Sullivan County, Pennsylvania Genealogy

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

County Facts
County seat: Laporte
Organized: March 15, 1847
Parent County(s): Lycoming[1]
Neighboring Counties
Bradford  • Columbia  • Luzerne  • Lycoming  • Wyoming
See County Maps
Sullivan County, Pennsylvania Courthouse.jpg
Location Map
Sullivan County PA Map.png
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Harmony Methodist Church, Joanna, Pennsylvania

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

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

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Sullivan County Courthouse
245 Muncy Street
P.O. Box 157
Laporte, PA 18626
Phone: 570-946-5201
Prothonotary, Recorder Of Deeds, Clerk Of Courts, Register Of Wills And Clerk Of Orphan's Court Phone: 570-946-7351
Sullivan County Website

In Sullivan County, the prothonotary is responsible for five different offices: Prothonotary, Recorder, Register of Wills, Clerk of Courts, and Clerk of Orphan's Court.

Clerk of Orphan Court has birth and death records 1893-1905 and marriage records from 1885
Prothonotary Office has divorce and court records from 1847
Register of Wills has Probate records from 1847
Recorder of Deeds has land records[3]

Sullivan 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 1847 1848 1847 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 Lycoming County 15 March 1847. [5]
  • County seat: Laporte[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
  • Bedford Corners
  • Beech Glen
  • Bernice
  • Bethel
  • Campbellville
  • Cherry Mills
  • Coveytown
  • Eagles Mere Park
  • Eldredsville
  • Elk Grove
  • Elkland Meeting House
  • Emmons
  • Estella
  • Murray
  • Nordmont
  • Ogdonia
  • Ringdale
  • Satterfield
  • Shinerville
  • Shunk
  • Sonestown
  • Summit
  • Tompkins Corners
  • Wheelerville
  • Wissingers
Ghost towns

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 Sullivan 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

Census Records[edit | edit source]

Federal Census

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1850 3,694
1860 5,637 52.6%
1870 6,191 9.8%
1880 8,073 30.4%
1890 11,620 43.9%
1900 12,134 4.4%
1910 11,293 −6.9%
1920 9,520 −15.7%
1930 7,499 −21.2%
1940 7,504 0.1%
1950 6,745 −10.1%
1960 6,251 −7.3%
1970 5,961 −4.6%
1980 6,349 6.5%
1990 6,104 −3.9%
2000 6,556 7.4%
2010 6,428 −2.0%
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

Contains records of:
  • Dushore: Peace Lutheran Church; Zion Lutheran Church
  • Mildred: Trinity Evangelical Lutheran 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.

Court of Common Pleas
The Courts of Common Pleas are the trial courts of Pennsylvania. Major civil and criminal cases are heard in these courts. Judges also decide cases involving adoption, divorce, child custody, abuse, juvenile delinquency, estates, guardianships, charitable organizations and many other matters.

The Common Pleas courts are organized into 60 judicial districts. Sullivan County shares its judicial district with Wyoming. Judges of the Common Pleas courts are elected to 10-year terms. A president judge and a court administrator serve in each judicial district.[8]

District Court
The District Court is presided over by a Magisterial District Judge. The judge has responsibility for non-jury trials and civil cases involving amounts under $12,000, and also performs marriages.

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]

In Sullivan County, the Prothonotary is the clerk of the Orphan's Court. In fact five different offices are combined into one office.

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 Sullivan County began in 1847. These records are filed with the Register of Deeds office in Laporte, Pennsylvania.

Online Land Indexes and Records

  • 1848-1931 Orphans Court Dockets, 1848-1879; Index, 1848-1931. FHL film 954158 - images only; click on the camera icon to view images
  • 1847-1876 Deeds, 1847-1866; Index, 1847-1876. FHL films 954159-954164 - images only; click on the camera icon to view images
  • 1847-present Images are available on-line from 1847 to the present using the Landex system. There is a fee to view the images.
Media:Sullivan county pennsylvania townships.pngSullivan county pennsylvania townships.png
About this image

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Lycoming CountyBradford CountyWyoming CountyLuzerne CountyColumbia CountyPA SULLIVAN.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


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 Sullivan 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.

Obituaries are generally found in local newspapers where the person died. However, sometimes an obituary is found in the location from which he or she originated. To find an obituary, see the information under the Sullivan

Online Obituary Abstracts

  • The Sullivan County, Pennsylvania Historical Society and Museum contains an obituaries list from 1800 to 1999 .

Other Records[edit | edit source]

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Probate matters in Sullivan 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 Sullivan 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 which is located in the Sullivan County Courthouse.

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

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

Museums[edit | edit source]

Sullivan County Historical Society and Museum
458 Meylert St
Laporte, PA 18626
Extensive collection of genealogies as well as historical records and documents. Additionally, the museum contains a large listing of maps and an obituaries list from 1800 to 2019.

Endless Mountains War Memorial Museum
103 Main Street
Box 7166
Sonestown, PA 17758
Phone: 570-482-2610
Lists of casualties, genealogical information and memorabilia.

Societies[edit | edit source]

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

Sullivan County Historical Society and Museum
458 Meylert St
Laporte, PA 18626
Phone: 570-946-5020
The Sullivan County Historical Society holdings are housed at the museum.

Websites[edit | edit source]

  • USGenWeb project. Sullivan County May have maps, name indexes, history or other information for this county. Select the state, then the county.
  • Sullivan County PA Genealogy
  • FamilySearch Catalog – The FamilySearch catalog contains descriptions and access information for all genealogical materials (including books, online materials, microfilm, microfiche, and publications) in their collection.  Use Historical Records to search for specific individuals in genealogical records.

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 2/12/2017
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists : United States of America, 10th ed., (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002) Sullivan 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, "Sullivan County, Pennsylvania," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Pennsylvania, accessed 2 February 2020.
  8. The Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania accessed 10 July 2012.
  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