Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania Genealogy

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Schuylkill County

Guide to Schuylkill 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.


Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Schuylkill County
Location in the state of Pennsylvania
Map of the U.S. highlighting Pennsylvania
Location of Pennsylvania in the U.S.
Founded March 1, 1811
County Seat Pottsville
Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania Courthouse.jpg
Address Schuylkill County Courthouse
401 North Second Street
Pottsville, PA 17901
Schuylkill County Website
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Schuylkill County Pennsylvania Historical Facts

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[1]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1893 1885 1893 1811 1811 1811 1790
Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1906. General compliance by 1915.

Parent Counties: Formed from Berks and Northampton Counties 1 March 1811. [2]

County Seat: Pottsville

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

Named for the Schuylkill River.


The county was named for Schuylkill River. It's county seat is Pottsville and was founded March 1, 1811. It is located in the Mideastern central area of the state. [4]

Boundary Changes

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.

Schuylkill County Pennsylvania Genealogy Resources

Bible Records



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 PAGravestones
PAGenWeb Epodunk
Pennsylvania Genealogy Access Genealogy
BillionGraves (name) Interment
See Pennsylvania Cemeteries for more information.

Additional Cemetery Resources


For tips on accessing Schuylkill 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.

Schuylkill County Pennsylvania Churches

The Schuylkill County Genealogical Society has various records for churches throughout the Schuylkill 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 research for a fee. For more details see their website. Finding Church Records at Other Repositories

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

County-wide Database - Multi-denominational
Contains the church records of:
  • Ashland: Christ's United Lutheran Church; North Parish Episcopal Church; St. John's Episcopal Church
  • Delano: Delano Episcopal Mission
  • New Philadelphia: United Methodist Church
  • Orwigsburg: St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church
  • Pine Grove: Jacobs Evangelical Lutheran Church; Pine Grove Methodist Episcopal Church; Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church; St. Peter's Lutheran Church; Suedberg Church of God; United Church of Christ - St. Peter's Parish
  • Port Carbon: First United Methodist Church; Grace United Methodist Church
  • Pottsville: First Baptist Church; First United Church of Christ; Trinity Episcopal Church; Trinity Lutheran Church
  • Reinerton: St. Peter's Evangelical Lutheran Church
  • Schuylkill: First United Church of Christ; Grace Evangelical Congregational Church; St. James Episcopal Church; St. Matthew's Evangelical Lutheran Church
  • Schuylkill Haven: Christ Lutheran Church; St. John's United Church of Christ
  • Shenandoah: All Saints Episcopal Church
  • Summit Station: St. Paul's United Church of Christ
  • Tamaqua: Bethany Evangelical Congregational Church; Calvary Episcopal Church; First Presbyterian Church of Summit Hill; First United Presbyterian Church; Salem and Coaldale United Methodist Church; St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church; Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church
  • Tower: St. Paul's Lutheran Church
  • Valley View: United Methodist Church
  • Washington: Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church
  • 1755-1825 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 Zion Lutheran Church aka "Old Red Church," Orwigsburg, West Brunswick Township; "Hetzel's" Lutheran Church, Pine Grove Township; St. Paul's Lutheran and Reformed Church aka "Summer Hill" Church, Mannheim Township; St. John's Lutheran and Reformed Church, Friedensburg, Wayne Township; St. Jacob's Lutheran Church, Pine Grove Township; St. Paul's Lutheran and Reformed Church aka "White Church," Ringtown, Union Township; St. Peter's Lutheran and Reformed Church, Pine Grove, Pine Grove Township; St. John's Lutheran and Reformed Church, Tamaqua, Rahn Township; Frieden's Lutheran and Reformed Church, Norwegian, Branch Township; Frieden's Lutheran and Reformed Church, near New Ringgold, West Brunswick Township; and Zion Reformed Church, West Brunswick Township.
Contains church records of:
  • Emmanuel Reformed Church of Nuremberg
  • First Evangelical and Reformed Church
  • Pennsylvania German Churches
  • Jerusalem Church
  • Gilberton Methodist Episcopal Church
  • Lewistown Evangelical
  • Llewellyn, PA Methodist Church
  • Salem (Hertzel's) Union Congregation, Pine Grove
  • St. George Lithuanian R.C. Church, Shenandoah
  • St. Canicus' Mahanoy City Church
  • St. Jacob's, Pine Grove
  • St. John's United Church of Christ, Orwigsburg
  • St. John the Baptist Catholic Church
  • St. Kyrans R.C. Church, Heckersville
  • St. Michael's Lutheran and Reformed Church, Klingerstown
  • St. Vincent de Paul's Church, Minersville, PA
  • Zion Church of Lewistown Baptism Records
  • Zion Red Church and Vicinity
  • Zion Lutheran and Reformed Church

In 1840, the "First English Baptist Church of Minersville" was organized.[5]


The First Congregational Church was established by the Welsh in the area in 1836.[5]


St. Paul's Protestant Episcopal church was organized in 1845 and their building erected in 1849.[5]


Salem Evangelical Congregational Church, Mahanoy City


The German Lutherans were the first in the county although the exact date of their organization is unknown. The German Evangelical Lutheran Zion's Congregation had their first church built in 1849. Before it was built, they had met in the schoolhouse. The first English Lutheran Church was organized in 1851.[5]

Christ Lutheran Church, Rush Township

St. Jacob's Evangelical Lutheran Church, Pine Grove

St. John's Lutheran and Reformed Church, Friedensburg

St. Michael's Lutheran and Reformed Church, Klingerstown

St. Paul's Lutheran and Reformed Church or Old White Church, Ringtown

St. Paul or Artzs Lutheran and Reformed Church, Sacramento

Salem or Hetzel Evangelical Lutheran Church, Pine Grove Township

Summer Hill St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Wayne Township

Zion Red Church, Brunswick Township


The Methodist Episcopal church began meeting in Minersville starting in 1834.[5]


In 1840, Emmanuel's Church was organized and met in the union church with the Lutherans.[5]

St. John's Lutheran and Reformed Church, Friedensburg

St. John's Reformed Church, Orwigsburg

St. Michael's Lutheran and Reformed Church, Klingerstown

St. Paul's Lutheran and Reformed Church or Old White Church, Ringtown

St. Paul or Artzs Lutheran and Reformed Church, Sacramento

Zion Red Church, Brunswick Township

United Church of Christ

Court Records

Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania Genealogy court records are housed at the Schuylkill 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. Schuylkill 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.[7]

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.[8] For the Schuylkill 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 Schuylkill 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.[9]

For Schuylkill 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 Schuylkill 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
Munsell,W.W. History of Schuylkill County, 1881 including a pdf version.
A History of Gordon PA from 1788-1952
A History of Mahonoy Township
The History of Pottsville to 1906
Day, Sherman, History of Schuylkill County pages 601-614
Dives, Pomeroy and Stewart, 1911 History of the County of Schuylkill
Several indexes of books from the Pottsville Public Library.
Mining reports

Land and Property

Land records in Schuylkill County began in 1811. These records are filed with the Recorder of Deeds office in Pottsville, 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 Record Abstracts

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 Schuylkill County Pennsylvania Land in online catalogs such as:


Schuylkill County



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


Schuylkill 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 Schuylkill 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

Christian Advocate
Die Stimme des Volks, 1832-1839
The Evening Courier, Tamaqua
Miner's Journal
Pottsville Republican, January 1st for 1915, 1916, 1919, 1920-1923, 1926, 1927, 1939-1945 and more.
Shenandoah Evening Herald, various dates in 1944, 1945, 1948
The Splinters, Saint Clair, April 24, 1897
Tri-Weekly Record, Mahanoy City

Newspaper Extracts and 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

Obituary Extracts and Abstracts


Indentured Servants


Poorhouse, Almshouse

Probate Records

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:

Schuylkill 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 Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania Genealogy probate wills in online catalogs like:


  • Birth and death records
  • Marriage dockets 1885–May 1969
  • Naturalization indexes and records 1828–1988
  • Wills books 1811–1986
  • Estate files 1811–1959
  • County land records
  • Deed books
  • Mortgage books
Built as an annex to the courthouse, the county courthouse archives cover two floors with access from the public entrance to the courthouse. Visit Archives for current services and fees.

Online Marriage License Search

Copies of documents including birth, marriages, deaths, divorces, land, and probate records can be obtained by using: Pennsylvania Public Record. Click on the link for the record you wish to request.
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 Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania Genealogy is the Harrisburg/Hershey Pennsylvania Family History Center. For additional nearby Family History Centers, search online in the FHC directory.

The Library has a genealogy collection that includes:
  • Newspapers - Evening Herald, 1891 to 1980
  • County histories
  • City directories
  • Census records
  • Genealogy books
  • Family files
The Library offers a limited fee service for obituaries and specific pages of specific books. No in-depth research is provided.
The Library is currently building their genealogical collection. Some resources include:
The Society also has a library with an extensive collection available for researchers. It also has a research service for a fee. The collection includes:
  • Church histories and religious records (131 Volumes)
  • Pottsville City Directories (100 Volumes)
  • Genealogy books (305 Volumes)
  • Mine Inspector Reports, Anthracite Coal Mining, Mining Operations (276 Volumes)
  • Railroads (42 Volumes)
  • County History Books (96 Volumes)
  • Schuylkill County Census (1790 - 1930)
  • Estate Records
  • Marriage Records
  • Death Register
  • Orphans Court Records
  • Petitions of Naturalization
This Society has a library with a genealogical collection. Visit website for library usage (free for members, small fee for non-members) or research fees.

Research Guides

School Records


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


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

Schuylkill County Pennsylvania Genealogy Websites

Schuylkill County Pennsylvania Places

Populated Places

Schuylkill County Pennsylvania Genealogy References

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Schuylkill 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, "Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at,_Pennsylvania.
  4.,_Pennsylvania 2/12/2017
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Adolf W. Schalck and Hon. D. C. Henning, History of Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania ([S.l.]: State Historical Association, 1907), 190; digital version at FamilySearch Books Online - free; FHL book 974.817 H2s 2 vols..
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at
  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
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