Fayette County, Pennsylvania Genealogy

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United StatesGotoarrow.png Pennsylvania Gotoarrow.png Fayette County

Fayette 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.

Hand and keyboard.jpg Pennsylvania
Online Records

Fayette County, Pennsylvania
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Fayette County
Location in the state of Pennsylvania
Map of the U.S. highlighting Pennsylvania
Location of Pennsylvania in the U.S.
Founded September 26, 1783
County Seat Uniontown
Fayette County Pennsylvania Courthouse.jpg
Address Fayette County Courthouse
61 East Main St.
Uniontown, PA 15401
Fayette County Website
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Historical Facts

Beginning dates for major county records

Marquis de Lafayette.JPG

The county is named after Revolutionary War hero, the Marquis de Lafayette (1757-1834).[3]

Boundary Changes

  • 27 January 1750: Cumberland County was created from Lancaster County, including the area of future Fayette County.
  • 9 March 1771: Bedford County was created from Cumberland County, covering much of the southwest portion of the state including future Fayette County.
  • 26 February 1773: Westmoreland County was formed from Bedford County, taking the area of future Fayette County.


Bible Records



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

Online Grave Transcripts Published Grave Transcripts County Cemetery Directories


Family History Library




Names in Stone


Billion Graves

Pennsylvania Genealogy


Pennsylvania Gravestones

Billion Graves

Names in Stone

Access Genealogy


See Pennsylvania Cemeteries for more information.


For tips on accessing Fayette 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.

A good reference for early churches in Fayette County is History of Fayette County, Pennsylvania. The various churches are discussed at the township level in volume 2.[4] Some of the early denominations include: German Baptist, Methodist and Presbyterian.

Fayette county pennsylvania churches.png
Finding Church Records at Other Repositories

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

County-wide Database - Multi-denominational
Contains church records of:
  • Belle Vernon: First United Methodist Church
  • Brownsville: Christ Episcopal Church
  • Fayette: Little Redstone United Methodist Church
  • Uniontown: St. Peter's Episcopal Church
  • A copy of the Minutes of the Redstone Association of Pennsylvania, 1804-1836" is available at the Primitive Baptist Library in Carthage, Illinois.
  • "100 years of the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese 1843–1943," Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 17, No. 1. FHL Book 974.8 B2wg. Chronology, map, county-by-county information.

Court Records

Fayette County, Pennsylvania Genealogy court records are housed at the Fayette 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. Fayette 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 Fayette 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 Fayette 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 Fayette County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Orphans' Court contact information see the Courthouse section on this page.

Register of Wills (see Vital Records)

Fayette County Courthouse
61 East Main Street
Uniontown, PA 15401

Phone: (724) 430-1206
Fax: (724) 430-1275

Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM Closed from 12:00 to 1:00

Finding Court Records at Other Repositories

Additional court records can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Fayette 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 Fayette County began in 1784. These records are filed with the Recorder of Deeds office in Uniontown, 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

  • 1975–present Fayette County offers free online access to indexes since 1975. Fees apply to view images since 1988.

Land Records on Microfilm


  • MacInnes, Sharon Cook and Angus MacInnes. Early Landowners of Pennsylvania : Atlas of Township Warrantee Maps of Fayette County, PA. Apollo, Pennsylvania : Closson Press, 2005. FHL book 974.884 R2m

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

Additional Resources

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 Fayette County Pennsylvania Land in online catalogs such as:




Revolutionary War

Men living in what is now Fayette County (then Westmoreland County) served in the 8th Pennsylvania Regiment.[8]

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.

Original Naturalization Records on Microfilm


Fayette 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 Fayette 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 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 Indexes

  • Morgan, Yvonne L. Blair, Index of Census, Newspaper Obituary Files and Microfilm: Fayette, Green, Washington and Westmoreland Counties (Apollo, Pennsylvania:Closson Press, c2003) FHL book 974.88 V42m

Obituary Excerpts and Abstracts


Indentured Servants


Poorhouse, Almshouse

Probate Records

Probate matters in Fayette 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 Indexes

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:

Fayette County only:

Online Will Abstracts

Original Probate Records on Microfilm

Additional Probate Indexes and Abstracts

Additional probate indexes or abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Fayette County, Pennsylvania Genealogy probate wills in online catalogs like:


  • 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.

Fayette County Courthouse
61 East Main St.
Fayette County Pennsylvania Courthouse.jpg

Uniontown, PA 15401
Phone: 724-430-1230
Fax: 724-430-1001
Hours:  M - F 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

The Register of Wills is the filing and docketing office for the Orphans Court.
Register of Wills
Phone: 724-430-1206
Fax: 724-430-1275
Hours: M - F 8:00 - 4:30, Closed 12:00 - 1:00.

Clerk of Court
Janice Snyder
Phone: 724-430-1253
Fax: 724-438-8410
Hours: M - F 8:00 - 4:30, Closed 12:00 - 1:00

Phone: 724-430-1272
Fax: 724-430-4555
Hours: M - F 8:00 - 4:30

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

The Monessen Public Library and District Center may also order microfilms from FamilySearch.

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

  • Fayette County Historical Society
    P.O. Box 193
    Uniontown, PA 15401
    Phone: 724-439-4422

Other Helpful Societies:

  • Brownsville Historical Society
    P.O. Box 24
    Brownsville PA 15417
    Phone: 724-785-6882
  • Chestnut Ridge Historical Society
    P.O. Box 62
    Jones Mills PA 15646
    Phone: 724-593-3102
  • Greater Tri Town Area Historical Society
    Box 189
    Dawson PA 15428
    Phone: 724-529-2427
    Email: jmpyda@lcsys.net
  • Masontown Historical Society
    P.O. Box 769
    Masontown PA 15461
  • Fort Mason Historical Society
    P.O. Box 246
    Masontown PA 15461


  • 1785-1786 - Returns of Taxables for the Counties of Bedford (1773 to 1784), Huntingdon (1788), Westmoreland (1783, 1786), Fayette (1785, 1786), Allegheny (1791), Washington (1786) and Census of Bedford (1784) and Westmoreland (1783). (Pennsylvania Archives, Series 3, Vol. 22). Digital versions at Ancestry ($); Google Books - free.
  • 1798 - Pennsylvania, U.S. Direct Tax Lists, 1798 at Ancestry ($).

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.

  • 1750-1890 - Fayette County, Pennsylvania Vital Records, 1750-1890 at Ancestry ($). 25,000 names

In Fayette County the Register of Wills maintains the birth records created from 1893–1905. These records have been microfilmed by FamilySearch and may be ordered into a local FamilySearch Center or authorized public library for a small fee.

Additionally Fayette County has a record entitled: Birth Returns and Other Records for Negores and Mulattos, 1785, 1788–1826, 1830. This record registers births of "negro" or "mulatto" children filed with the county. According to the Pennsylvania State Archives website "information provided is the date of the child's birth, name of the child, names of the parents, and place of residence. Most of these records were filed with the Clerk of the Peace for Fayette County who also maintained certificates of slave registry. All records were prepared after the passage of the Act of the Gradual Abolition of Slavery in Pennsylvania. The certificates of slave registry, which encompass several counties, contain the registration date, place of residence of the slave owner, gender and age of the slave, and occasionally the slave's date of birth and mother's name. Additional miscellaneous documentation in this series include other materials dealing with slavery or particular slaves in the county."

A portion of this series has been transcribed by G.D. Dixon an is available on the Afrigeneas.com website. The link is:

This record is also available on microfilm through FamilySearch:

  • 1788-1826 Birth Returns for Negroes and Mulattoes, 1788-1826: Includes Certificates of Registry Received from Other Counties 1785, 1803, 1805, 1807-1808 and Miscellaneous Papers 1823, 1830 – FHL film 1449141.

Fayette County marriages are maintained by the Register of Wills. Fayette County began recording marriages in 1885, however, some marriages were recorded from 1852-1855. To obtain a marriage record you may go to or mail the Register of Wills office. They will perform searches but they must have the first and last names and an approximate date of the marriage. There is a $5.00 search fee.

A free online index with images to some Fayette County marriages can be found in the FamilySearch Records Collection, Pennsylvania, County Marriages, 1885–1950. Most of the records consist of marriage licenses, certificates, applications, docket books, and affidavits. These records have been microfilmed.

  • 1700-1821 - Pennsylvania Marriage Records Ancestry.com – ($) This database is incomplete for all counties.
  • 1725-1976 - Pennsylvania, Marriages, 1709-1940 - free index. Not complete for all years. This index is not necessarily intended to index any specific set of records. This index is not complete for any particular place or region. This collection may include information previously published in the International Genealogical Index or Vital Records Index collections.
  • Pre-1810 – Pennsylvania Marriages Ancestry.com – ($) This database is incomplete for all counties. Includes 35,000 marriage records from vol. VIII of of the second series of the Pennsylvania Archives.
  • 1852-1855 – Marriages and DeathsFHL film 861076
  • 1852-1854 - Pennsylvania Marriages Ancestry.com – ($) Index with images.
  • 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.
  • 1885-1916 Marriage License Dockets (Fayette County, Pennsylvania), films 1318021–1318055
  • 1885-1889 Marriages [Index of Brides A–R], Fayette County Genealogy Project

Divorce records are available through the office of the Prothonotary. The office of the Prothonotary is located in the courthouse building.


Fayette County did record a few early deaths in the 1852–1855 time period, however, recording deaths really did not begin until 1893. Records from 1893–1905 are available at the Register of Wills office in Uniontown. You may request a death record from the Register of Wills. There is a $5.00 search fee.

Additional resources:

Pennsylvania death certificates become public records after 50 years. An annual index is released by the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Records less than 50 years old are kept by the Division of Vital Records and are not public certificates. Only certain people can request a non-public death certificate. To order a non-public representative you must be:

  • Legal representative of decedent's estate
  • Immediate family member
  • Extended family member who indicates a direct relationship to the decedent
  • Power of Attorney (Please note that a Power of Attorney document is no longer valid upon the death of the individual)

See the Pennsylvania Department of Health website to obtain a copy of a non-public death certificate. The cost is $9.

The cost for a non-certified public death certificate is $3.00. Indexes for Pennsylvania public death records are available online through the Department of Health for 1906 through 1961. Once an individual is located in the index a certificate can be obtained by writing to:

Division of Vital Records
ATTN: Public Records
PO Box 1528
New Castle, PA 16103

Finding Vital Records at Other Repositories

Additional vital records can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Fayette County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Vital Records in online catalogs like:

Web Sites


Populated Places


  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 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adams_County,_Pennsylvania (accessed 17 July 2012).
  3. "Fayette County, Pennsylvania," Wikipedia.
  4. Franklin Ellis, "History of Fayette County, Pennsylvania with Biographical Sketches of Many of Its Pioneers and Prominent Men" (Philadelphia: L.H. Everts & Co., 1882). WorldCat 6718154; FHL book 974.884 H2e, vol. 2
  5. The Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania http://www.pacourts.us/T/CommonPleas/ accessed 10 July 2012.
  6. Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania, Clerk of Courts in http://www.pacourts.us/T/CommonPleas/ClerksOfCourts.htm (accessed 25 Aug 2012)
  7. The Philadelphia Courts at http://www.courts.phila.gov/common-pleas/orphans/ accessed 10 July 2012
  8. Harold Frederic, William C. Frederick III with William J. McMaster Sr., Path of Blood: The Untold Story of the Kittanning PA. Regiment in the American Revolution (Kittanning, Pa.: W.C. Frederick, 1998). FHL Book 974.8 M2ff