federal income tax liens, and administers oaths and affirmations. Orphan's Court issues marriage licenses and has charge over petitions for adoptions. Recorder of Deeds collects deeds, mortgages, and other land records for the county. Register of Wills probates wills processes intestate estates and is an agent for the Commonwealth in collecting inheritance taxes. Records of all persons born in Montgomery County between 1893 and 1915 can be found here; after 1915, records were filed with the Department of Health.

Montgomery 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 1784 1784 1784 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]

No counties were formed from Montgomery County.

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
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]

Indentured Servants

  • Immigrant Servants Database hosted by Price Genealogy - Includes indentured/imported servants and transported convicts who served labor terms in Colonial York County, Pennsylvania.

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Montgomery 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.
1790 22,918
1800 24,150 5.4%
1810 29,703 23.0%
1820 35,793 20.5%
1830 39,406 10.1%
1840 47,241 19.9%
1850 58,291 23.4%
1860 70,500 20.9%
1870 81,612 15.8%
1880 96,494 18.2%
1890 123,290 27.8%
1900 138,995 12.7%
1910 169,590 22.0%
1920 199,310 17.5%
1930 265,804 33.4%
1940 289,247 8.8%
1950 353,068 22.1%
1960 516,682 46.3%
1970 623,799 20.7%
1980 643,621 3.2%
1990 678,111 5.4%
2000 750,097 10.6%
2010 799,884 6.6%
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

Montgomery County Pennsylvania Churches
  • 1682-1800 Humphrey, John T. Pennsylvania Births, Montgomery County, 1682-1800. Washington, D.C.: Humphrey Pub., 1993. FHL Book 974.812 K2h.
Contains baptisms of Abington Friends Monthly Meeting, Lower Merion Friends, Abington Presbyterian Church, Gwynedd Friends Monthly Meeting, Lower Dublin or Pennypack Baptist, Augustus Evangelical Lutheran Church at Trappe, New Goshenhoppen Reformed, St. Paul's Lutheran at Red Hill, New Hanover Lutheran, Falkner Swamp Reformed, Horsham Friends Monthly Meeting, Old Goshenhoppen Lutheran, Indian Creek Reformed, Indianfield Lutheran, St. Luke's Reformed at Trappe, Wentz's Reformed, Boehm's Reformed, Old Goshenhoppen Reformed Church, St. Paul's Lutheran at Barren Hill, Trinity Reformed at Pottstown, St. Paul's Lutheran at Ardmore, St. John's Lutheran at Centre Square, Emanuel Lutheran at Pottstown, St. Peter's Lutheran in North Wales Township, St. Thomas Protestant Episcopal, Plymouth Friends Monthly Meeting, records of Rev. John Casper Stoever (Lutheran), and records of Rev. Henry Melchior Muhlenberg (Lutheran).
Contains the church records of:
  • Ambler: Calvary United Methodist Church; Trinity Episcopal Church
  • Anconia Township: Anconia Mennonite Cemetery Gravestone Inscriptions; Salford Mennonite Church
  • Ardmore: Methodist Episcopal Church; United Methodist Church
  • Barren Hill: St. Peter's Lutheran Church
  • Blue Bell: Boehm's Reformed Church (United Church of Christ)
  • Bridgeport: Christ Church
  • Collegeville: Skippack Brethren Cemetery; Trinity Christian Church; Trinity Reformed Cemetery
  • Conshohocken: Calvary Church; Calvary Episcopal Church
  • Eagleville: Lower Providence Presbyterian Church
  • East Greenville: New Goshenhoppen United Church of Christ
  • Elkins Park: Church of the Annunciation
  • Fairview: Riton Brethren Cemetery
  • Flourtown: David H. Kollock III Funeral Homes, Record Books; First Presbyterian Church
  • Franconia: Indian Creek Reformed Church
  • Harleysville: Vincent Mennonite Cemetery
  • Lansdale: Plains Mennonite Cemetery
  • Limerick: James Union Lutheran and Reformed
  • Lower Salford Township: Salford Mennonite Church
  • Marion: Westminster Cemetery Company
  • Montgomeryville: Montgomery Square United Methodist
  • New Hanover: New Hanover Evangelical Lutheran Church
  • Norristown: Christ United Church of Christ; St. John's Episcopal Church; St. John's Episcopal Church (2)
  • Oaks: Germantown Ministry Church of the Brethren
  • Obelisk: St. Luke's Lutheran Church
  • Plymouth: Reverend L O Knipp Diary and Pastoral Record
  • Potts Grove: Presbyterian Church
  • Pottstown: Christ Episcopal Church; Trinity United Church of Christ
  • Prospectville: Prospectville Methodist Episcopal Church
  • Rockhill: Rockhill Mennonite Church
  • Roxborough: St. Timothy's Episcopal Church; St. Timothy's Protestant Episcopal Church [sic]
  • Schwenksville: Mennonite Cemetery
  • Skippack: Charles M. Pool Undertaker Records; Lower Skippack Mennonite Cemetery; Neutralist Newspaper; Upper Skippack Mennonite Cemetery; Warren G. Bean Ministerial Records
  • Towamencin Township: Towamencin Mennonite Cemetery Gravestone Inscriptions
  • Trappe: Frank W. Shalkop Undertaker Records
  • Upper Frederick Township: Riton Brethren Cemetery
  • Upper Hanover: Gehman Family Papers
  • Upper Providence: Providence Mennonite Cemetery
  • Worcester: Worcester Mennonite Cemetery


St. James's Church, Perkiomen

Early registers, which began in 1730, are lost. Surviving registers date from 1800.[8]

For a history, read:

  • Barrow, A.J. "St. James's, Perkiomen," The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 19 (1895):87-95. For free online access, see WeRelate.

St. Thomas's Church, Whitemarsh

Early registers "were destroyed in the Revolution."[8]


Augustus Evangelical Lutheran Church, Trappe

Indianfield Lutheran Church, Franconia Township

Lutheran Church, New Hanover

  • 1745-1809 Marriage Record of the Lutheran Church, New Hanover, Montgomery County, PA., 1748-1800 (Pennsylvania Archives, Series 2, Vol. 8, Part 7) at Ancestry ($); Google Books

Lutheran Church, Old Goshenhoppen

St. Peter's Yellow Church, North Wales Township

  • 1787-1856 Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, 1787-1856: St. Peter's Yellow Church, North Wales Township at Ancestry ($). Births, marriages, deaths.


  • 1920 Directory, First Cheltenham Methodist Episcopal Church, Cheltenham, Pa. ... February, 1920 at Ancestry ($).


Ashbourne Presbyterian Church, Elkins Park

Presbyterian Church, Abington


Boehm's Reformed Church

  • Directory, Boehm's Reformed Church ... Blue Bell Montgomery County, Pa., founded 1740 ... at Ancestry ($).

Indian Creek Reformed Church

  • 1753-1851 Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, 1753-1851: Indian Creek Reformed Church at Ancestry ($). Baptisms, marriages.

Reformed Church, Falkner Swamp

  • 1748-1800 Marriage Record of the Reformed Church, Falkner Swamp, Montgomery County, PA., 1748-1800 (Pennsylvania Archives, Series 2, Vol. 8, Part 6) at Ancestry ($); Google Books
  • 1748-1854 Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, 1748-1854: Falckner Swamp Reformed Congregation at Ancestry ($). Births, marriages, deaths.

St. Paul's Memorial Church

  • Directory, St. Paul's Memorial Church ... Oaks, Pa. ... Lent, 1926 at Ancestry ($).

Trinity Reformed Church, Pottstown

  • 1770-1865 Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, 1770-1865: Trinity Reformed Church of Pottstown at Ancestry ($). Births, marriages, deaths.

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.

Indentured Servants

  • Immigrant Servants Database hosted by Price Genealogy - Includes indentured/imported servants and transported convicts who served labor terms in Colonial York County, Pennsylvania.

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.[10]

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 Montgomery County began in 1850. These records are filed with the Recorder of Deeds office in Norristown, Pennsylvania.

Online Land Indexes and Records county pennsylvania townships.png
About this image

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Philadelphia CountyDelaware CountyChester CountyBerks CountyLehigh CountyBucks CountyPA MONTGOMERY.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


  • Maps of Pennsylvania (1673-1878)
  • Ancestor Tracks has posted free downloadable images from the 1868 Barnes' Driving Map of Philadelphia and Surroundings. This wall map located in the Library of Congress shows major landowner 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.
  • United States Geographic Survey Place Names - GNIS for Montgomery County(over 2000)
    (may not always be present in alphabetic order on first try.)
  • FamilySearch Places: Map of cities and towns in this county - How to Use FS Places

Migration[edit | edit source]

Early migration routes to Montgomery County for European settlers included:

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Revolutionary War
Local newspapers published obituaries on many Montgomery County Revolutionary War veterans. Summers abstracted these records and his article is available for free online:

  • Summers, William. "Obituary Notices of Pennsylvania Soldiers of the Revolution," The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 38 (1914):443-460. For free online access, see WeRelate.

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 Montgomery 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

  • Summers, William. "Obituary Notices of Pennsylvania Soldiers of the Revolution," The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 38 (1914):443-460. For free online access, see WeRelate.

Other Records[edit | edit source]

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Probate matters in Montgomery 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]

Pottstown, PA High School: 1941 Football Team Photo with names of individuals.

Social Security Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[edit | edit source]

  • 1798 Pennsylvania, U.S. Direct Tax Lists, 1798 at Ancestry ($).

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.

  • The following records are available at the Montgomery County Records Department:
  • 1841-1966 Delayed Birth Certificates
  • 1852-1855 Birth, Marriage and Death Records
  • 1885 to present Marriage Records, with bride and groom index
  • 1893-1915 Birth and Death Records

Birth[edit | edit source]

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

The following records are available at the Montgomery County Records Department:

  • 1841-1966 Delayed Birth Certificates
  • 1852-1854 Pennsylvania Births Ancestry $
  • 1852-1855 Birth Records
  • 1893-1895 Montgomery County Birth Index 1893-1895 in International Genealogical Index at FamilySearch.[9]
  • 1893-1915 Birth Records

Marriage[edit | edit source]

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

The following records are available at the Montgomery County Records Department:

Marriage records older than 25 years are not available at the courthouse. These records need to be brought in from an off site storage facility. When the record has been brought to the courthouse, the patron will be notified and may pick up the record at that time. Order records by completing the following form.

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.

The following records are available at the Montgomery County Records Department:

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Divorce records are available through the office of the Prothonotary Montgomery County Courthouse.

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

Listed below are archives in Montgomery 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

Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel
8339 Old York Road
Elkins Park, PA 19027
Phone: 215-887-8700
Fax: 215-887-1070
The Archives contains Jewish synagogue records from its founding in 1847 to the present.

Schwenkfelder Library and Heritage Center
105 Seminary Street
Pennsburg, PA 18073
Phone: 215–679–3103
This organization has over "200 unpublished records from churches in Montgomery, Berks, Lehigh and Bucks County, from the Schwenkfelder, Reformed, Lutheran, Mennonite, Brethren, and Roman Catholic congregations." It also has many years of five local newspapers, family genealogies and files, local and county histories, diaries, printed fraktur, cemetery records, photographs, and other types of records.

Valley Forge National Historical Park Library & Archives
1400 North Outer Line Drive
King of Prussia, PA 19406
Office: 610-783-1034
Fax: 610-783-1060
Library: 610-296-2593
This National Historic Park is staffed by The National Park Service and appointments are necessary.

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 Montgomery County. For state-wide library facilities, see Pennsylvania Archives and Libraries.

Montgomery Area Public Library
1 South Main Street
Montgomery, PA 17752
Phone: 570-547-6212
The Montgomery Area Public Library is part of the Lycoming County Library System that holds genealogical, historical, and biographical items in their collection.

Museums[edit | edit source]

Temple Judea Museum
Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel
8339 Old York Road, (SE corner Township Line Road)
Elkins Park, PA 19027
Phone: 215-887-2027
The museum has collections of art works, political items, military information, music, history, and more.

Valley Forge National Historical Park Museum
1400 North Outer Line Drive
King of Prussia, PA 19406
Phone: 610-783-1000

Societies[edit | edit source]

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

The Lower Merion Historical Society
Lower Merion Academy
506 Bryn Mawr Ave.
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004

Historical Society of Montgomery County
1654 DeKalb Street
Norristown, PA 19401
Phone: 610-272-0297

Friends Historical Association (Quakers)
Haverford College Library
370 Lancaster Avenue
Haverford, PA 19041-1392
Phone: 610-896-1161

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) Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, p.591
  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, "Montgomery County, Pennsylvania," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Pennsylvania, accessed 28 January 2020.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Philip Syng Physick Conner,"Registers of the Anglican Church in Pennsylvania prior to 1800," The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 12 (1888):341-349. For free online access, see WeRelate.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 9.8 Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at
  10. The Philadelphia Courts at Common Pleas accessed 10 July 2012