Clarion County, Pennsylvania Genealogy

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United StatesGotoarrow.png Pennsylvania Gotoarrow.png Clarion County

Clarion County, Pennsylvania genealogy and family history research page. Guide to genealogy, history, and 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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Online Records

Clarion County, Pennsylvania
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Clarion County
Location in the state of Pennsylvania
Map of the U.S. highlighting Pennsylvania
Location of Pennsylvania in the U.S.
Founded March 11, 1839
County Seat Clarion
Clarion County Pennsylvania Courthouse.jpg
Address Clarion County Courthouse
Main Street
Clarion, PA 16214
Clarion County Website
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Clarion County Pennsylvania Historical Facts

Beginning dates for major county records
  • County Seat: Clarion
  • Neighboring Counties: Clarion County, Pennsylvania Genealogy residents may also have records in [2]

Boundary Changes

Clarion County Pennsylvania Genealogy Resources

Bible Records


Charles Reeves has created a map of Clarion County cemeteries that corresponds to, and enhances, the transcription project underway by the Clarion County Historical Society. The map is available at Mr. Reeves' Web site.

A listing of identified cemeteries and several tombstone transcriptions are available at the Clarion County Genealogy & History Web site.

The Eccles-Lesher Memorial Library is a small hometown library located in the rural community of Rimersburg. "A Wealth of Information at Your Fingertips" is their motto.

Their library web site includes a burial database with a wealth of cemetery and burial records for Clarion county.

Search features include the singular options (no wildcard required) for:

  1. First Name
  2. Last Name
  3. Birthplace
  4. Year of Death
  5. Place of Death (hint, due to the listing of specific names of hospitals, enter "hospital")
  6. Cause of Death
  7. Name of Cemetery
  8. Name of Undertaker
  9. Name of Survivor(s) (hint, use last name of survivors)

Rich info source... often gives parents names, spouse name, sometimes even marriage information. Link to instructions is on site.

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

Online Grave Transcripts Published Grave Transcripts County Cemetery Directories

Family History Library

WorldCat Names in Stone

USGenWeb-tombstone photos

Billion Graves

Pennsylvania Genealogy


Pennsylvania Gravestones

Billion Graves

Names in Stone

Access Genealogy


See Pennsylvania Cemeteries for more information.


For tips on accessing Clarion 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

Clarion county pennsylvania churches.png

Finding Church Records at Other Repositories

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

County-wide Database - Multi-denominational
Contains church records of the First United Methodist Church (New Bethlehem, Pa.).

Many church histories, record transcriptions, photos, and related resources are online at the Clarion County Genealogy & History Web site.

  • "100 years of the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese 1843–1943". Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Quarterly, 17:1. FamilySearch Library book 974.8 B2wg. Contains chronolgy, map, county-by-county information.

Foxburg Presbyterian Church

Court Records

Clarion County, Pennsylvania Genealogy court records are housed at the Clarion 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. Clarion County, Pennsylvania Genealogy 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.[5]

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.[6] For the Clarion 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 Clarion 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.[7]

For Clarion 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 Clarion 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

Land and Property

Land records in Clarion County began in 1839. These records are filed with the Register and Recorder's office in Clarion, 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

  • 1806–1946 Deed books, 1806-1888; Indexes to Deeds, 1806-1946 FHL film 1315283 (first of 27 films). Early records for the area that would later become Clarion County are for the applicable parent counties.

Additional Resources

Note that the "Maps" section below 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 Clarion County Pennsylvania Land in online catalogs such as:


Media:Clarion county pennsylvania townships.pngClarion county pennsylvania townships.png
About this image
Click the image to view an enlarged version

  • Ancestor Tracks has posted free, downloadable images from Caldwell's Illustrated Historical Combination Atlas of Clarion County, 1877.  This atlas located in the Library of Congress shows major landowners and geographic sites at the date of publishing.  While the physical maps are in the public domain, the images we have taken of the maps belong to us and are not to be used commercially.  We hereby give permission to use them strictly for personal use; please attribute to Ancestor Tracks.
  • Charles Reeves has created a number of customized maps of Clarion County for the Clarion County Genealogy & History Web site.  Copies are available at Mr. Reeves' Web site.
  • Charles Reeves has also prepared the most-complete version available today of Caldwell's 1877 Illustrated Historical Combination Atlas of Clarion County, using pages from an original atlas and supplementing those with images from the Library of Congress. These high-resolution images are available on CD from Mr. Reeves' Web site.



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


Clarion 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 Clarion 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 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 Excerpts and Abstracts

  • Starr, Charles Howard, Recent Deaths, Clarion County, Pennsylvania (Pennsylvania:s.n., 2003?) FHL book 974.869 V42s Volumes 1-4 Digitized version available through FamilySearch catalog entry. Contents include 1946-1949 deaths and obituaries for 1923 from the Clarion Republic, New Bethleham Leader Vindicator and The Clarion Democrat.
  • Leader Vindicator (New Bethlehem, Pennsylvania) and Josephine Y. Baggs, Obituaries, ca. 1988 (SLC, Utah, 1991) FHL film 1697507 item 7 Obituaries collected by Josephine Y. Baggs in 1989 of people who lived in Armstrong or Jefferson Counties. Arranged alphabetically.
  • Reed, Sally Jordan, Clarion Democrat, Clarion Jacksonian, Clarion Republican, Republican Gazette, Obituaries from the Clarion Democrat (Shippenville, Pennsylvania:S.J. Reed, c2000-2002) In various libraries (WorldCat); FHL book 974.869/C2 V4r 1901-1920


Indentured Servants


Poorhouse, Almshouse

Probate Records

Probate matters in Clarion 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 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:

Clarion County Only:

Original Probate Records on Microfilm


  • 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.


Clarion County Courthouse
421 Main St
Clarion, PA 16214
Phone: 814.226.4000
Hours: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm M-F

The Register and Recorder's Office holds birth and death records (1893-1906), marriage licenses (1885-present), register of wills (1840-present), and deeds (1839-present).

Courthouse 421 Main Street
1st floor Ste. 25
Phone: 814-226-4000

Register of Wills/Orphans' Court
421 Main Street
Suite 24
Clarion, PA 16214
Phone: 814.226.400 ext 2500

Family History Centers

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


Rich in history, Clarion County, Pennsylvania Genealogy contains a number of societies dealing with the history of the area.

Clarion County Historical Society
17 S 5th Avenue
Clarion, PA 16214
Phone: 814.226.4450
-mail: [

Hours: 10 am - 4 pm, M-F, weekends and evenings by appointment

Membership costs $15 (individual) or $25 (family) and comes with a subscription to the newsletter as well as free use of the Ralph J. and Virginia A. Fulton and Archives. The Historical Society's Genealogy Roundtable is held the first Thursday of every month at 6:00 PM.


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.


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 Clarion County, Pennsylvania Genealogy clerk's office for these records.

  • 1700-1821 - Pennsylvania Marriage Records – ($) This database is incomplete for all counties.
  • 1725-1976 - Pennsylvania, Marriages, 1709-1940 - free index. Not complete for all years. This index is not necessarily intended to index any specific set of records. This index is not complete for any particular place or region. This collection may include information previously published in the International Genealogical Index or Vital Records Index collections.
  • Pre-1810 – Pennsylvania Marriages – ($) This database is incomplete for all counties. Includes 35,000 marriage records from vol. VIII of of the second series of the Pennsylvania Archives.
  • 1852-1854 - Pennsylvania Marriages – ($) Index with images.
  • 1873 - Clarion County Marriage Index 1873 in International Genealogical Index at FamilySearch - free. Batch M544157.[4]
  • 1885-1950 - Pennsylvania County Marriage, 1885-1950 Extracted marriage records – free. This database is incomplete for all counties. May also contain marriage records earlier than 1885.

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

Clarion County Pennsylvania Genealogy Websites

Clarion County Pennsylvania Places

Populated Places

  • Highland Township - a website with transcriptions of the existing cemeteries and transcriptions of the 1850, 1860 and 1870 census records and other resource aids for the township.
  • Mill Creek Township - a website with transcriptions of the exisiting cemeteries and other resource aids for the township.
  • Piney Township -- a website with photos, history, obituaries, and other resource aids for the township.

Clarion County Pennsylvania Genealogy References

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), [FHL book 973 D27e 2002].
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Adams County, Pennsylvania" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at,_Pennsylvania (accessed 17 July 2012).
  3. Pennsylvania Line: A Research Guide to Pennsylvania Genealogy and Local History, 1990 ed. (Laughlintown, Pa.: Southwest Pennsylvania Genealogical Services, 1990). FHL Book 974.8 D27p 1990.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at
  5. The Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania accessed 10 July 2012.
  6. Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania, Clerk of Courts in (accessed 25 Aug 2012)
  7. The Philadelphia Courts at accessed 10 July 2012