Venango County, Pennsylvania Genealogy

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

County Facts
County seat: Franklin
Organized: March 12, 1800
Parent County(s): Allegheny, Lycoming[1]
Neighboring Counties
Crawford  • Butler  • Warren  • Mercer  • Forest  • Clarion  • Armstrong
See County Maps
Venango County Pennsylvania Courthouse.jpg
Location Map
Venango County PA Map.png
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County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

Venango County is located in the west-central area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Venango County Courthouse
1168 Liberty Street
Franklin, PA 16323
Phone: 814-432-9500
Prothonotary and Clerk of Courts: 814-432-9577
Register and Recorder: 814-432-9539
Venango County Website

Clerk of Courts and Recorder of Deeds has birth and death records from 1893-1905, marriage records from 1885, probate and land records from 1806 and court records.[3]

Venango 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 1820 1806 1806 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 Allegheny and Lycoming Counties 12 March 1800. [5]
  • County seat: Franklin[6]
  • 1784: The future Venango County was part of the area secured by the Treaty of Fort Stanwix, also known as the "Last Purchase"
  • 1785-1788: The eastern part of the future Venango County was annexed to Northumberland County; the western portion was part of the Donation Lands
  • 1788-1795: The eastern part of the future Venango County remained part of Northumberland County; the western portion became part of the newly created (1788) Allegheny County.
  • 1795-1800: The eastern part of the future Venango Co. became part of newly created Lycoming County which was carved out of Northumberland County in 1795; the western portion remained part of Allegheny County.
  • 11 March 1839: Clarion County set off. [7]
  • 11 April 1848: Forest County set off. [8]

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:[9]

Unincorporated communities
  • Fertigs
  • Raymilton
Census-designated places
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 Venango 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.
1800 1,130
1810 3,060 170.8%
1820 4,915 60.6%
1830 9,470 92.7%
1840 17,900 89.0%
1850 18,310 2.3%
1860 25,043 36.8%
1870 47,925 91.4%
1880 43,670 −8.9%
1890 46,640 6.8%
1900 49,648 6.4%
1910 56,359 13.5%
1920 59,184 5.0%
1930 63,226 6.8%
1940 63,958 1.2%
1950 65,328 2.1%
1960 65,295 −0.1%
1970 62,353 −4.5%
1980 64,444 3.4%
1990 59,381 −7.9%
2000 57,555 −3.1%
2010 54,984 −4.5%
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.

Venango County Pennsylvania churches


Methodist Church, Plumer

Methodist Episcopal Church, Rouseville


Amity Presbyterian Church, Irwin Township

Presbyterian Church, Nickleville

Presbyterian Church, Utica

Scrubgrass Presbyterian Church

United Presbyterian Church, Emlenton

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.

Land records in Venango County began in 1800. These records are filed with the Register and Recorder office in Franklin, Pennsylvania.

Land Indexes and Records

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Mercer CountyButler CountyClarion CountyForest County, Pennsylvania GenealogyWarren CountyCrawford CountyPA VENANGO.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 Venango 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

  • Venango County Genealogical Club, Rockland Presbyterian Church, Presbyterian Church of Tionesta, Clapp Farm Cemetery and the Methodist Church of Franklin, Venango County Records, Volume 1 (Oil City, PA:Venango County Genealogical Club, 1984) FHL book 974.896 H2v
  • Romig, Nancy Byers, Scrips and Scraps; Scrapbook Abstracts, Venango County and Surrounding Areas (Apollo, PA:Closson Press, c1995) FHL 974.896 H2r
  • Collected by Sarah E. Milford, Carol H. Jamison and Marilyn Q. Gerhold, Obituaries from Venango and Butler Counties (S.I.:s.n., 2006) FHL book 974.89 V4m Digital version available at catalog entry.

Other Records[edit | edit source]

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Probate matters in Venango 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 Venango 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. The office of the Prothonotary is located in the courthouse building.

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

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

Oil Region Library Association
Operates three district libraries, with some locations having historical research rooms and genealogical research materials, including local family histories.

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

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

Venango County Historical Society
307 S. Park Street
Franklin, PA 16323
Phone: 814-432-8260
Research library operates limited hours; check website.

Venango County Genealogical Club
2 Central Avenue
Heritage Room in the Oil City Library
Oil City, PA 16301-3122
Phone: 814-678-3077 (answered only on Saturdays from 1-5 pm)

Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society (WPGS)
4400 Forbes Avenue
Pennsylvania Department
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-4007

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 2/12/2017
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists : United States of America, 10th ed., (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002), p. 593.
  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. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Pennsylvania.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  8. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Pennsylvania.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  9. Wikipedia contributors, "Venango County, Pennsylvania," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Pennsylvania, accessed 3 February 2020.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 10.7 10.8 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