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Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania Genealogy

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Guide to Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania ancestry, family history and genealogy in courthouse sources including birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, wills, deeds and land records, Civil War records, Revolutionary War records, family histories, cemeteries, churches, tax records, newspapers, and obituaries.


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Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania
Map
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Susquehanna County
Location in the state of Pennsylvania
Map of the U.S. highlighting Pennsylvania
Location of Pennsylvania in the U.S.
Facts
Founded February 21, 1810
County Seat Montrose
Courthouse
Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania Courthouse.jpg
Address Susquehanna County Courthouse
11 Maple Street
Montrose, PA 18801
Susquehanna County Website
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Susquehanna 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 1812 1812 1810 1790
Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1906. General compliance by 1915.

Parent Counties: Formed from Luzerne County 21 February 1810. [2]

County Seat: Montrose

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


Connecticut's Susquehanna Settlers, Connecticut State Library. Susquehanna County was once a part of Connecticut, along with Luzerne, and several other northeastern Pennsylvania counties.

Susquehanna County is named for the Susquehanna River. which runs through the county.  In 1810 the county had 10 townships and 3500 residents.  In the 2000 Federal Census, Susquehanna County had 27 townships and 13 towns.  Residents numbered 42,238.

Description[edit | edit source]

The county was named for Susquehanna River. It's county seat is Montrose and was founded October 13, 1812. It is located in the Northeastern tip 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 MapofUS.org website.

Records Loss[edit | edit source]

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

Bible Records[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
Findagrave.com Family History Library Findagrave.com
HomeTownLocator WorldCat BillionGraves
PAGenWeb Archives Linkpendium
BillionGraves (name) PAGravestones
PAGenWeb Epodunk
Pennsylvania Genealogy Access Genealogy
See Pennsylvania Cemeteries for more information.

Additional Cemetery Resources

Census[edit | edit source]

For tips on accessing Susquehanna 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.

Susquehanna County religious denominations



County-wide Database - Multi-denominational[edit | edit source]
  • Looking Back, Souvenir Book of the Susquehanna County Sesquicentennial Celebration 1810-1960, by Sesquicentennial Committee. Contains a section on churches, including a brief history and pictures of many of the early structures. FHL book 974.834 H2L or film 1320543 item 7
Presbyterian[edit | edit source]

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania Genealogy court records are housed at the Susquehanna 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. Susquehanna 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.[6]

Clerk of the Courts[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.[7] For the Susquehanna 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 Susquehanna 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.[8]

For Susquehanna 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 Susquehanna 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]

This area of Pennsylvania was once a part of Connecticut. Connecticut's Susquehanna Settlers at Connecticut State Library will lead you to some historical/genealogical records of Wyoming Valley.

There are several good histories of Susquehanna County, but the one by Emily Blackman is superior:

Published Histories[edit | edit source]

Land and Property[edit | edit source]

Land records in Susquehanna County began in 1810. These records are filed with the Register and Recorder office in Montrose, 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

  • 1974 - present Images are available on-line from 1974 to the present 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 Susquehanna County Pennsylvania Land in online catalogs such as:

Maps[edit | edit source]

Susquehanna County

Migration[edit | edit source]

The migration routes used by early European settlers to and from Susquehanna County included:[9]

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

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Susquehanna 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 Susquehanna County

  • The Susquehanna County Independent/Weekender
    24 S. Main St.
    Montrose PA 18801
    Phone: (570) 278-6397
    Email: indyweek@epix.net
    Website
This newspaper was preceded by the following weekly newspapers:
  • The Montrose Independent (1927-1985)
  • Independent Republican (1855-1926)
  • The Montrose Democrat (1879-1926)

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[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 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:

Susquehanna 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 Susquehanna 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]
  • Susquehanna County Courthouse
    PO Box 218
    11 Maple Street
    Montrose, PA 18801
    Phone: 570-278-4600
    Fax: 570-278-2963
    Office hours: 8:30–4:30 Monday through Friday.
  • Susquehanna County Prothonotary
    Susquehanna County Courthouse
    105 Maple Street
    PO Box 218
    Montrose, PA 18801
    Phone: 570-278-4600
    Hours: Mon–Fri 8:30am to 4:30pm
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.

The main FHC for Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania is the Vestal New York Family History Center. For additional nearby Family History Centers, search online in the FHC directory.

Libraries[edit | edit source]
  • Susquehanna County Free Library Association consists of four public libraries and Outreach Services in Susquehanna County. Each library has access to Heritage Quest, accessible with your library card from home and Ancestry.com from the library system. A list of the libraries in this system and their website and contact information is found here.
Museums[edit | edit source]
  • Soldier's Orphan School Museum
    Orphan School Road
    Harford, PA 18823
    Phone: 570-434-2496
The Soldier's Orphan School Museum features historical exhibits and a library concerned with the Franklin Academy and Soldier's Orphan School. [10]
Societies[edit | edit source]
The GRSNP serves northeastern counties:
  • Lackawanna
  • Luzerne
  • Monroe
  • Pike
  • Susquehanna
  • Wayne
  • Wyoming
This historical society collects and preserves the rich heritage of the region. [11]
  • Harford Historical Society
    PO Box 1023
    Harford, PA 18823
    Phone: 570-289-4405
    Facebook
The Harford Historical Society preserves the heritage of Harford through a variety of special events throughout the year.[12]

Taxation[edit | edit source]

Note: The Tax Assessment Records from 1813-1865 give the record of each township, and each is on a separate roll of film. Some of the townships may also include Military Lists for the years ca 1855-1863.

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]
  • 1852-1854 Pennsylvania Births Ancestry.com – $ 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


Marriage[edit | edit source]

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

  • 1626-2016 - Pennsylvania, United States Marriages at FindMyPast — index $
  • 1677-1950 Pennsylvania Civil Marriages, 1677-1950 at FamilySearch — index and images
  • 1700-1821 Pennsylvania Marriage Records Ancestry.com – ($) This database is incomplete for all counties.
  • 1725-1976 Pennsylvania, Marriages, 1709-1940 - free index. Not complete for all years. This index is an electronic database of information. The entries are primarily from the International Genealogical Index (IGI) along with some entries derived from compiled and original records such as: Family Records, Church Records, Civil Registration. It may also include indexes generated by the internet indexing project sponsored by the LDS Church.
  • Pre-1810 Pennsylvania Marriages Ancestry.com – ($) This database is incomplete for all counties. Includes 35,000 marriage records from vol. VIII of of the second series of the Pennsylvania Archives.
  • 1835-1976 Pennsylvania, Marriages, 1709-1940 - free index. Not complete for all years.
  • 1852-1854 Pennsylvania Marriages Ancestry.com – ($) Index with images.
  • 1885-1950 Pennsylvania County Marriage, 1885-1950 Extracted marriage records – free. Most of the records consist of marriage licenses, certificates, applications, docket books, and affidavits. This database is incomplete for all counties. May also contain marriage records earlier than 1885.
  • 1947-2010 Pennsylvania Obituary and Marriage Collection, 1947-2010 at FamilySearch — index and images
  • 1885–present – Marriage licenses issued by the county are only available from 1885 to the present at:
Clerk of the Orphans Court
Susquehanna County Courthouse
105 Maple Street
PO Box 218
Montrose, PA 18801
Phone: 570-278-4600
Hours: Mon–Fri 8:30am to 4:30pm
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


Susquehanna County Pennsylvania Genealogy Websites[edit | edit source]

Susquehanna County Pennsylvania Places[edit | edit source]

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

Susquehanna County Pennsylvania Genealogy References[edit | edit source]

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Susquehanna 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, "Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susquehanna_County,_Pennsylvania.
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susquehanna_County,_Pennsylvania 2/12/2017
  5. 5.0 5.1 Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/images/4/49/Igipennsylvaniapppppp.pdf.
  6. The Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania http://www.pacourts.us/T/CommonPleas/ accessed 10 July 2012.
  7. Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania, Clerk of Courts in http://www.pacourts.us/T/CommonPleas/ClerksOfCourts.htm (accessed 25 Aug 2012)
  8. The Philadelphia Courts at http://www.courts.phila.gov/common-pleas/orphans/ accessed 10 July 2012
  9. Handybook, 850-51.
  10. http://explorepahistory.com/attraction.php?id=1-B-244F
  11. Information found on Explore PA History at http://explorepahistory.com/attraction.php?id=1-B-2C0E
  12. Information found at ExplorePAHistory: http://explorepahistory.com/attraction.php?id=1-B-2113