Perry County, Pennsylvania Genealogy

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

County Facts
County seat: New Bloomfield
Organized: March 22, 1820
Parent County(s): Cumberland[1]
Neighboring Counties
Snyder  • Cumberland  • Juniata  • Northumberland  • Dauphin  • Franklin
See County Maps
Perry County, Pennsylvania Courthouse.jpg
Location Map
Perry County PA Map.png
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County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The county was named for Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry. It is located in the central area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Perry County Courthouse
P.O. Box 325
2 East Main St.
New Bloomfield, PA 17068
Phone: 717-582-2131
Fax: 717-582-5167
Prothonotary/Clerk of Courts/Orphans’ Court/Register of Wills/Recorder Phone: 717-582-2131
Perry County Website

County Clerk has birth records 1893-1918, marriage records from 1870, and land records from 1820
Register of Wills has probate records[3]

Copies of documents including birth, marriages, deaths, divorces, land, and probate records can be obtained by using: Pennsylvania Public Records.

Perry 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 1870 bef 1906 1820 1820 1820 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]

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
  • Acker
  • Andersonburg
  • Alinda
  • Bixler
  • Couchtown
  • Cove
  • Dellville
  • Elliottsburg
Historic communities

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 Perry 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


  • Cemetery records often reveal birth, marriage, death, relationship, military, and religious information.

Additional Cemetery Resources

  • ca.1700-ca.1950 Pennsylvania Cemetery Records, ca. 1700-ca. 1950 at FamilySearch - How to Use this Collection; index and images
  • Cemetery Abstracts at FamilySearch - How to Use this Collection; index and images (incomplete)
  • PA-Roots
  • Names in Stone
  • Ancestry ($)
  • Pennsylvania Cemeteries is useful as it gives the locations of the cemeteries in Pennsylvania that one can then go and search if needed.
  • Ancestry's Red Book: Large collections of cemetery records are located at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, and at many local libraries and historical societies. The Pennsylvania State Library maintains the state’s Daughters of the American Revolution cemetery collection (see page 7). Various compilations of cemetery inscriptions have been published, such as those for the western counties by Closson Press and Mechling Books.[8]

Census Records[edit | edit source]

Federal Census

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1820 11,342
1830 14,261 25.7%
1840 17,096 19.9%
1850 20,088 17.5%
1860 22,793 13.5%
1870 25,447 11.6%
1880 27,522 8.2%
1890 26,276 −4.5%
1900 26,263 −0.0%
1910 24,136 −8.1%
1920 22,875 −5.2%
1930 21,744 −4.9%
1940 23,213 6.8%
1950 24,782 6.8%
1960 26,582 7.3%
1970 28,615 7.6%
1980 35,718 24.8%
1990 41,172 15.3%
2000 43,609 5.9%
2010 45,969 5.4%
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.

  • Ancestry's Red Book is the digitized version that has links to multiple societies and churches for more information on what is contained or how to contact them to get information.

    Perry County Pennsylvania Churches

County-wide Database - Multi-denominational

Contains the church records of:
  • Duncannon: Asbury United Methodist Church; Otterbein United Methodist Church
  • Marysville: Bethany United Methodist Church
  • Newport: Newport United Methodist Parish Charge

United Brethren

  • 1856-1917 Church records [Perry Circuit of the United Brethren in Christ] covers Classes attached to Perry Circuit are listed in the catalog entry; FHL 1053128

St. Michael's Lutheran Church was in Pfoutz Valley and was organized between 1770 and 1773. The Lebanon Lutheran Church was also an early church in the area in 1790 sharing a church with the Loysville Reformed Church. Mt. Zion Lutheran Church organized in about 1809, met in the old Union Church with St. Peter's Reformed Church.

  • 1774-1870 St. Michael Evangelical Lutheran Church, Pfouts Valley, Baptism Index 1774-1870 in International Genealogical Index at FamilySearch. Batch C504851
  • 1875-1884 St. Michael Evangelical Lutheran Church, Pfouts Valley, Baptism Index 1875-1884 in International Genealogical Index at FamilySearch. Batch M523911
  • 1846-1847 Marriages performed by John William Heim, Perry County, Pennsylvania - original at the Wentz Library of the Lutheran Theological Seminary, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; FHL 553473
  • 1901-1947 Church records (Newport Evangelical Charge) – Newport Charge included the following churches: Calvary at Newport, Ebenezer at Milford now Wila, Mt. Zion at Elliottsburg, Stony Point in Southwest Madison Township, St. Mary's in Liverpool and Messiah or Hunter's Valley in Spring Township; FHL 555502
  • Classified index to Churches between the mountains: a history of the Lutheran congregations in Perry County, Pennsylvania by Rev. D. H. Focht – A book that is more about history, but it may lead to where one needs to look; FHL 33326


  • 1893-1930 Church records, 1893-1930 (Newport Methodist) which covers Newport, Millerstown, and Donnally Mills. In 1906 Newport was its own charge.

The Centre Presbyterian Church was one of the first churches in the area being organized in 1766. Dick's Gap Church and Blain Presbyterian Church or the Upper Church of Blain were both organized in 1767.

Loysville Reformed Church shared their church with the Lebanon Lutheran Church. St. Peter's Reformed Church was organized in about 1809 and met with Mt. Zion Lutheran Church in the Old Union 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.[9]

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 Perry County began in 1820. These records are filed with the Register and Recorder office in New Bloomfield, Pennsylvania.

Online Land Indexes and Records

  • 1820-present Images are available online using the Landex system. There is a fee to view the images.
  • 1820-1950 Deed Book, 1820-1866; Indexes, 1820-1950 FHL film 22010 (first of 23 films) - images only; click on the camera icon to view images

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Northumberland County,Snyder CountyJuniata CountyFranklin CountyCumberland CountyDauphin CountyPA PERRY.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

War of 1812

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 Perry 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

1862-1922 Newspaper articles pertaining to Blain Borough
1894 and 1918 Misc news from The News

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

Other Records[edit | edit source]

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Probate matters in Perry 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 Perry 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 Perry 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 Perry County. For state-wide library facilities, see Pennsylvania Archives and Libraries.

The Lenig-Focht Library
P.O. Box 73
763 Dix Hill Rd.
Newport, PA 17074-0073
The Library collection includes Surname File, church records, newspapers, cemetery records, mortuary records, court records, census schedules.

Public Libraries of Perry County, Pennsylvania

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

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

Historical Society of Perry County
P.O. Box 81
Newport, PA 17074-0081
Phone: 717-567-9011

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_Genealogy accessed 2/12/2017
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists : United States of America, 10th ed., (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002) Perry County, Pennsylvania, p.592
  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, "Perry County, Pennsylvania," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Pennsylvania, accessed 30 January 2020.
  8. Ancestry's Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 1998.
  9. The Philadelphia Courts at Common Pleas accessed 10 July 2012
  10. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at