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Fayette County, Pennsylvania Genealogy

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Guide to Fayette County, Pennsylvania ancestry, family history and genealogy 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.


Fayette County, Pennsylvania
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Fayette County
Location in the state of Pennsylvania
Map of the U.S. highlighting Pennsylvania
Location of Pennsylvania in the U.S.
Founded September 26, 1783
County Seat Uniontown
Fayette County Pennsylvania Courthouse.jpg
Address Fayette County Courthouse
61 East Main St.
Uniontown, PA 15401
Fayette County Website
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Fayette 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 1784 1784 1784 1790
Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1906. General compliance by 1915.

Parent Counties: Formed from Westmoreland County 26 September 1783.[2]

County Seat: Uniontown

Neighboring Counties: Fayette County residents may also have records in [3]

The county is named after Revolutionary War hero, the Marquis de Lafayette (1757-1834).[4]

Description[edit | edit source]

The county was named after the Marquis de Lafayette. It's county seat is Uniontown. It was organized September 26, 1783. It is located in the Southwest corner of the state.[5]

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

  • 27 January 1750: Cumberland County was created from Lancaster County, including the area of future Fayette County.
  • 9 March 1771: Bedford County was created from Cumberland County, covering much of the southwest portion of the state including future Fayette County.
  • 26 February 1773: Westmoreland County was formed from Bedford County, taking the area of future Fayette County.

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[edit | edit source]

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

Fayette County Pennsylvania Genealogy Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

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

Additional Cemetery Resources

Census[edit | edit source]

For tips on accessing Fayette 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 Fayette County is History of Fayette County, Pennsylvania. The various churches are discussed at the township level in volume 2.[6] Some of the early denominations include: German Baptist, Methodist and Presbyterian.

Fayette county pennsylvania churches.png

Finding Church Records at Other Repositories

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

County-wide Database - Multi-denominational[edit | edit source]
Contains church records of:
  • Belle Vernon: First United Methodist Church
  • Brownsville: Christ Episcopal Church
  • Fayette: Little Redstone United Methodist Church
  • Uniontown: St. Peter's Episcopal Church
Baptist[edit | edit source]

A copy of the Minutes of the Redstone Association of Pennsylvania, 1804-1836 is available at the Primitive Baptist Library in Carthage, Illinois.

Great Bethel Baptist Church, Uniontown

Catholic[edit | edit source]
  • "100 years of the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese 1843–1943," Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 17, No. 1. FHL Book 974.8 B2wg. Chronology, map, county-by-county information.
Presbyterian[edit | edit source]

First Presbyterian Church, Brownsville

Quakers[edit | edit source]

Information about early Fayette County settlers who were Quakers is contained in Hinshaw's Volumes I-IV covering Providence Monthly Meeting, Redstone Monthly Meeting, Westland Quarterly Meeting. Available at U.S., Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy, Vol I–VI, 1607-1943 $

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Fayette County, Pennsylvania Genealogy court records are housed at the Fayette 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. Erie 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.[10]

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.[11] For the Fayette 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 Fayette 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.[12]

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

Register of Wills (see Vital Records)[edit | edit source]

Finding Court Records at Other Repositories

Additional court records can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Fayette 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]

Marquis de Lafayette.JPG


Published Histories[edit | edit source]

Land and Property[edit | edit source]

Land records in Fayette County began in 1784. These records are filed with the Recorder of Deeds office in Uniontown, Pennsylvania. If your ancestor lived in the area which became Fayette County, they may have filed land claims with Virginia when the area was know as the District of West Augusta.

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

  • 1975–present Fayette County offers free online access to indexes since 1975. Fees apply to view images since 1988.

Land Records on Microfilm


  • MacInnes, Sharon Cook and Angus MacInnes. Early Landowners of Pennsylvania : Atlas of Township Warrantee Maps of Fayette County, PA. Apollo, Pennsylvania : Closson Press, 2005. FHL book 974.884 R2m

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 Fayette County Pennsylvania Land in online catalogs such as:

Maps[edit | edit source]

Fayette County

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military[edit | edit source]

General[edit | edit source]
Revolutionary War[edit | edit source]

Men living in what is now Fayette County (then Westmoreland County) served in the 8th Pennsylvania Regiment.[13]

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.

Original Naturalization Records on Microfilm

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Fayette 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 Fayette 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. 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 Indexes

  • Morgan, Yvonne L. Blair, Index of Census, Newspaper Obituary Files and Microfilm: Fayette, Green, Washington and Westmoreland Counties (Apollo, Pennsylvania:Closson Press, c2003) FHL book 974.88 V42m

Obituary Excerpts and 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 {{{1}}} 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

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:

Fayette County only:

Online Will Abstracts

Original Probate Records on Microfilm

Additional Probate Indexes and Abstracts

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

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]
  • The Register of Wills is the filing and docketing office for the Orphans Court.
    Register of Wills
    Phone: 724-430-1206
    Fax: 724-430-1275
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 Fayette County, Pennsylvania Genealogy is the Monongahela Pennsylvania Family History Center. For additional nearby Family History Centers, search online in the FHC directory.The Monessen Public Library and District Center allows patrons to view limited-access FamilySearch databases.

Libraries[edit | edit source]
Societies[edit | edit source]
  • Chestnut Ridge Historical Society
    P.O. Box 62
    Jones Mills, PA 15646
    Phone: 724-593-3102
  • Greater Tri Town Area Historical Society
    Box 189
    Dawson, PA 15428
    Phone: 724-529-2427
  • Masontown Historical Society
    P.O. Box 769
    Masontown, PA 15461
  • Fort Mason Historical Society
    P.O. Box 246
    Masontown, PA 15461
    Phone: 724-583-9944

Taxation[edit | edit source]

  • 1785-1786 Returns of Taxables for the Counties of Bedford (1773 to 1784), Huntingdon (1788), Westmoreland (1783, 1786), Fayette (1785, 1786), Allegheny (1791), Washington (1786) and Census of Bedford (1784) and Westmoreland (1783). (Pennsylvania Archives, Series 3, Vol. 22). Digital versions at Ancestry ($); Google Books - free.
  • 1798 Pennsylvania, U.S. Direct Tax Lists, 1798 at Ancestry ($).

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

  • 1750-1890 Fayette County, Pennsylvania Vital Records, 1750-1890 at Ancestry ($).
Birth[edit | edit source]

In Fayette County the Register of Wills maintains the birth records created from 1893–1905. These records have been microfilmed by FamilySearch.

Additionally Fayette County has a record entitled: Birth Returns and Other Records for Negores and Mulattos, 1785, 1788–1826, 1830. This record registers births of "negro" or "mulatto" children filed with the county. According to the Pennsylvania State Archives website "information provided is the date of the child's birth, name of the child, names of the parents, and place of residence. Most of these records were filed with the Clerk of the Peace for Fayette County who also maintained certificates of slave registry. All records were prepared after the passage of the Act of the Gradual Abolition of Slavery in Pennsylvania. The certificates of slave registry, which encompass several counties, contain the registration date, place of residence of the slave owner, gender and age of the slave, and occasionally the slave's date of birth and mother's name. Additional miscellaneous documentation in this series include other materials dealing with slavery or particular slaves in the county."

A portion of this series has been transcribed by G.D. Dixon an is available on the website. The link is:

This record is also available on microfilm through FamilySearch:

  • 1788-1826 Birth Returns for Negroes and Mulattoes, 1788-1826: Includes Certificates of Registry Received from Other Counties 1785, 1803, 1805, 1807-1808 and Miscellaneous Papers 1823, 1830 – FHL film 1449141.
Marriage[edit | edit source]

Fayette County marriages are maintained by the Register of Wills. Fayette County began recording marriages in 1885, however, some marriages were recorded from 1852-1855. To obtain a marriage record you may go to or mail the Register of Wills office. They will perform searches but they must have the first and last names and an approximate date of the marriage. There is a search fee.

A free online index with images to some Fayette County marriages can be found in the FamilySearch Records Collection, Pennsylvania, County Marriages, 1885–1950. Most of the records consist of marriage licenses, certificates, applications, docket books, and affidavits. These records have been microfilmed.

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]

Fayette County did record a few early deaths in the 1852–1855 time period, however, recording deaths really did not begin until 1893. Records from 1893–1905 are available at the Register of Wills office in Uniontown. You may request a death record from the Register of Wills. There is a search fee.

Additional resources:

Pennsylvania death certificates become public records after 50 years. An annual index is released by the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Records less than 50 years old are kept by the Division of Vital Records and are not public certificates. Only certain people can request a non-public death certificate. To order a non-public representative you must be:

  • Legal representative of decedent's estate
  • Immediate family member
  • Extended family member who indicates a direct relationship to the decedent
  • Power of Attorney (Please note that a Power of Attorney document is no longer valid upon the death of the individual)

See the Pennsylvania Department of Health website to obtain a copy of a non-public death certificate. Check website for cost.

Indexes for Pennsylvania public death records are available online through the Department of Health for 1906 through 1961. Once an individual is located in the index a certificate can be obtained by writing 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 Fayette County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Vital Records in online catalogs like:

Fayette County Pennsylvania Genealogy Websites[edit | edit source]

Fayette County Pennsylvania Places[edit | edit source]

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

Fayette County Pennsylvania Genealogy References[edit | edit source]

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Fayette 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, "Fayette County, Pennsylvania" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at,_Pennsylvania.
  4. "Fayette County, Pennsylvania," Wikipedia.
  5.,_Pennsylvania accessed 2/12/2017
  6. Franklin Ellis, "History of Fayette County, Pennsylvania with Biographical Sketches of Many of Its Pioneers and Prominent Men" (Philadelphia: L.H. Everts Co., 1882). WorldCat 6718154; FHL book 974.884 H2e, vol. 2
  7. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at
  8. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at
  9. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at
  10. The Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania accessed 10 July 2012.
  11. Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania, Clerk of Courts in (accessed 25 Aug 2012)
  12. The Philadelphia Courts at accessed 10 July 2012
  13. 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
  14. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at
  15. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at
  16. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at