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Crawford County, Pennsylvania Genealogy

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Guide to Crawford County, Pennsylvania ancestry, family history and genealogy in courthouse 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.


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Crawford County, Pennsylvania
Map
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Crawford County
Location in the state of Pennsylvania
Map of the U.S. highlighting Pennsylvania
Location of Pennsylvania in the U.S.
Facts
Founded March 12, 1800
County Seat Meadville
Courthouse
Crawford County, Pennsylvania Courthouse.jpg
Address Crawford County Courthouse
903 Diamond Park
Meadville, PA 16335
Crawford County Website
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Crawford County Pennsylvania Historical Facts[edit | edit source]

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[1]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1893 1885 1893 1800 1800 1800 1790
Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1906. General compliance by 1915.

Parent Counties: Formed from Allegheny County 12 March 1800.[2]

County Seat: Meadville

Neighboring Counties: Crawford County, Pennsylvania Genealogy residents may also have records in:[3]

Named for Col. William Crawford (1732 – 11 June 1782), an American soldier and surveyor who worked as a western land agent for George Washington. Crawford fought in the French and Indian War and the American Revolutionary War. (source:Wikipedia)

Description[edit | edit source]

The county was named for Colonel William Crawford. It is located in the Northwest section of the state.[4]

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

  • Before 1785: Not included in any county (included in Donation Lands in 1783), still unorganized territory.
  • 9 March 1771: Bedford County created from Cumberland County.
  • 26 February 1773: Westmoreland County split off from Bedford County.
  • 27 March 1781: Washington County was created from Westmoreland County, taking a part of future Crawford County.
  • 24 September 1788: Allegheny County was created from Washington and Westmoreland counties, including the part covering future Crawford County.

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

Records Loss[edit | edit source]

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

Crawford County Pennsylvania Genealogy Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Tombstone Transcriptions Online Tombstone Transcriptions in Print List of Cemeteries in the county
Findagrave.com Family History Library Findagrave.com
PA Cemeteries WorldCat BillionGraves
PAGenWeb Archives Linkpendium
Tombstone Photos PAGravestones
Interment Epodunk
BillionGraves (name)
See Pennsylvania Cemeteries for more information.

Additional Cemetery Resources

Census[edit | edit source]

For tips on accessing Crawford 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[edit | edit source]

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.

A good reference for early churches in Crawford County is History of Crawford County, Pennsylvania. The various churches are discussed in each of the township chapters.[5] Some of the early denominations include: Baptist, Congregational, Methodist Episcopal, Presbyterian and United Brethren.

Crawford county pennsylvania churches.png

Finding Church Records at Other Repositories

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


County-wide Database - Multi-denominational[edit | edit source]
Catholic[edit | edit source]
  • "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.

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Crawford County, Pennsylvania Genealogy court records are housed at the Crawford 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[edit | edit source]

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. Crawford County has its own judicial district. Judges of the Common Pleas courts are elected to 10-year terms. A president judge and a court administrator serve in each judicial district.[6]

Clerk of the Court[edit | edit source]

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.[7] For the Crawford County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Clerk of Courts address see the Courthouse section on this page.


Prothonotary[edit | edit source]

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 Crawford County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Prothonotary office information.


Orphans' Court[edit | edit source]

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.[8]

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


  • 1825-1868 Orphans' Court records; index to Orphans Court records, 1825-1921 FHL Films 909290-97. Each volume also has an index.

Finding Court Records at Other Repositories

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



Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

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


Ethnic Groups[edit | edit source]

Germans[edit | edit source]

Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Genealogy[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

Published Histories[edit | edit source]
  • Bates, Samuel P. et al. History of Crawford County, Pennsylvania: Containing a History of the County; Its Townships, Towns, Villages, Schools, Churches, Industries, etc.; Portraits of Early Settlers and Prominent Men; Biographies; History of Pennsylvania; Statistical and Miscellaneous Matter, etc., etc. Chicago: Warner, Beers and Co., 1885. Digital version at Internet Archive - free.
  • Crawford County, Pennsylvania Publications

Land and Property[edit | edit source]

Land records in Crawford County began in 1800. These records are filed with the Register and Recorder office in Meadville, 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:

Land Records on Microfilm

Additional Resources

https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/images/b/b8/Crawford_county_pennsylvania_townships.pngCrawford county pennsylvania townships.png
About this image
Click the image to view an enlarged version

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

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 Crawford County Pennsylvania Land in online catalogs such as:

Maps[edit | edit source]

Crawford County

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military[edit | edit source]

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. 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 Crawford 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 Crawford County, Pennsylvania Genealogy naturalization in online catalogs like:

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Crawford 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 Crawford County

Online Newspaper Abstracts

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

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

Occupations[edit | edit source]

Indentured Servants[edit | edit source]

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Poorhouse, Almshouse[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Probate matters in Crawford 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 Records

Original probate records for some Pennsylvania counties are available free online as digital images at FamilySearch.org. 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:

Crawford County Only:

Online Probate Indexes

Original Probate Records on Microfilm

Repositories[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]
  • 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.


Courthouse[edit | edit source]
Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

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 Crawford County, Pennsylvania Genealogy is the Meadville Pennsylvania Family History Center. For additional nearby Family History Centers, search online in the FHC directory.

Libraries[edit | edit source]
Museums[edit | edit source]
  • Cambridge Springs Historical Museum
    26 Federal Street
    Cambridge Springs, PA 16403
    Phone: 814-398-1827
Societies[edit | edit source]
  • Crawford County Genealogical Society
    P.O. Box 514
    Meadville, PA 16335-0514
  • Linesville Historical Society
    120 Erie St
    Linesville, PA 16424
    Phone: 814-683-4299

Taxation[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. 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

Birth[edit | edit source]

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 Ancestry.com – ($) Index with images.
Marriage[edit | edit source]

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

Death[edit | edit source]

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


Finding Vital Records at Other Repositories

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


Crawford County Pennsylvania Places[edit | edit source]

Populated Places
[edit | edit source]

Cambridge Springs | Centerville | Cochranton | Conneaut Lake | Conneautville | Espyville | Meadville | Saegertown | Spartansburg | Titusville | Townville

Genealogy Societies and Libraries[edit | edit source]

Crawford County Pennsylvania Genealogy Websites[edit | edit source]

Crawford County Pennsylvania Genealogy References[edit | edit source]

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Crawford 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. Wikipedia contributors, "Crawford County, Pennsylvania" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crawford_County,_Pennsylvania.
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crawford_County,_Pennsylvania accessed 2/2/2017
  5. "History of Crawford County, Pennsylvania" (Chicago: Warner, Beers & Co., 1885). WorldCat 4279362; FHL book 974.897 H2h
  6. The Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania http://www.pacourts.us/T/CommonPleas/ accessed 10 July 2012.
  7. Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania, Clerk of Courts in http://www.pacourts.us/T/CommonPleas/ClerksOfCourts.htm (accessed 25 Aug 2012)
  8. The Philadelphia Courts at http://www.courts.phila.gov/common-pleas/orphans/ accessed 10 July 2012
  9. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/images/2/23/Igipennsylvaniac.pdf.