Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania Genealogy

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United States
Pennsylvania
Huntingdon County

Guide to Huntingdon 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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Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania
Map
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Huntingdon County
Location in the state of Pennsylvania
Map of the U.S. highlighting Pennsylvania
Location of Pennsylvania in the U.S.
Facts
Founded September 20, 1787
County Seat Huntingdon
Courthouse
Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania Courthouse.jpg
Address Huntingdon County Courthouse
223 Penn St.
Huntingdon, PA 16652
Huntingdon County Website
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Huntingdon County Pennsylvania Historical Facts

Beginning dates for major county records
Birth
Marriage
Death
Land
Probate
1893
1885
1893
1786
1787

Parent Counties: Formed from Bedford County 20 September 1787.[1]

County Seat: Huntingdon

Neighboring Counties: Huntingdon County residents may also have records in:[2]

Named (in a technical sense) for a former Huntingdon Township of Bedford County, named in turn for the village of Huntingdon. Rev. William Smith of Philadelphia, a land speculator, laid out a town "at Standing Stone on Juniata" in 1767 and provided the name. The best supposition is that he had in mind the geographical position of shire towns in England (Bedford and Huntingdon) which suggests the locations of those two towns in Penn's Colony. A persistent legend found in many sources that has him naming his town plat for a famous contemporary, Selina Hastings, Countess of Huntingdon, is denied by his biographers and descendants. The two were of quite opposite religious persuasions within the Church of England and apparently never met each other.

Wikipedia

  • Nearly everyone in Huntingdon County speaks English as a first language. The dominant form of speech in Huntingdon County is the Central Pennsylvania accent. In Kishacoquillas Valley, where many Amish and Mennonite people live, Pennsylvania German is spoken by the bilingual population.


Description

It's county seat is Huntingdon and was founded September 20, 1787. It is located in the Southwest corner of the state. [3]

Boundary Changes

  • 26 March 1804: Cambria County was set off from one part of Huntingdon County along with other parts from Bedford and Somerset Counties.
  • 26 February 1846: Significant parts of both Huntingdon and Bedford Counties were taken to create Blair County. This was the last and most significant change to take place in the geography of the Central Pennsylvania region.

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

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

Bible Records

Cemeteries

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

Additional Cemetery Resources

Census

For tips on accessing Huntingdon 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.


Finding Church Records at Other Repositories

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

Huntingdon county pennsylvania churches.png
County-wide Database - Multi-denominational
Contains church records of:
  • Cassville: Cassville Lutheran Church
  • Huntingdon: St. John's Episcopal Church; United Methodist Church
  • Mount Union: St. Luke's Lutheran Church
  • Orbisonia: First United Methodist Church; Otterbein United Methodist Church
  • Woodward: Birmingham Presbyterian Church
Catholic
Lutheran
Presbyterian

Court Records

Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania Genealogy court records are housed at the Huntingdon 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.


Some of the Continuence Dockets and the Quarter Session Books are stored in the basement of the Huntingdon County Court House. The Continuence Dockets have been microfilmed and are at the Huntingdon County Pennsylvania Courthouse.

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. Huntingdon 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.[4]

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


Prothonotary

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 Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Prothonotary office information.


Orphans' Court

The Huntingdon County Register & Recorders Office serves the public in three distinct areas: The Register of Wills; The Recorder of Deeds and Clerk of the Orphans’ Court.

Finding Court Records at Other Repositories

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

Germans

Gazetteers

Genealogy

History

Published Histories

Land and Property

Land records in Huntingdon County began in 1803. These records are filed with the Register and Recorder office in Huntingdon, 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

Land Abstracts

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 Huntingdon County Pennsylvania Land in online catalogs such as:

Huntingdon County

Maps

Migration

Military

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.


Newspapers

Huntingdon 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 Huntingdon County

  • Pennsylvania Newspapers
  • Chronicling America US Newspaper Directory
  • The Pennsylvania State Library has a book entitled Huntingdon County Newspapers, Vol I that contains notices from the Huntingdon Gazette 1806-1811. This book is not indexed. It's call number is 929.37484 NW1001 and is found in Form Room 101.
  • The Blair County Genealogical Society has a copy of the book Huntingdon County Newspaper: A Finding List which was compiled by M. M. Faust and Nancy S. Shedd for the Huntingdon County Historical Society. Also available at various libraries (WorldCat

Online Newspapers

To learn if there are newspapers online for a specific town or city in Pennsylvania, see news.google.com/newspapers and search for the town or the name of a newspaper.

Online Newspaper Abstracts

Newspapers on Microfilm

The Blair County Genealogical Society and the State Library of Pennsylvania has the Huntingdon Gazette on microfilm.

Newspaper Excerpts and Abstracts

Obituaries

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


Obituary Indexes

Online Obituary Abstracts

Occupations

Indentured Servants

Periodicals

Poorhouse, Almshouse

Probate Records

Probate matters in Huntingdon 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 Indexes

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:

Huntingdon County Only:

The Huntingdon County Historical Society has a wonderful every name indexed compilation by Linnaria B Wheland of Huntingdon County Will Abstracts from 1787-1846.

The original inventories for Huntington county are housed at the Huntington Historical Society.

Original Probate Records on Microfilm

Additional Probate Indexes and Abstracts

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


Repositories

Archives

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


Libraries

Roller-Hojeth Memorial Library
Blair County Genealogical Society
431 Scotch Valley Rd.
Hollidaysburg, PA 16648
Phone: (814) 696-3492
Website

Collection covers Blair and surrounding counties, particularly Huntingdon, Cambria, and Bedford Counties.
Museums
  • Hartslog Heritage Museum
    Main St
    Alexandria, PA 16611
    Phone: 814-669-4313
    The Museum is located on the 2nd floor of the Alexandria Memorial Public Library. It houses over 4000 artifacts that represent the area's past. Most notable is a rare historic map of Huntingdon County.
Societies

Huntingdon County Historical Society
100 4th Street
P.O. Box 305
Huntingdon, PA 16652-1418
Phone: 814-643-5449
Website

Taxation

Many of the tax lists have been microfilmed, but no one repository has them all. The Huntingdon County Historical Society, State Library of Pennsylvania and the Family History Library each have collections. One can purchase a microfilm roll from the Huntingdon County Historical Society and the State Library of Pennsylvania. The Family History Library will loan their films to their various centers for a small fee.

  • 1788 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

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
  • 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.

Some birth records exist for the 1852–1853 time period for Huntingdon County. Only a small percentage of births were recorded in this time period. These records are available at:

Birth records for Huntingdon County began in 1894. The Huntingdon County Register and Recorder/Clerk of the Orphans' Court maintains the birth records from 1894–1905. Visit the website for instructions to obtain a copy of a birth record in the 1894–1905 time period.

Beginning in 1906, Pennsylvania birth records are available through the Department of of Health. Birth records become public after 105 years. A statewide index is available. 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

Some Huntingdon County births can be found online in Pennsylvania, Births and Christenings, 1709-1950.

Marriage

Huntingdon County marriages are maintained by the Register and Recorder of Huntingdon County. The county began recording marriages in 1885. A few marriage records were created by the county in the 1853–1854 time period. To obtain a marriage record you may go to or contact the Register and Recorders office.

Divorce

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

Death

Huntingdon County began recording deaths in 1893, although some were recorded from 1852–1854. These records are available in the County Courthouse in Huntingdon. You may request a death record from the Register and Recorder.

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. Visit 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 Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Vital Records in online catalogs like:


Huntingdon County Pennsylvania Genealogy Websites

Huntingdon County Pennsylvania Places

Populated Places

Huntingdon County Pennsylvania Genealogy References

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), [FHL book 973 D27e 2002].
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huntingdon_County,_Pennsylvania (accessed 17 July 2012).
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huntingdon_County,_Pennsylvania accessed 2/12/2017
  4. The Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania http://www.pacourts.us/T/CommonPleas/ accessed 10 July 2012.
  5. Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania, Clerk of Courts in http://www.pacourts.us/T/CommonPleas/ClerksOfCourts.htm (accessed 25 Aug 2012)
  6. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/images/9/92/Igipennsylvaniaf.pdf.
  7. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/images/9/92/Igipennsylvaniaf.pdf.
  8. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/images/9/92/Igipennsylvaniaf.pdf.