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Dauphin County, Pennsylvania Genealogy

Guide to Dauphin 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: Harrisburg
Organized: March 4, 1785
Parent County(s): Lancaster[1]
Neighboring Counties
Northumberland  • Perry  • York  • Lebanon  • Lancaster  • Cumberland  • Schuylkill
See County Maps
Courthouse
Dauphin County, Pennsylvania Courthouse.jpg
Location Map
Dauphin County PA Map.png
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County InformationEdit

DescriptionEdit

The county was named after Louis-Joseph, Dauphin of France, the first son of Louis XVI. The county is located in the Southeast Central section of the state.[2]

County CourthouseEdit

Dauphin County Courthouse- 2nd Floor
101 Market Street
Harrisburg, PA 17101
Register of Wills Phone: 717-780-6500
Clerk of the Orphans' Court Phone: 717-780-6510
Dauphin County Prothonotary Phone: 717–780-6520
Dauphin County Website

The Register of Wills holds birth and death records (1893-1906), marriage records (1850-1855 and 1885-present) and estates. See their Genealogy search request form to request a search.

Dauphin County, Pennsylvania Record DatesEdit

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 1893 1785 1785 1795 1790
Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1906. General compliance by 1915.

Record LossEdit

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

Boundary ChangesEdit

16 Feb 1813: Lebanon County was created from parts of Dauphin and Lancaster counties.

For animated maps illustrating Pennsylvania county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Pennsylvania County Boundary Maps" (1673-1878) may be viewed at the MapofUS.org website.

Populated PlacesEdit

The following are locations in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania:

Middletown Borough

Hershey

History TimelineEdit

ResourcesEdit

Bible RecordsEdit

BiographiesEdit

Business, Commerce, and OccupationsEdit

Indentured Servants

  • List of imported servants and transported convicts from Europe. Online at: Immigrant Servants Database. Includes list of imported servants and transported convicts who served labor terms in Colonial York County, Pennsylvania.

CemeteriesEdit

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The usage of "Mormon" and "LDS" on this page is approved according to current policy.




Cemeteries of Dauphin 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

  Additional Cemetery Resources

Census RecordsEdit

For links and tips on using Federal (or United States) census records online for Dauphin County, see: Pennsylvania Census.


Church RecordsEdit

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.

Dauphin county pennsylvania churches.png

The Historical Society of Dauphin County has an excellent collection of records and photographs for many local area churches. Their records include baptisms, marriages and death records for many Dauphin County churches, some dating back to the 1700's. The society also maintains an archive with hundreds of manuscript items. Details of their manuscript holdings are available on their website. For information about research services and fees, see the "Research Fees" page.

The Capital Area Genealogical Society in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania has some published Dauphin County church records. See the Research Library Holdings page for a 2010 pdf. list of all their holdings.

For a good history concerning early churches of Dauphin County, see History of Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. The religion section is divided into town and township and discusses the denominations in each of the areas.

County-wide Database - Multi-denominational

Contains church records of:
  • Jonathan Worrall, J.P./Misc. Marriage Licenses, 1890-1915
  • Berrysburg: PA Conference Evangelical Association
  • Elizabethville: Trinity United Methodist Church
  • Harrisburg: Harrisburg First Church of God; Lutheran Church; Lutheran Church of the Redeemer; Memorial Lutheran Church; Park Street United Methodist Church; Rev. Nathaniel R. Snowden Records; St. Michael's Evangelical Lutheran Church; St. Paul's Episcopal Church; St. Stephen's Episcopal Church; United Church of Christ; Zion German Lutheran Church
  • Hummelstown: Hummelstown United Church of Christ; Trinity United Methodist Church
  • Millersburg: St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church
  • Oberlin: Neidig Memorial United Methodist Church
  • Philadelphia: Cooper Memorial United Methodist Church
  • Steelton: St. John's Lutheran Church
  • Susquehanna: Paxton Methodist Episcopal Church
  • Williamstown: Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church
  • 1744-1844 Dauphin County, Pennsylvania Church Records at Ancestry ($). Includes records from Salem Reformed Church (Harrisburg, Pa.), Lykens Valley Lower Church (David's Reformed) (Killingern, Upper Paxtang, Pa.), Fetterhoff's Lutheran and Reformed Church, Fredricktown Church (Hummelstown, Pa.), Hoffman Reformed Church, Lykens Valley Lower Church, Middletown Church, Paxtang and Derry Presbyterian Churches, Reformed Church (Hummelstown, Pa.), St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church, Salem Reformed Church (Harrisburg, Pa.), Shoop's Reformed Church, Wenerich's Reformed Church, Zion Church.
  • 1757-1825 Humphrey, John T. Pennsylvania Births, Dauphin County, 1757-1825 Washington, D.C.: PA Genealogy Books, 2005. FHL Book 974.818 V2h.
Contains church records of Hill or "Maxe" Lutheran Church, Derry Township; Middletown Lutheran Church, Middletown, Lower Swatara Township; Hummelstown Lutheran Congregation, Derry Township; Evangelical Reformed Church, Lykens Valley, Upper Paxton Township; Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church, Killinger, Lykens Valley; Shoop's Church or Paxton Church, Lutheran and Reformed, Lower Paxton Township; Klinger's Church, Erdman, Lutheran and Reformed, Lykens Township; Salem Reformed Church, Harrisburg; Fetterhoff's Church, Lutheran and Reformed, Halifax Township; St. John's Lutheran Church, Lykens Valley, Upper Paxton Township; Hoffman's Reformed Church, Lykens Township; Zion Lutheran Church, Harrisburg; Wenrich's Church, Lutheran and Reformed, Lower Paxton Township; and St. Stephen's Protestant Episcopal Church, Harrisburg.

Lutheran
Bindnagle Lutheran and Reformed Church, Derry Township

Hill Lutheran Church, Derry Township

Klinger's Evangelical Lutheran and Reformed Church, Upper Paxton Township

St. John's Lutheran Church near Berrysburg, Miflin Township

St. Matthew Evangelical Lutheran Church, Lykens Township

St. Peter's Evangelical Lutheran Church, Middletown

Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church, Killinger

St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church, Derry Township

Union Salem Church, Berrysburg

Zion Evangelical Lutheran and Evangelical Reformed Congregations, Erdman

Zion Lutheran Church, Harrisburg

Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, Hummelstown

Methodist

Presbyterian
The first three churches established in the county were the Hanover, Paxtang and Derry Churches. These were organized prior to 1730.Luther Reily Kelker, "History of Dauphin County, Pennsylvania" (New York: Lewis Publishing Company, 1907) 224-240. WorldCat 361725; FHL book 974.818 H2k vol. 1

  • 1741-1810 Marriage Record of Paxtang and Derry Churches, 1741-1810 (Pennsylvania Archives, Series 2, Vol. 8, Part 10) at Ancestry ($); Google Books

The Hanover Presbyterian Church was built in 1736 in a Scotch-Irish settlement in what is now Lebanon County. This settlement was previously in Lancaster County, before Dauphin County was formed. 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.

Derry Presbyterian Congregation, Derry Township

Harrisburg Presbyterian Church

Pine Street Presbyterian Church, Harrisburg

Westminster Presbyterian Church, Harrisburg

Reformed
Hoffman Reformed Church

Shoop's Reformed Church, Harrisburg

  • 1771-1830 Shoop's Reformed Church, Harrisburg, Baptism Index 1771-1830 in International Genealogical Index at FamilySearch. Batch C507361 Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at Media.

Court RecordsEdit

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.

DirectoriesEdit

Emigration and ImmigrationEdit

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

  • List of imported servants and transported convicts from Europe. Online at: Immigrant Servants Database. Includes list of imported servants and transported convicts who served labor terms in Colonial York County, Pennsylvania.

Ethnic, Political, and Religious GroupsEdit

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

Funeral HomesEdit

GenealogiesEdit

GuardianshipEdit

The Orphan's Court ensures the best interests of those not capable of handling their own affairs: minors, incapacitated persons, decedents' estates, and more.[6]

Land and Property RecordsEdit

Dauphin county pennsylvania townships.png

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 Dauphin County began in 1785. These records are filed with the Recorder of Deeds office in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Online Land Abstracts and Records

Local HistoriesEdit






Maps and GazetteersEdit

York CountyLancaster CountyLebanon CountySchuylkill CountyNorthumberland CountySnyder CountyJuniata CountyPerry CountyCumberland CountyPA DAUPHIN.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Maps of Pennsylvania (1673-1878)

MacInnes, Sharon Cook and Angus MacInnes. Early landowners of Pennsylvania Atlas of Township Warrantee Maps of Dauphin County, PA Apollo, Pennsylvania Closson Press, 2009. FHL book 974.818 E7ms

Ancestor Tracks has posted downloadable images of The Combination Atlas Map of Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, Compiled, Drawn and Published from Personal Examinations and Surveys by Everts & Stewart, 1875. This wall map 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 be used commercially. We hereby give permission to use them strictly for personal use; please attribute to Ancestor Tracks.

Atlas of Township Warrantee Maps of Dauphin County and a Companion Scans of Township Warrantee Maps plus Current Road Overlays CD ($) is also available from Ancestor Tracks. They show precise outlines in metes and bounds of each original tract and all surrounding tracts in the township, giving the names of the warrantee and patentee; dates of the warrant, survey, and patent; and the patent and survey book and page of the recorded patent.

MigrationEdit

Military RecordsEdit

French and Indian War
In 1756, Colonel Armstrong recruited many Scotch-Irish men from what is now Dauphin County (then Lancaster County). They attacked and destroyed the Indian village at Kittanning (present-day Armstrong County).[7]

Reverend John Elder, pastor of Derry and Paxtang churches, recruited Scotch-Irish rangers from his congregation in what is now Dauphin County (then Lancaster County). Known as the Paxton Rangers or Paxton Boys, they provided security for white settlements between the Blue Mountains and the Susquehanna River. They are remembered for playing a prominent role in Pontiac's War.

Revolutionary War
Men from what is now Dauphin County (then Lancaster County) served in the 1st Pennsylvania Regiment.[8]

War of 1812
Anderson, John, Dr. John Anderson papers, 1812-1814, 1819 Microfilm of original records in the Bureau of Archives and History in Harrisburg. Contains enlistment records relating to Pennsylvanians in the War of 1812. FHL Film 1032585 Item 3.

Naturalization and CitizenshipEdit

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

Online Naturalization Indexes and Records

NewspapersEdit

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 Dauphin County

Online Newspapers

Daily Patriot and Unio 15 October 1860-31 October 1863
Pennsylvnia Daily Telegraph 21 January 1859- 26 Nov 1862
Evening Telegraph 28 Nove 1862 -11 Mar 1864
Pennsylvania Telegraph 12 Mar 1864 - 31 Dec 1864

Online Newspaper Abstracts

Newspaper Excerpts and Abstracts June - September 1918.

  • Marriages and Deaths from Dauphin Co. Newspapers, (SLC, Utah, 1980) FHL film 1298604

ObituariesEdit

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

  • Stroh, Alice F., Cemetery Records of Dauphin County, Pennsylvania (SLC, Utah, 1978) FHL film 1026670 item 5
  • Deaths from Berks, Dauphin and Philadelphia Counties Newspapers, 1791-1864 (SLC, Utah, 1964) FHL film 385043

Other RecordsEdit

PeriodicalsEdit

Probate RecordsEdit

Probate matters in Dauphin 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 Indexes and Records

School RecordsEdit

Tax RecordsEdit

Vital RecordsEdit

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.

BirthEdit

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 $

MarriageEdit

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

DeathEdit

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

DivorceEdit

Divorce records are available through the office of the Prothonotary.

Research FacilitiesEdit

ArchivesEdit


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

Family History CentersEdit

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.

LibrariesEdit

  • Alexander Family Research Library and Archives
    219 S. Front Street
    Harrisburg PA 17104
    Phone:(717)233-3462
    E-mail:library@dauphincountyhistory.org.
    website
The Library is a wonderful resource for both genealogical and local history research. It holds church records, newspaper clippings, cemetery inventories, military records, and more.If you cannot come to Harrisburg to do your own research, the Librarian can conduct on-site research for an additional fee. Please contact the Librarian if you have any questions.

MuseumsEdit

SocietiesEdit

The Alexander Family Library holds church records, newspaper clippings, cemetery inventories, military records, and more.

WebsitesEdit

  • USGenWeb project. May have maps, name indexes, history or other information for this county. Select the state, then the county.
  • Dauphin County 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 GuidesEdit

ReferencesEdit

  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/Dauphin_County,_Pennsylvania accessed 2/2/2017
  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. The Philadelphia Courts at Common Pleas accessed 10 July 2012
  7. Wayland F. Dunaway, The Scotch-Irish of Colonial Pennsylvania (Chapel Hill, N.C.: The University of North Carolina Press, 1944), 150-154. Free digital version at PA's Past: Digital Bookshelf at Penn State.
  8. 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.
  9. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/images/2/23/Igipennsylvaniac.pdf.
  10. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/images/2/23/Igipennsylvaniac.pdf.