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Guide to Lebanon County, Pennsylvania ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

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County Facts
County seat: Lebanon
Organized: February 16, 1813
Parent County(s): Dauphin, Lancaster[1]
Neighboring Counties
Schuylkill  • Berks  • Lancaster  • Dauphin  •
See County Maps
Courthouse
Need courthouse pic
Location Map
Lebanon County PA Map.png
Adoption
Pa-rootsbuttonwiki.gif This user is a member of PA Roots and its members, an organization that has adopted some pages in the wiki.

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The county is located in the East Central area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Lebanon County Building
400 South 8th Street
Lebanon, PA 17042-6794
Clerk of Courts 717-228-4419 Fax: 717-228-4467
Prothonotarys Office, 717-228-4418,Fax: 717-228-4467
Registers of Wills/Clerk of Orphans' Court, 717-228-4415
Lebanon County Website

Lebanon County, Pennsylvania Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Information for this chart was taken from various sources, often containing conflicting dates. This information should be taken as a guide and should be verified by contacting the county and/or the state government agency.

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[3]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1893 1885 bef 1906 1813 1813 1813 1790
Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1906. General compliance by 1915.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

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

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.

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

The following are locations in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania:

History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

Business, Commerce, and Occupations[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Lebanon County, Pennsylvania online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
Tombstone Transcriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See Pennsylvania Cemeteries for more information

 

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

Additional Cemetery Resources

Census Records[edit | edit source]

For links and tips on using Federal (or United States) census records online for Lebanon County, 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. For members, they may contain: age, date of baptism, christening, or birth; marriage date and maiden name; death/burial date. For general information about Pennsylvania denominations, see Pennsylvania Church Records.

County-wide Database – Multi-denominational

Lebanon County Pennsylvania Churches
Contains the church records of:
  • Jonestown: St. Mark's Episcopal Church
  • Lebanon: St. Luke's Episcopal Church
  • Palmyra: Lutheran Church; Trinity United Church of Christ
  • Schaefferstown: St. Luke's Lutheran Church; St. Paul's United Church of Christ
Information taken from these church records: records of John Casper Stoever, Jr.; Quitopahilla or Hill Lutheran Church in North Annville Township; Tulpehocken Reformed Church in Jackson Township; Bindnagel's Lutheran Church in North Londonderry Township; Tabor Reformed Church in Lebanon; Swatara Reformed Church in Bethel Township; Bethel Moravian Church; Salem Lutheran Church in Lebanon; Millbach Reformed Church in Millcreek Township; Klopp's Reformed Church in Bethel Township; Heidelberg Reformed Church in Schaefferstown; Heidelberg Lutheran Church in Schaefferstown; Ziegel Lutheran Church in Bethel Township; St. John's Lutheran Church in Fredericksburg; Kimmerling's Reformed Church in Lebanon Township; Campbelltown Lutheran Church in Campbelltown; Quitopahilla Reformed Church in Cleona; Zion Lutheran Church in Jonestown; *1730–1779 Pennsylvania, Lutheran Baptisms and Marriages at Ancestry.com ($); records of southeastern counties kept by Rev. John Casper Stoever.Trinity Lutheran Church in Colebrook.

Union Churches
It was common in Lebanon County to have Union churches. These were churches where two congregations shared a common property. Each congregation usually held independent services. Often the Union churches in Lebanon County were Lutheran and Reformed congregations. [6]

Catholic
The first Catholic church was built in Lebanon City between 1810-1814.

Lutheran
The first Lutheran congregation was Hill church established in 1733 by John Caspar Stoever, near Quitopahila. Early churches were also formed in Stouchsburg and North Annville and Lebanon. The Millbach church was a union church of Lutherans and Reformed Calvinists. In 1787 in Heidelburg and Lebanon, the Lutherans and Reformed churches had separate buildings. In most other towns there were union churches.

Evangelical Lutheran Congregation, Campbellstown

Goshert's Zion Lutheran Church

Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church, Annville

  • 1806-1865 Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church, Annville, Baptism Index 1806-1865 in International Genealogical Index at FamilySearch. Batch C504331 Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at PDF.

Quitapohila Hill Evangelical Lutheran Church, Lebanon Township

St. Luke's Evangelical Lutheran Church formerly Heidelberg Congregation, Schaefferstown

Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church, Lebanon

Sattazahn's Evangelical Lutheran Church, Union Township

Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Colebrook

Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, Jonestown

Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, Manheim

Zoar Evangelical Lutheran Church, North Annville Township

Zoar Evangelical Lutheran Church

Methodist
Methodism first entered Lebanon in 1827 and the first building was built in Lebanon City in 1840.

Moravian
The Moravians entered Lebanon County in 1740. Until 1752 it was the leading religious group in the county. Early congregations were formed in Bethel, Tulpehocken and Hebron.[7]

Presbyterian
The Hanover Presbyterian Church was built in 1736 in a Scotch-Irish settlement. This settlement was previously in Dauphin County, before Lebanon County was formed, and in Lancaster County, before Dauphin County was formed.[8] As the county grew, the Presbyterian faith became less prominent than the Lutheran, Reformed, Moravian and Mennonite congregations.[9]

Reformed
Reformed congregations (also called Calvinists) often shared their property with local Lutheran congregations. These were called union churches. In 1787 in Heidelburg and Lebanon, the Lutherans and Reformed churches had separate buildings. Millbach, Heidelberg and Tulpehocken were all early Reformed congregations.

  • 1763-1769 Kelker, Luther R. "Record of Marriages Performed by Rev. John Conrad Bucher, 1763-1769," The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 26 (1902):375-381. For free online access, see WeRelate.

Heidelberg Reformed Church

Kimmerling's Reformed Church, North Lebanon Township

Millbach Reformed Church

Trinity Tulpehocken Reformed Church

United Brethren
The first congregation was established in Lebanon in 1820. Another church was built near Annville in 1823.

Court Records[edit | edit source]

For information about records kept in the Orphan's court, Prothonotary Court, Court of Common Pleas, and other courts in counties of Pennsylvania, visit the Pennsylvania Court Records Wiki page.

Prothonotary
The Prothonotory offices is found under the Departments tab.

Directories[edit | edit source]

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

For online resources, passenger lists, and specific groups coming to Pennsylvania, see Pennsylvania Emigration and Immigration.

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups[edit | edit source]

For groups that came, see People section of the Pennsylvania Emigration page.

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

The Orphan's Court ensures the best interests of those not capable of handling their own affairs: minors, incapacitated persons, decedents' estates, and more.[11]

Land and Property Records[edit | edit source]

Land and property records can place an ancestor in a specific location and reveal family relationships. Records include: deeds, abstracts, indexes, mortgages, leases, grants, sheriff sales, land patents, maps and more. For more information, see Pennsylvania Land and Property.

Land records in Lebanon County began in 1813. These records are filed with the Recorder of Deeds office in Lebanon, Pennsylvania.

Online Land Records

  • 1956–present Images are available online using the Landex system. There is a fee to view the images.

Land Records on Microfilm

Maps

  • 1805 -1824 Patent Book of Land Surveys. FHL film 1032469 Item 4 The earlier land records for what would become Lebanon County are for the applicable parent counties.

Note that the "Maps" section below also includes maps related to land ownership.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Lebanon County

Maps

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[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. For more information, see Pennsylvania Naturalization

Naturalization records for Lebanon County, Pennsylvania include the following:

Online Naturalization Indexes and Records

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Newspapers may contain obituaries, births, marriages, deaths, anniversaries, family gatherings, family travel, achievements, business notices, engagement information, and probate court proceedings. Newspapers are often found in local or university libraries, historical or genealogical societies, or state archives in the area where the newspaper was published. See Pennsylvania Newspapers for more information.

Newspapers of Lebanon 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[edit | edit source]

Obituaries are generally found in local newspapers where the person died or where family members lived. Local libraries or societies may have indexes or other sources.

Online Obituary Abstracts

Obituary Excerpts and Abstracts

  • Translated and transcribed by Robert A. Heilman, Deaths Reported by Der Libanon Demokrat, a German Language Newspaper Published at Lebanon, Pennsylvania, 1832-1864 (Bowie, Maryland:Heritage Books, c1990) At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL book 974.819/L1 V4h
  • Scrapbook by Schuyler C. Brossman; Lebanon Daily News (Lebanon, Pennsylvania,) Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, War Dead of World War I, World War II, Korea, and Part of the Vietnan War as Published in the Daily News, Lebanon, Pennsylvania With a Few Related Clippings (SLC, Utah, 1992) FHL film 1597995 item 8
  • Brossman, Schuyler C., Veterans of Western Berks County, Pennsylvania (SLC, Utah, 1963-64,1967-68, 1976, 1988, 1995) FHL film 363885 (1st of 8)

Other Records[edit | edit source]

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Probate matters in Lebanon 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

Complete Collection:

Lebanon County Only:

Original Probate Records on Microfilm

School Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[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. County marriage records were kept in earnest in 1885. Births and deaths, at the county level, were begun in 1893 and kept through 1905. For the most complete set of records, contact the County Orphans' Court.

Birth[edit | edit source]

Early births 1893–1905 are located at the County Orphans' Court. For more information, see Pennsylvania Vital Records.


  • 1726-1930 Pennsylvania, Births and Christenings, 1709-1950 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 $
  • 1853-1854 Lebanon County Birth Index 1853-1854 in International Genealogical Index at FamilySearch. Batch C523843[12]

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Pennsylvania marriages were created by county officals. Contact Lebanon County Courthouse

Death[edit | edit source]

Early deaths 1893–1905 are located at the County Orphans' Court. For indexes and records, 1906 and later, see Pennsylvania Vital Records.

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Divorce records are available through the office of the Prothonotary.

Research Facilities[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.

  • National Archives at Philadelphia
    14700 Townsend Road
    Philadelphia, PA 19154-1096
    Phone: 215-305-2044
    Fax: 215-305-2052
    Website

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. The main FHC for Lebanon County is the Lancaster Pennsylvania Family History Center. For additional nearby Family History Centers, search online in the FHC directory.

Libraries[edit | edit source]

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

Lebanon County Historical Society
924 Cumberland Street
Lebanon, PA 17042
Phone: 717 -272-1473
Email: office@lchsociety.org
Website

The Historical Society's archive holdings include: church histories, records, and cemetery surveys; federal census records; local newspapers on microfilm, including Pennsylvania German publications; historical maps and city business directories; county marriage records on microfilm from 1886 through 1949; several hundred compiled family histories; high school yearbooks.
The Historical Society will conduct research for a fee.

Websites[edit | edit source]

  • USGenWeb project. May have maps, name indexes, history or other information for this county. Select the state, then the county.
  • Lebanon PA Genealogy
  • FamilySearch Catalog – The FamilySearch catalog contains descriptions and access information for all genealogical materials (including books, online materials, microfilm, microfiche, and publications) in their collection.  Use Historical Records to search for specific individuals in genealogical records.

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Pennsylvania.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lebanon_County,_Pennsylvania accessed 2/12/2017
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Pennsylvania.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Pennsylvania.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  5. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Pennsylvania.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  6. Theodore E. Schmauck, The Early Churches of Lebanon County (Lebanon, Pennsylvania: The Century Printing Co., 1902).
  7. Theodore E. Schmauck, The Early Churches of Lebanon County (Lebanon, Pennsylvania: The Century Printing Co., 1902).
  8. Wayland F. Dunaway, The Scotch-Irish of Colonial Pennsylvania (Chapel Hill, N.C.: The University of North Carolina Press, 1944), 53-54. Free digital version at PA's Past: Digital Bookshelf at Penn State.
  9. Theodore E. Schmauck, The Early Churches of Lebanon County (Lebanon, Pennsylvania: The Century Printing Co., 1902).
  10. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/images/1/10/Igipennsylvaniall.pdf.
  11. The Philadelphia Courts at Common Pleas accessed 10 July 2012
  12. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/images/9/92/Igipennsylvaniaf.pdf.