Monroe County, Pennsylvania Genealogy

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Monroe County

Guide to Monroe 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.


Monroe County, Pennsylvania
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Monroe County
Location in the state of Pennsylvania
Map of the U.S. highlighting Pennsylvania
Location of Pennsylvania in the U.S.
Founded April 1, 1836
County Seat Stroudsburg
Monroe County, Pennsylvania Courthouse.jpg
Address Monroe County Courthouse
610 Monroe Street
Stroudsburg, PA 18360
Monroe County Website
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Monroe County Pennsylvania Historical Facts

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[1]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1892 1885 bef 1906 1845 1836 1836 1790
Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1906. General compliance by 1915.

Parent Counties: Formed from Pike and Northampton Counties 1 April 1836. [2]

County Seat: Stroudsburg

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

Named for James Monroe, the 5th President of United States.


The county was named James Monroe. It's county seat is Stroudsburg and was founded April 1, 1836. It is located in the Eastern Central area of the state.[4]

Boundary Changes

13 March 1843: Carbon County created. [2]

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.

Bible Records


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
Cemetery Project Epodunk
Pennsylvania Genealogy Access Genealogy
BillionGraves (name) Interment
See Pennsylvania Cemeteries for more information.

Additional Cemetery Resources


For tips on accessing Monroe 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.

The Monroe County Historical Association has various records for churches throughout the Monroe County area. However, the society has not put the records on-line and to view the records one must go to the society. Finding Church Records at Other Repositories

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

County-wide Database - Multi-denominational
Monroe County Pennsylvania Churches
Contains the church records of:
  • Brodheadsville: Zion United Church Lutheran Broadheadsville
  • Clifford: East Stroudsburg Presbyterian Church
  • East Stroudsburg: Middle Smithfield Presbyterian Church
  • Paradise Valley: Keokee United Methodist Church
  • Stroudsburg: Christ Episcopal Church; St. John's Lutheran Church; Stroudsburg United Methodist Church
  • Tannersville: United Church of Christ
  • 1741-1825 Humphrey, John T. Pennsylvania Births, Carbon County, 1795-1825; Monroe County, 1741-1825; Schuylkill County, 1755-1825. Washington, D.C.: PA Genealogy Books, 2006. FHL Book 974.8 K2hj.
Contains church records of the Dutch Reformed Church, Smithfield Township; Lutheran and Reformed Congregations in Hamilton Township; Lutheran and Reformed Congregations in Lower Smithfield Township; Stroudsburg Monthly Meeting; and Lutheran and Reformed Congregations at Gilbert in Chestnuthill Township.
Dutch Reformed

The first church in Monroe County was a Dutch Reformed Church, organized in 1737 and called the Old Log Church. It was located in Smithfield.[5]The Smithfield Church was one of the four Dutch Reformed churches built in about 1741 in the area. The other 3 churches were all built on the other side of the Delaware River in Minisink Valley area (Northwestern New Jersey).[6]

  • 1741-1814 Canfield, Amos. "Records of the Reformed Dutch Church at Smithfield, Pennsylvania," The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record,
  • Church Officials 1745-1814, Membership Lists 1745-1788, Marriage Banns 1742-1786, Baptisms 1741-1749: Vol. 57, No. 1 (Jan. 1926):63-74; :*Baptisms 1749-1807: Vol. 57, No. 2 (Apr. 1926):142-152. Digital version at New York Family History ($); FHL Book 974.7 B2n v. 57.

Hamilton Church

Salem Reformed and Lutheran Church, Chestnut Hill Township

Salem Evangelical Lutheran and Reformed Church, Gilbert


The Delaware Water Gap Methodist Church (also called Dutotsburg) began in 1800.[6]

Smithfield Stone Church
The Smithfield Stone Church was erected in 1752 and later became known as the Presbyterian Church in 1853 (Image courtesy of the Monroe County Historical Association). The church welcomed all Protestant denominations. The Church of the Mountain was organized in Delaware Water Gap in 1854.[6]
  • 1832-1853 "The Smithfield, Pa., Presbyterian Church," The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, List of Births, Baptisms 1842-1853, Marriages 1842-1853, Membership Lists 1832-1843: Vol. 57, No. 2 (Apr. 1926):153-160. Digital version at New York Family History ($); FHL Book 974.7 B2n v. 57.

Court Records

Monroe County, Pennsylvania Genealogy court records are housed at the Monroe 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. Monroe 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.[8]

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.[9] For the Monroe 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 Monroe County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Prothonotary office information.

Orphans' 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.[10]

For Monroe 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 Monroe 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





Published Histories

Land and Property

Land records in Monroe County began in 1836. These records are filed with the Recorder of Deeds office in Stroudsburg, 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

  • 1958–present Images (since 1958) and an index (since 1979) are available on-line using the Landex system. There is a fee to view the images.

Additional Resources

Note that the "Maps" section below also 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 Monroe County Pennsylvania Land in online catalogs such as:


Monroe County


The migration routes used by early European settlers to and from Monroe County, Pennsylvania Genealogy included: [11]


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 Monroe County, Pennsylvania include the following:

Online Naturalization Indexes and Records

Finding Naturalization Indexes at Other Repositories

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


Monroe 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 Monroe County

Microfilms of the following newspapers can be found in the Kemp Library located on the campus of the  East Stroudsburg University. This library is located at 200 Prospect Ave, East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania 18301; Phone: 570-422-3465. Microfilm copies can be made for a minimal fee. See also Kemp Library at East Stroudsburg University

Monroe County Newspapers and Dates of Publication
Morning Press 19 May 1913 - 3 April 1929
Morning Sun 1 Jan 1926 - 26 Feb 1928
East Stroudsburg Press 7 Aug 1919 - 20 Dec 1923
Jeffersonian Republican 15 Jan 1840 - 12 Jan 1900
Daily Times Stroudsburg 2 Apr 1894 - 31 Dec 1908
Monroe Democrat 18 Oct 1860 -19 Oct 1865;          5 Sep 1907 - 28 Dec 1910
Stroudsburg Times, Times Democrat, Monroe Records, Daily Record, East Stroudsburg Press 20 Jul 1888 - 27 May 1930
Daily Record 28 May 1930 - 1 Dec 1964
The Pocono Record Jan 1965 - current
Pennsylvania Chronicle 26 Jan 1767 - 8 Feb 1774
Pennsylvania Gazette

24 Dec 1728 - 30 Dec 1762;      3 Jun 1799 - 4 Sep 1811;            6 Jan 1763 - 11 Oct 1815

Pennsylvania Journal 2 Dec 1742 - 29 Dec 1781;         2 Jan 1782 - Aug 1793
Pennsylvania Packet 27 Oct 1771 - 31 Dec 1790
Pennsylvania ledger and Freemans Journal 4 Nov 1775 - 16 May 1792
Indepedent Gazetter 13 Aug 1782 - 29 Apr 1795

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 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


Indentured Servants


Poorhouse, Almshouse

Probate Records

Probate matters in Monroe 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.

Additional Probate Indexes and Abstracts

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

Online Probate Indexes



The Monroe County Archives was established in 2005 and is located at One Quaker Plaza, Room 207, Stroudsburg, PA., 18360. The archivist, B.J. (Bette Jo) Bachman, advised that you make an appointment prior to doing research by calling 570-517-3189. Requests are accepted by mail with an enclosed fee of $5.00 per name, plus a small fee for copies of documents found. The fee must be submitted in the form of a money order payable to the Monroe County Archives. Below is a brief listing of the holdings at the archives[12]:

Historical Documents at the Monroe County Archives
Document Years    Contents
Birth Records 1893-1905 Register of Births
Declarations for Intent 1837-1985 Intent to become U.S. Citizen
Petitions for US Citizenship 1837-1985 Petitions for  U.S. Citizenship
Certificate of Naturalization 1930-1991 Records of U.S. Citizenship
Civil Case Records 1835-1940 Records listing Plaintiff, Defendant, etc for all civil hearings
Miscellaneous Common Pleas 1836-1940 Records listing Plaintiff, Defendant, etc. for all civil hearings and mixed filings
Criminal Case Records & Misc. Quarter Sessions 1836-1960 Records listing Plaintiff, Defendant, etc., for all criminal hearings and mixed filings
Commissioner Minute Books 1840-1979 Minutes of all County Commissioner meetings
Coroner Records 1837-1996 To see a file contact the Corners Office at  (570) 517-3192
Death Records 1836-1905 Years not consecutive
Mortgage Records & Index 1839-1946 Date, Name, Location of Property, etc.
Sheriff's Records 1836-1967 Writs of Executions, Sheriff Sales and Sheriff Docket Books
Patent Books 1738-1956 Date of Warrant, Name, Number of Acres
Tax Records 1836-1986 Records of tax collections on microfilm
Wills & Letters of Administration 1836-1906 & 1971 Records identifying the legal representative of a deceased person's estate
Wills - Inventories 1867-1901 & 1959 Records listing inventory associated with a will
Writs of Execution 1836-1899 Records to seize property of the judgment debtor to satisfy a judgment
Warrantee Data 1836-1940 Traces property ownership

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.

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

A partial listing of their holdings include:
  • The History of Monroe County and the surrounding areas
  • Some Family History Books.
  • Pennsylvania Civil War Conscientous Objectors Database
  • Access to and Heritage Quest
  • All family history books located in the Monroe County Historical Association library are searchable on the public library computers
This library has a limited number of family genealogies.They do have microfilm of the records of the Salem Union Church located in Gilbert, Chestnuthill Township, Monroe County, Pennsylvania, for the years 1806-1924. These microfilms are also found in the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. Access these films at FamilySearch online or through your local family history library.
This library has a dedicated family history research room called The Marx Room. In the Marx Room you will find over 15,000 items of interest to local researchers looking for ancestors who lived in Northampton County prior to the formation of Monroe County in 1836. Click here to learn more about the Easton Public Library Marx Room
The collection includes but is not limited to the following records:
  • Family History Books
  • Periodicals
  • Local Newspapers from 1799 - current
  • Obituary Indexes
  • 175 Volumes of Northampton County Church and Cemetery Records
  • Northampton Court Records, Extracts
  • DAR publications
  • Vertical Family Files
The purpose is to promote the history of Barrett Township. The museum has an archives that collects information as well as scans records and returns them to the original owner. Contact the archivist for more information:
Check website for Elizabeth D Walters Library usage fees. A partial listing of the holdings in the library is as follows:
  • Many Local Family Histories,
  • U S Census Records
  • Some Newspapers from 1840 - 1999
  • Vertical Files by Surname and Subject
  • Obituary Collections
  • Monroe County Church Records
  • Monroe County Death Records from Sep 1893 - Oct 1905
  • Monroe County Cemetery Lists
  • Monroe County Funeral Home Records
  • County and State Histories
  • City Directories and Phonebooks
  • Maps
  • Coolbaugh Township Historical Association
    Wills Mansion
    5550 Memorial Dr., Rt. 611
    Tobyhanna, PA 18466
    Phone: 570-894-4207
  • Eldred Township Historical Society
    P.O. Box 600
    490 Kunkletown Rd
    Kunkletown, PA 18058
    Phone: 610-381-4252
  • Pocono Jackson Historical Society
    P.O. Box 572
    Tannersville, PA 18372
  • Polk/Chestnuthill Township Historical Society
    P.O. Box 243, Route 715 S
    Brodheadsville, PA 18322
    Phone: 570-992-7247
The GRSNP serves northeastern counties:
  • Lackawanna
  • Luzerne
  • Monroe
  • Pike
  • Susquehanna
  • Wayne
  • Wyoming


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

  • 1852-1854 Pennsylvania Births – $ Index with images.

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


Pennsylvania marriages are located at the county level. Contact the Monroe 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

Finding Vital Records at Other Repositories

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

Monroe County Pennsylvania Genealogy Websites

Monroe County Pennsylvania Places

Populated Places

Monroe County Pennsylvania Genealogy References

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Monroe 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. 2.0 2.1 Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), [FHL book 973 D27e 2002].
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Monroe County, Pennsylvania" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at,_Pennsylvania.
  4.,_Pennsylvania accessed 2/12/2017
  5. Monroe County Historical Association, "Our Earliest Townships: Smithfield and Hamilton". (Accessed 6 Sept 2012)
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Alfred Mathews, History of Wayne, Pike and Monroe Counties, Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA: R.T. Peck and Co., 1886), 1090-1096; Digital Version Online at Internet Archive; At Various Libraries (WorldCat); FHL films 392698-9.
  7. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at
  8. The Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania accessed 10 July 2012.
  9. Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania, Clerk of Courts in (accessed 25 Aug 2012)
  10. The Philadelphia Courts at accessed 10 July 2012
  11. Handybook, 850-51.
  12. Historical Documents of Monroe County, PA., 16 April 2012, compiled by B.J. Bachman, Archivist, Monroe County Archives, One Quaker Plaza, Room 207, Stroudsburg, PA., 18360.