Northampton County, Pennsylvania Genealogy

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
United States
Pennsylvania
Northampton County

Guide to Northampton 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.


{{{link}}}

Northampton County, Pennsylvania
Map
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton County
Location in the state of Pennsylvania
Map of the U.S. highlighting Pennsylvania
Location of Pennsylvania in the U.S.
Facts
Founded October 14, 1751
County Seat Easton
Courthouse
Northampton County, Pennsylvania Courthouse.jpg
Address Northampton County Courthouse
669 Washington Street
Easton, PA 18042
Northampton County Website
Adopt-a-wiki page
Pa-rootsbuttonwiki.gif This page adopted by:
PA Roots and its members
who welcome you to contribute.
Adopt a page today


Northampton County Pennsylvania Historical Facts

Beginning dates for major county records
Birth
Marriage
Death
Land
Probate
1893
1885
1893
1752
1752

Parent Counties: Formed from Bucks County 14 October 1751. [1]

County Seat: Easton

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

Scotch-Irish immigrants made a settlement in what is now Northampton County (then Bucks County) in 1728. The settlement grew rapidly and became known as "Craig Settlement" or "Irish Settlement."[3]

Description

The county was named for Northamptonshire. It's county seat is Easton and was founded March 11, 1752. It is located in the Mideastern Central tip of the state.[4]

Boundary Changes

Several counties set off: [1]

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

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
Findagrave.com Family History Library Findagrave.com
HomeTownLocator WorldCat BillionGraves
PAGenWeb Archives Linkpendium
Tombstone Photos PAGravestones
USGW Cemetery Project Epodunk
Pennsylvania Genealogy Access Genealogy
BillionGraves (name) Interment
See Pennsylvania Cemeteries for more information.

Additional Cemetery Resources

The Cemetery Database at the Mennonite Heritage Center includes 86,000 burial records from 125 local cemeteries. Records cover cemeteries in the counties of Berks, Bucks, Butler, Chester, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, and Westmoreland. The database provides transcriptions from Mennonite, Brethren, Lutheran, Reformed, Union, Baptist, Methodist, Episcopal, community, and private cemeteries. Search the list of cemeteries and the alphabetical surname lists in Adobe PDF format.
Visit the Mennonite Heritage Center to search the cemetery database by various criteria. The transcriptions are available for further research at the MHC library.

Census

For tips on accessing Northampton 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.

Northampton County Pennsylvania Churches

The Northampton County Genealogical Society has various records for churches throughout the Northampton 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 Northampton County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Church Records  in online catalogs like:


County-wide Database - Multi-denominational
Contains the church records of:
  • Jonathan Worrall, J.P./Misc. Marriage Licenses, 1890-1915
  • Bangor: First United Methodist Church
  • Bethlehem: Cathedral Church of the Nativity; Emmanuel Evangelical Congregational Church; Evangelical Lutheran Church; First Presbyterian Church; Fritz Memorial United Methodist Church; Grace Community United Church of Christ; Olivet Evangelical Congregational Church; Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church; Trinity Episcopal Church
  • Bushkill Center: Holy Cross Lutheran Church Bushkill Center
  • Chapman: Chapman Quarries United Methodist Church
  • Easton: Christ United Methodist Church; First Colored Lutheran Church; First United Church of Christ; First United Church of Christ Easton; St. John's Lutheran Church; St. John's Lutheran Church New Williams; St. Mark's United Church of Christ; St. Paul's Lutheran Church; The Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd; Trinity Episcopal Church; Zion Lutheran Church
  • Emmanuelsville: Emmanuel Lutheran Church
  • Freemansburg: Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church
  • Hecktown: Dryland Reformed (with private records of Rev. Martin A. Smith)
  • Hellertown: Lower Saucon United Church of Christ
  • Howertown: St. John's Lutheran Church
  • Lower Saucon: Lower Saucon United Church of Christ
  • Moore: Salem United Church of Christ
  • Moorestown: Salem United Church of Christ
  • Nazareth: St. John's United Church of Christ; St. Paul's Episcopal Church
  • Northampton: Grace United Church of Christ; St. Paul's United Church of Christ
  • Richmond: Richmond United Methodist Church
  • Seemsville: St. Peter's United Church of Christ
  • Upper Mount Bethel: Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church; Christ Lutheran Church
  • Williams Township: St. Luke's Lutheran Church
  • 1733-1800 Humphrey, John T. Pennsylvania Births, Northampton County, 1733-1800. Baltimore, Md.: Gateway Press, 1991. FHL Book 974.822 K2h.
Contains baptisms from the church records of Williams Township Congregation; Nazareth Moravian Congregation including affiliated Congregations of Gnadenthal, Friedensthal and Niskey; Reformed Congregation in Lower Saucon Township; Emanuel Petersville Church in Moore Township; Reformed and Lutheran Congregations in Lower Nazareth Township, also known as the Dryland Church; First Reformed Church of Easton, Pennsylvania; Moravian Congregation at Schoeneck in Upper Nazareth Township; St. Peter's Union Lutheran and Reformed Church, Plainfield Township; German Evangelical Lutheran Church of Easton, Pennsylvania; Stone Church near Kreidersville, Allen Township [Lutheran and Reformed]; Salem Lutheran and Reformed Congregations of Moore Township; Mt. Bethel Lutheran and Reformed Congregations in Upper Mt. Bethel Township; Bethlehem Moravian Congregation; Daniel Schumacher's baptismal register.
Lutheran

Salem Lutheran and Reformed Church, Moortownship

Trinity Lutheran and Dryland Reformed Church, Hecktown

Methodist
Moravian

Moravians established a settlement at Bethlehem in 1741. The Bethlehem Digital History Project (winner of a National Endowments for the Humanities prize) includes community records, Bethlehem diary, bills of sale and manumissions, business activity, meeting minutes, Moravian Indian diaries 1763-1765, registers of baptisms, marriages, and deaths, and church regulations.

Presbyterian

Several Presbyterian churches were built in what is now Northampton County (Bucks County until 1751) to accommodate Scotch-Irish settlers. A Presbyterian Church was organized at "Craig's Settlement" by 1737. Mount Bethel Prebyterian Church was organized in 1738 in "Hunter's Settlement" in Lower and Upper Mount Bethel Townships.[3]

First Presbyterian Church, Easton

Prebyterian Church, Allen Township

Reformed

The Third Street Reformed Church located in Easton was organized between 1745 and 1750 and was the first Reformed church in the area.[6]

Christ Union Church

Emmanuel Reformed Church, Petersville

First Reformed Church, Easton

Grace Reformed Church

Lowhill Reformed Congregation

Salem Lutheran and Reformed Church, Moortownship

Trinity Lutheran and Dryland Reformed Church, Hecktown

Roman Catholic

Before 1828, those living in what was Northampton County would have attended the Blessed Sacrament Church in Goshenhoppen now Bally) in Berks County. Records thereafter would be found in St. John the Baptist Church at Hayock. St. Bernard's Church in Easton was dedicated in 1836.[7]

Court Records

Northampton County, Pennsylvania Genealogy court records are housed at the Northampton 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. Northampton 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 Northampton 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 Northampton County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Prothonotary office information.


Orphan's 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 Northampton 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 Northampton 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 Northampton County began in 1752. These records are filed with the Recorder of Deeds office in Easton, Pennsylvania. Most of the 19th century deeds are preserved in the county Archives.

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

  • 1985–present Images are available online using the Landex system. There is a fee to view the images.

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 Northampton County Pennsylvania Land in online catalogs such as:

Maps

Northampton County

Migration

Early migration routes to and from Northampton County for European settlers included:[11]

Military

Revolutionary War

Local men served in the Northampton County Militia. A guide at the Pennsylvania State Archives website identifies townships where specific companies recruited soldiers, see Revolutionary War Militia Battalions and Companies, Arranged by County.

Many Germans from Northampton County served in the 1st Pennsylvania Regiment.[12][13] Northampton County men also served in the 2nd Pennsylvania Regiment (probably)[13] and the 3rd Pennsylvania Regiment.[13]

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

Newspapers

Northampton 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 Northampton County

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

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


Online Obituary Abstracts

Occupations

Indentured Servants



Periodicals

Poorhouse, Almshouse

Probate Records

Probate matters in Northampton 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 Records

Original probate records for some Pennsylvania counties are available free online as digital images at FamilySearch.org. The dates vary significantly for each county and not all counties are listed. Some counties may only have probate indexes. This Pennsylvania collection of images may be browsed through the links listed below:
Complete Collection:

Northampton County Only:

Online Probate 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 Northampton 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.


The Moravian Archives is the official repository for the records of the Moravian Church in America – Northern Province. This covers the Moravian churches in the United States (except for North Carolina, Florida, Georgia and Virginia) and Canada. The Archives in Bethlehem also holds records from the Moravian church in Alaska, Labrador, Nicaragua and the Eastern West Indies. The Archives is located in a modern 9,200 square foot building with two climate-controlled vaults. It contains approximately 8,000 linear feet of material.
Visit the website to learn more about:
  • List of Holdings
  • Currently Available Inventories
  • Archives Library
  • Bibliographies
  • List of Congregation Records
  • Bethlehem Digital History Project
  • Hours available
The collection includes finding aids of the Moravian collections, church registers, the Memoir Index, records of the mission to the American Indians from 1740 to 1820 (indexed in the Fliegel Index), historical newspapers on microfilm, and a photo collection.
Services include monthly lectures, tours, a German Script course, research by mail, reproduction orders, translation, and publications including a monthly electronic newsletter.
Courthouse
Courthouse Archives
Phone: 610-829-1220
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 Northampton County, Pennsylvania Genealogy is the Nazareth Pennsylvania Family History Center. For additional nearby Family History Centers, search online in the FHC directory.


Libraries
The Easton Area Public Library has the Marx Local History Room. Hours are different from the rest of the library. The Marx Room holdings contain:
Some services provided:
Photocopies of microfilmed obituaries for a fee - see Obituary copies
Photocopies of transcribed church records for a few - see Church transcriptions
Visit website for hours
This Northampton County local and family history collection includes:
  • 5,000 books
  • 10,000 manuscript items
  • 6,000 surname files
  • 2,000 history vertical files
  • 120,000 photographs
  • Thousands of maps, drawings, and architectural plans detailing the history and families of Northampton County, PA
Visit website for hours
The Mennonite Historians of Eastern Pennsylvania support the John L. Ruth Historical Library and Museum at the Mennonite Heritage Center. Located in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania the records and resources of this treasure also cover the counties of Bucks, Chester, Berks, Lehigh, Northampton, and Philadelphia. The website provides a comprehensive overview of library resources, online cemetery database, manuscript collections, photo collections, archival collections, and more.
Museums
  • Sigal Museum
    342 Northampton St
    Easton, PA 18042
    Phone: 610-253-1222
Headquarters of the Northampton County Historical and Genealogical Society (NCHGS).
Visit website for hours
  • Historic Bethlehem
    505 Main Street
    Bethlehem, PA 18018
    Phone (Toll-free): 800-360-TOUR
    Phone: 610-691-6055
    Mailing Address:
    74 West Broad Street, Suite 260
    Bethlehem, PA 18018
    Phone: 610-882-0450
The Historic Bethlehem has a library and archives. Their collection includes:
  • City directories from 1800s/1900s
  • Historic maps and documents
Societies
The Moravian Historical Society has a genealogy collection. Visit website for fee amount to utilize their collection in person. They also provide research by mail for a fee. Their collection includes:
  • Obituaries for Lehigh Valley
  • Local history books
  • Cemetery records
  • Family charts
  • Family history books

Taxation

  • 1762 Lynn Twp
  • 1772, 1785-1786, 1788 Proprietary, Supply, and State Tax Lists of the Counties of Northampton and Northumberland: For the Years 1772 to 1787. (Pennsylvania Archives, Series 3, Vol. 19). Digital versions at Don's List - free; 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.
  • 1852-1854 Pennsylvania Births Ancestry.com – $ Index with images.
  • 1888-1907 Easton Birth Index 1888-1907 in International Genealogical Index at FamilySearch - free.[5]

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


Marriage

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

Divorce

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

Death

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 Northampton County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Vital Records in online catalogs like:


Northampton County Pennsylvania Genealogy Websites

Northampton County Pennsylvania Places

Northampton County Pennsylvania Genealogy References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), [FHL book 973 D27e 2002].
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Northampton County, Pennsylvania" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northampton_County,_Pennsylvania.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Wayland F. Dunaway, The Scotch-Irish of Colonial Pennsylvania (Chapel Hill, N.C.: The University of North Carolina Press, 1944), 54-55. Free digital version at PA's Past: Digital Bookshelf at Penn State.
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northampton_County,_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 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/images/1/10/Igipennsylvaniall.pdf.
  6. Davis, ed., History of Northampton County, Pennsylvania (Philadelphia and Reading: Peter Fritts, 1877.), 179 and 181; Digital Version Online; FHL CD-ROM no. 2640
  7. History of Northampton County, Pennsylvania, and the Grand Valley of the Lehigh (New York, New York : American Historical Society, 1920), 1:362; FamilySearch Books Online; At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL book 974.82 D3h vol. 2 and 3
  8. The Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania http://www.pacourts.us/T/CommonPleas/ accessed 10 July 2012.
  9. Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania, Clerk of Courts in http://www.pacourts.us/T/CommonPleas/ClerksOfCourts.htm (accessed 25 Aug 2012)
  10. The Philadelphia Courts at http://www.courts.phila.gov/common-pleas/orphans/ accessed 10 July 2012
  11. Handybook, 847-61.
  12. Wikipedia contributors, "1st Pennsylvania Regiment," in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1st_Pennsylvania_Regiment, accessed 31 May 2012.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 John B.B. Trussell and Charles C. Dallas, The Pennsylvania Line; Regimental Organization and Operations, 1776-1783 (Harrisburg, Pa.: Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1977). Digital version at Family History Archive.