Armstrong County, Pennsylvania Genealogy

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Armstrong County

Guide to Armstrong County, Pennsylvania ancestry, family history, and genealogy sources including birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, wills, deeds and land records, Civil War records, Revolutionary War records, family histories, cemeteries, churches, tax records, newspapers, and obituaries.


Armstrong County, Pennsylvania
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Armstrong County
Location in the state of Pennsylvania
Map of the U.S. highlighting Pennsylvania
Location of Pennsylvania in the U.S.
Founded March 12, 1800
County Seat Kittanning
Armstrong County, Pennsylvania Courthouse.jpg
Address Armstrong County Courthouse
450 Market St.
Kittanning, PA 16201
Armstrong County Courthouse
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Armstrong County Pennsylvania Historical Facts

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[1]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1893 1895 1893 1805 1805 1805 1790
Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1906. General compliance by 1915.

Parent Counties: Formed from Allegheny, Lycoming and Westmoreland Counties 12 March 1800.[2]

County Seat: Kittanning

Neighboring Counties: Clarion  • Indiana  • Butler  • Westmoreland  • Jefferson


It is named of John Armstrong, who represented Pennsylvania in the Continental Congress and served as a major general during the Revolutionary War. It's county seat is Kittanning. It was organized March 12, 1800. It is located in the Central-west section of the state.[3]

Boundary Changes

  • 1771 - 1772: The future southern 1/3 of today's Armstrong County became part of Bedford County; the rest remained unsettled.
  • 1773: The future southern 1/3 of Armstrong was incorporated into Westmoreland County when Westmoreland was formed 26 February 1773.
  • 1785: For the first time, the future northern 2/3 of Armstrong became part Northumberland County; the future southern 1/3 remains in Westmoreland County.
  • 1796: The future northern 2/3 was subdivided, with most becoming part of Lycoming County and the rest part of Allegheny County; lower 1/3 remains in Westmoreland County.
  • 11 March 1839: Clarion County was set off, resulting in  Armstrong County's current boundaries. [4]

For animated maps illustrating Pennsylvania county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Pennsylvania County Boundary Maps" (1673-1878) may be viewed for free at the website.

Records Loss

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Armstrong County Pennsylvania Genealogy Resources

Bible Records


Tombstone Transcriptions Online Tombstone Transcriptions in Print List of Cemeteries in the county Family History Library
PA Cemeteries WorldCat BillionGraves
PAGenWeb Archives Linkpendium
Tombstone Photos PAGravestones
PA-Roots Epodunk
See Pennsylvania Cemeteries for more information.

Additional Cemetery Resources


For tips on accessing Armstrong County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Federal (or United States) census records online, see: Pennsylvania Census.

There are no county or state census records available for Pennsylvania. County and city tax records can be used as a substitute when census records are not available.

Church Records

Church records and the information they provide vary significantly depending on the denomination and the record keeper. They may contain information about members of the congregation, such as age, date of baptism, christening, or birth; marriage information and maiden names; and death date. In Pennsylvania, church records are often used as a substitute for birth, marriage, and death information. For general information about Pennsylvania denominations, view the Pennsylvania Church Records wiki page.

Armstrong county pennsylvania churches.png

Finding Church Records at Other Repositories

Additional church records can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Armstrong County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Church Records  in online catalogs like:

County-wide Database


Contains church records of:
  • Apollo: Apollo United Methodist Church
  • Chicora: St. Paul's United Church of Christ
  • Elderton: Elderton United Presbyterian Church
  • Gilpin: Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church
  • Kiskiminetas: Boiling Springs Presbyterian Church
  • Kittanning: St. Paul's Episcopal Church
  • Leechburg: Greystone United Presbyterian Church
  • Manorville: Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church
  • Redbank: St. Mary's Episcopal Church
  • "100 years of the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese 1843–1943". Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Quarterly, 17:1. FamilySearch Library book 974.8 B2wg. Contains chronolgy, map, county-by-county information.

In 1802 two Presbyterian churches were organizes about eight miles apart on the west side of the Allegheny River in Buffalo Township. From those two churches sprang all the Presbyterian churches in the county. [5]

Calvin United Presbyterian Church, Apollo

First Presbyterian Church, Apollo

First Presbyterian Church, Kittanning

Presbyterian Church, Brady's Bend

Court Records

Armstrong County, Pennsylvania Genealogy court records are housed at the Armstrong County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Courthouse. For many counties copies of court records may be found at the Pennsylvania State Archives and in the FamilySearch collection. Note that within these collections some films may contain the same records, but have different titles. Other titles are not duplicates. See Finding Court Records at other repositories within this section for links to the online catalogs for these two collections. Films at the Pennsylvania State Archives are not available for inter-library loan. If court records are available FamilySearch films may be available at a local Family History Center. Call ahead for availability.

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. Armstrong County has its own judicial district. Judges of the Common Pleas courts are elected to 10-year terms. A president judge and a court administrators serve in each judicial district.[7]

Clerk of the Court

The Clerk of Courts prepares and maintains the records for the Criminal Division of the Court of Common Pleas. The Clerk signs and affixes the Seal of the Courts to all writs and processes, administers oaths and affirmations, and assumes custody of the seal and records of the Courts. The Clerk certifies and distributes orders of the Court. The Clerk also certifies and prepares bills of costs for the defendants and utilizes the computerized financial management system to disburse fines, costs and restitution.[8] For the Armstrong County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Clerk of Courts address see the Courthouse section on this page.


The office of the Prothonotary is the custodian of all civil matters in the county. This includes naturalization, immigration, equity actions, judgements, federal and local tax liens, city liens, family court, arbitrations, license suspension appeals, appeals to higher court, commercial code filings, applications for passports and divorce proceedings. See the Courthouse section on this page for the Armstrong County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Prothonotary office information.

Orphan's Court

See Vital Records
The Orphans' Court is responsible for a wide range of matters. The name of the Court is derived from the more general definition of "orphan," that being a person or thing that is without protective affiliation or sponsorship. This would include those not capable of handling their own affairs, minors, incapacitated persons, decedents estates, nonprofit corporations and trusts. It is the role of the Court to ensure that the best interests of the person or entity are not compromised.

It is believed the name of this court was borrowed from the Court of Orphans of the city of London, England which had the care and guardianship of children of deceased citizens, in their minority.[9]

For Armstrong County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Orphans' Court contact information see the Courthouse section on this page.

Finding Court Records at Other Repositories

Additional court records can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Armstrong County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Court Records in online catalogs like:

Emigration and Immigration

For information about emigration into Pennsylvania, see the Pennsylvania Emigration and Immigration page.

Ethnic Groups





  • History of Armstrong County Pennsylvania, published in 1883 by Robert Walter Smith, has been transcribed and posted online at the Armstrong County Genealogy Project.  The description on the site says, "This history is considered to be the best Armstrong County resource for researchers. It contains very detailed information about each of the townships to include the descriptions of the property and who owned it."
  • The two volumes of History of Armstrong County, Pa, Her People, Past and Present have been transcribed and posted online as part of the Armstrong County Genealogy Project. Volume 1 contains the historical record of the county and volume 2 contains hundreds of biographical articles of Armstrong County people.
Published Histories

Land and Property

Land records in Armstrong County began in 1805. These records are filed with the Register and Recorder office in Kittanning, Pennsylvania.

Land and property records can place an ancestor in a particular location, provide economic information, and reveal family relationships. Land records include: deeds, abstracts, indexes, mortgages, leases, grants, sheriff sales, land patents, and maps. Property records include liens as well as livestock brands and estray records.

The following are examples of available resources:

Online Land Records

  • 1805–present Armstrong County offers online access to indexes and images. Fees apply.

Land Records on Microfilm


Note that the "Maps" section below includes maps related to land ownership.

Additional Resources

See Pennsylvania Land and Property for more information about using land records, especially about original land warrants, surveys, and patents filed at the state land office.

Additional resources can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Armstrong County Pennsylvania Land in online catalogs such as:

Armstrong County


  • Maps of Pennsylvania (1673-1878)
  • Ancestor Tracks has posted Map of Armstrong Co., Pennsylvania which was published in 1861 and is referred to in histories of the county as "Pomeroy's Map." 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 to commercially. We hereby give permission to use them strictly for personal use; please attribute to Ancestor Tracks.


Revolutionary War

Men living in what is now Armstrong County (then Westmoreland County) served in the 8th Pennsylvania Regiment.[10]

Naturalization and Citizenship

Naturalization records can contain information about immigration and nativity. Prior to 1906, it is rare to find the town of origin in naturalization records. See Pennsylvania Naturalization for more information about the types of records and availability.

Naturalizations granted at the county level were kept by the office of the Prothonotary. Naturalizations could also be granted on the Federal Court level.

Naturalization Records available for Armstrong County, Pennsylvania include the following:

Online Naturalization Indexes and Records

Original Naturalization Records on Microfilm

Finding Naturalization Indexes at Other Repositories

Additional naturalization indexes can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Armstrong County, Pennsylvania Genealogy naturalization in online catalogs like:


Armstrong County, Pennsylvania Genealogy newspapers may contain genealogical value including obituaries, births, marriages, deaths, anniversaries, family gatherings, family travel, achievements, business notices, engagement information, and probate court proceedings.

To access newspapers, contact public libraries, historical/genealogical societies, college or university libraries, or state archives in the area where the newspaper was published.

For information on state-wide newspapers see Pennsylvania Newspapers

Newspapers of Armstrong 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

Newspaper Excerpts and Abstracts

  • Shirley, Carmella Corcetti (collected and arranged), Marriages and anniversaries: taken from the Leader Times newspapers, 1922-1962-1997-1998-1999-200 the Vandergrift News, 1997-1998-1999-2001 (Chicora, Pennsylvania:Mechling Bookbindery, c2002) FHL book 974.88 V2sc

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 Newspaper heading

Online Obituary Abstracts

Obituary Excerpts and Abstracts

  • Shirley, Carmella Corcetti, Obituary Abstracts from Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, Newspapers (Butler, Pennsylvania, Mechling Bookbindery, c1997,c2002) FHL book 974.888 V48s v. 1,2


Indentured Servants


Poorhouse, Almshouse

Probate Records

Probate matters in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania Genealogy are handled by the Orphans' Court and start when the county was created. To obtain original probate records, contact the Orphan's Court in the County Courthouse.

In addition to wills and administrations, the Orphans' Court also handles: audits of accounts of executors, administrators, trustees, and guardians; distribution of estates of decedents, incompetents, and minors; appointment and control of guardians; adoptions; appeals from the Register of Wills involving probate matters; inheritance tax appeals and various petitions and motions.

Online Probate Records

Original probate records for some Pennsylvania counties are available free online as digital images at The dates vary significantly for each county and not all counties are listed. Some counties may only have probate indexes. This Pennsylvania collection of images may be browsed through the links listed below:

Complete Collection:

Online Probate Indexes

Original Probate Records on Microfilm

Probate Abstracts

Additional Probate Indexes and Abstracts

Additional probate indexes or abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Armstrong County, Pennsylvania Genealogy probate wills in online catalogs like:



The Pennsylvania Archives collection contains county archive records that can be searched onsite. Currently the Archives' staff cannot provide research or make copies of these records. Their collections include Almshouse Registers; Tax records; Birth, Death and Marriage Indexes and Records; Midwife records; African American records; Wills; Deeds; Naturalizations; Coroner's inquests; and Orphan's Court dockets. A list of the Archive's county holdings are on Microfilm or Manuscript form.

National Archives at Philadelphia
14700 Townsend Road
Philadelphia, PA 19154-1096
Phone: (215) 305-2044
Fax:(215) 305-2052


Armstrong County Courthouse
450 Market St.
Kittanning, PA 16201
Phone: (724) 543-2500

Orphan's Court
Suite 102
Phone: (724) 548-3220

Prothonotary and Clerk of Courts
Armstrong County Courthouse
500 E. Market Street
Suite 103
Kittanning, PA 16201
Phone: (724) 548-3252

Family History Centers

Family history centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes. See family history center for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.

Family History Centers (FHCs) are branches of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, and are located all over the world. Their goal is to provide resources for family history research.

The main FHC for Armstrong County, Pennsylvania Genealogy is the Indiana Pennsylvania Family History Center. For additional nearby Family History Centers, search online in the FHC directory.


The Armstrong County Library system do not appear to have a central library. There are currently four libraries in the system:Apollo, Ford City, Kittanning and Worthington Libraries.


Armstrong County Historical Museum and Genealogical Society
300 N Mckean St
Kittaning, PA 16201-1373
Phone: (724) 548-5707
The Society has collected historical and genealogical records including family and church histories. It offers a look-up service; check site for rates.


Vital Records

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. While the records for that time period are available, there were few events recorded. County marriage records were kept in earnest in 1885. Births and deaths, at the county level, were begun in 1893 and kept through 1905. Abstracts and copies of vital records are available for some counties, but most are incomplete. For the most complete set of records, always contact the County Orphans' Court.

See also How to order Pennsylvania Vital Records


Early births 1893–1905 are located at the County Orphans' Court. See the heading Court Records on this page for contact information.

Indexes for Pennsylvania birth records are available through the Department of of Health for 1906 and 1907. Once an individual is located in the index a non certified Birth certificate can be obtained by writing and sending $3.00 to:

Division of Vital Records
ATTN: Public Records
P.O. Box 1528
New Castle, PA 16103

  • 1726 - 1930 Pennsylvania, Births and Christenings, 1709-1950 - free index. Not complete for all years. This index is an electronic index for the years 1726 to 1930. It is not necessarily intended to index any specific set of records. This index is not complete for any particular place or region. This collection may include information previously published in the International Genealogical Index or Vital Records Index collections.
  • 1852 - 1854 Pennsylvania Births – ($) Index with images.
  • 1897 - 1971 Armstrong County Birth Index, Volumes 5-23, 1897-1971 in International Genealogical Index at FamilySearch - free.[11]

Pennsylvania marriages are located at the county level. Contact the Armstrong County, Pennsylvania Genealogy clerk's office for these records.


Divorce records are available through the office of the Prothonotary. The office of the Prothonotary is located in the courthouse building.


Early deaths 1893–1905 are located at the County Orphans' Court. See the heading Court Records on this page for contact information.

Indexes for Pennsylvania death records are available through the Department of Health for 1906 through 1962. Once an individual is located in the index a non certified death certificate can be obtained obtained by writing and sending $3.00 to:

Division of Vital Records
ATTN: Public Records
P.O. Box 1528
New Castle, PA 16103

  • 1852 - 1854 Pennsylvania Deaths – ($) Index with images.

Finding Vital Records at Other Repositories

Additional vital records can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Armstrong County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Vital Records in online catalogs like:

Genealogy Societies and Libraries

Armstrong County Pennsylvania Genealogy Websites

Armstrong County Pennsylvania Places

Populated Places

Township Created From
Toby 1806 Sep 18 one of the six original townships
Red Bank 1806 Sep 18 one of the six original townships
Kittanning 1806 Sep 18 one of the six original townships
Allegheny 1806 Sep 18 one of the six original townships
Buffalo 1806 Sep 18 one of the six original townships
Sugar Creek 1806 Sep 18 one of the six original townships
Plumcreek 1810  
Mahoning 1851 Madison, Pine, Wayne and Red Bank Townships

Armstrong County Pennsylvania Genealogy References

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Armstrong County, Pennsylvania. Page 588-593 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 579-581.
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), [FHL book 973 D27e 2002].
  3.,_Pennsylvania accessed 2/1/2017
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 181. [FHL book 973 D27e 2002].
  5. Robert Walter Smith, History of Armstrong County, Pennsylvania (Tucson, Arizona: W.C. Cox, 1974), p. 38. FHL film 1000541 item 1; A digital version of this work is available at FamilySearch.
  6. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at
  7. The Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania 10 July 2012.
  8. Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania, Clerk of Courts in (accessed 25 Aug 2012)
  9. The Philadelphia Courts at accessed 10 July 2012
  10. Harold Frederic, William C. Frederick III with William J. McMaster Sr., Path of Blood: The Untold Story of the Kittanning PA. Regiment in the American Revolution (Kittanning, Pa.: W.C. Frederick, 1998). FHL Book 974.8 M2ff
  11. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at