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Montour County, Pennsylvania Genealogy

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Guide to Montour 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.


Montour County, Pennsylvania
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montour County
Location in the state of Pennsylvania
Map of the U.S. highlighting Pennsylvania
Location of Pennsylvania in the U.S.
Founded May 3, 1850
County Seat Danville
Montour County, Pennsylvania Courthouse.jpg
Address Montour County Courthouse
29 Mill Street
Danville, PA 17821
Montour County Website
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Montour 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 1850 1850 1850 1790
Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1906. General compliance by 1915.

Parent Counties: Formed from Columbia County 3 May 1850. [2]

County Seat: Danville

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

Named for Elizabeth Catherine Montour, better known as Madame Montour, a prominent Indian leader during the colonial era. It is the smallest county in the state of Pennsylvania.

Description[edit | edit source]

The county was named Andrew Montour. It's county seat is Danville and was founded May 3, 1850. It is located in the Mid-Central area of the state.[4]

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

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.

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemetery records often reveal birth, marriage, death, relationship, military, and religious information.

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

Additional Cemetery Resources

Census[edit | edit source]

For tips on accessing Montour 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.

The Montour County Genealogical Society has various records for churches throughout the Montour County area. However, the society has not put the records on-line and to view the records one must go to the society. The society will do limited lookups in the records. See their website for details.

Finding Church Records at Other Repositories

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

County-wide Database - Multi-denominational[edit | edit source]
Contains the church records of:
  • Bloomsburg: Trinity Reformed Church (United Church of Christ)
  • Danville: Beaver Library; Lutheran Church; Presbyterian Church; Reformed Church; Shiloh United Church of Christ
  • Hemlock: Hemlock Township Union Church
  • Mooresburg: Presbyterian Church
Baptist[edit | edit source]
Montour County Pennsylvania Churches

In 1842, the First Baptist Church of Danville was organized.  The Immanuel Baptist Church was created from members of the First Baptist Church in 1892, but the church was dissolved by the members in 1908.[5]

Evangelical[edit | edit source]

The first pastor was appointed for the Evangelical Church in 1867, although previous pastors did perform services before that time. This congregation was eventually called the Emanuel Evangelical Church and their first church building was dedicated in 1871.[5]

Lutheran[edit | edit source]

The first sign of the Lutheran denomination in Montour County was in 1820 with the creation of what is now known as the Pine Street Lutheran Church. Before then, they would go to the Lutheran Church in Mahoning Township, Northumberland County. In 1845, a church was built and the congregation was known as Evangelical Lutheran Church of Danville (now called St. John's Lutheran Church). But the congregation eventually outgrew the building and the Pine Street Lutheran Church was built in 1859.[5]

The Trinity Lutheran Church was created in 1859 from members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church (eventually called the Pine Street Lutheran Church) that did not agree with the location of the new church building agreed upon by the majority of the congregation.[5]

Methodist Episcopal[edit | edit source]

The St. Paul Methodist Episcopal Church was the second religious organization established in Danville in about 1791, although a permanent church building was not erected until 1839.[5]

The Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in 1868 from members of the St. Paul Methodist Episcopal Church who lived in the north side of town. [5]

Presbyterian[edit | edit source]

The Mahoning Presbyterian Church, later changed to the Grove Presbyterian Church, was the first religious organization in Danville in about 1778.[6]

Protestant Episcopal[edit | edit source]

The Protestant Episcopal congregation (now known as Christ's Church) was officially established in 1829, sharing a church building with the Lutheran congregation. Difficulties with the Lutheran Congregation eventually lead to them leaving the church building in 1836 and was left exclusively to the Protestant Episcopal Church.[5]

Reformed[edit | edit source]

The Shiloh Reformed Church in Danville was formally created in 1893, when it split from a larger congregation of the Reformed Church that began in 1856 and covered Danville, Catawissa, St. James (Mahoning) and Mausdale. [5]

Roman Catholic[edit | edit source]

St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church began as a mission in 1847. It's first building was on the corner of Center and Ferry streets and later moved to its current lot in 1869.[5]

Because of the large influx of German Catholics by 1859, a congregation was created and called the St. Hubert's German Catholic Church. Previously, German Catholics attended St. Joseph's Catholic Church.[5]

Synagogue[edit | edit source]

The B'nai Zion Synagogue was built in 1871. Previously, the congregation met in their schoolhouse built in 1853.[5]

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Montour County, Pennsylvania Genealogy court records are housed at the Montour 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. Montour County shares its judicial district with Columbia County. Judges of the Common Pleas courts are elected to 10-year terms. A president judge and a court administrator serve in each judicial district.[7]

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.[8] For the Montour 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 Montour County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Prothonotary office information.

Orphan's 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.[9]

For Montour 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 Montour 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]

Land and Property[edit | edit source]

Land records in Montour County began in 1850. These records are filed with the Register and Recorder office in Danville, 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

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 Montour County Pennsylvania Land in online catalogs such as:

Maps[edit | edit source]

Montour 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 Montour 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 Montour County, Pennsylvania Genealogy naturalization in online catalogs like:

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Montour 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 Montour 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

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 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:

Montour County Only:

Original Probate Records on Microfilm

Additional Probate Indexes and Abstracts

Additional probate indexes or abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Montour 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]

Montour County Courthouse
29 Mill Street
Danville, PA 17821
Phone: 570-271-3010

County courthouse has:

  • 1893-1905: Birth and Death records
  • 1885 to present: Marriage license
  • 1883-1905: Delayed birth registration
  • 1850-1904: Naturalization Records

Office of the Prothonotary/Clerk of Courts/Clerk of Orphans'Court
Montour County Court House
29 Mill Street
Danville, PA 17821
Phone: 570-271-3010

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

Libraries[edit | edit source]
The Montour County Genealogical Society keep their genealogical records at the library.
The Montour County Genealogical Society collection includes but is not limited to the following records:
  • Obituary files
  • Family histories
  • Church records
  • County histories
  • Newsletters form various Pennsylvania genealogical societies
  • Surname files
Museums[edit | edit source]
Societies[edit | edit source]
The collection includes records for Columbia, Montour and Northumberland Counties. Research requests may be submitted in writing using a printable form which includes the fee schedule.

Located in the Montgomery House Museum, corner of Bloom and Mill Streets
A small library contains local and county histories, industrial record books, business and law ledgers, military references, photographs, tax records, and maps.
Currently open by appointment. Check website for information and phone numbers.

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

  • 1852-1854 Pennsylvania Births – $ Index with images.
Marriage[edit | edit source]

Pennsylvania marriages are located at the county level. Contact the Montour 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 Montour County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Vital Records in online catalogs like:

Montour County Pennsylvania Genealogy Websites[edit | edit source]

Montour County Pennsylvania Places[edit | edit source]

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

Montour County Pennsylvania Genealogy References[edit | edit source]

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Montour 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, "Montour County, Pennsylvania" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at,_Pennsylvania.
  4.,_Pennsylvania accessed 2/12/2017
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 Historical and Biographical Annals of Columbia and Montour Counties, Pennsylvania (Chicago, IL: J.H. Beers and Co., 1915), 352, 355), FamilySearch Books Online; Digital copy at Internet Archive; At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL book 974.83 H2b vol. 1.
  6. "History of Danville, Grove Presbyterian Church" in PA-Roots at (accessed August 7, 2012).
  7. The Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania accessed 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. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at