Lancaster County, Pennsylvania Genealogy
- 1 County Courthouse
- 2 Quick History
- 3 Places/Localities
- 4 Resources
- 5 Local Histories
- 6 Maps
- 7 Military
- 8 Newspapers
- 9 Probate
- 10 Taxation
- 11 Vital Records
- 12 Societies and Libraries
- 13 Web Sites
- 14 References
Register of Wills
50 N. Duke St.
P.O. Box 83480
Lancaster, PA 17608-3480
email: Mary Ann Gerber - MGerber@co.lancaster.pa.us
Office of the Clerk of Courts
County of Lancaster
50 North Duke Street
P.O. Box 83480
Lancaster, PA 17608-3480
Phone: (717) 299-8275
Fax: (717) 295-3686
Many Scotch-Irish immigrants settled in Lancaster County in the early eighteenth century. The area was predominantly a German place of settlement.
- 14 October 1749: York County set off.
- 14 October 1751: Berks County set off.
- 27 January 1750: Cumberland County set off.
- 21 March 1772: Northumberland County set off.
- 16 October 1813: Lebanon County set off.
- Lancaster County USGenWeb Project This site has several listings for Lancaster County cemetery records.
Cemeteries of Lancaster County in Adamstown & Akron Boroughs and Bart, Brecknock, & Caernarvon Townships. Lists of cemeteries, some with lists of burials.
The Family History Library has a number of cemetery records in books and on films. They would be available either in the Family History Library in Salt Lake City or in one of its affiliate Family History Centers.
- Camp Hill Cemetery, Mt. Joy at BillionGraves
- Chiques Church of the Brethren Cemetery, Rapho at BillionGraves
- Concordia Cemetery in Columbia PA at BillionGraves
- Creswell Cemetery, Conestoga at BillionGraves
- Crossroads Brethren in Christ Church Cemetery, Mt. Joy at BillionGraves
- Donegal Presbyterian Church Cemetery, East Donegal Township in BillionGraves
- Eberle Cemetery, Mt. Joy at BillionGraves
- East Petersburg Mennonite Cemetery, East Petersburg at BillionGraves
- Green Mount Cemetery, Highville at BillionGraves
- Habecker Mennonite Cemetery, Manor Township at BillionGraves
- [http://www.billiongraves.com/pages/cemetery/cemetery.php?cemetery_id=160021 Hernley Memorial Cemetery, Manheim (Rapho Twp.) at BillionGraves
- Kauffman Mennonite Church Cemetery in Penn, PA at BillionGraves
- Kinderhook Cemetery in Columbia PA at BillionGraves
- Laurel Hill Cemetery in Columbia PA at BillionGraves
- Marietta Cemetery, Marietta at BillionGraves
- Maytown Reformed UCC Church Cemetery, Mayton at BillionGraves
- Millport Mennonite Church Cemetery, Millport at BillionGraves
- Mount Bethel Cemetery in Columbia PA at BillionGraves
- Mt. Joy Cemetery, Mt. Joy at BillionGraves
- Mountville Cemetery, Mountville at BillionGraves
- Mountville Church of the Brethren Cemetery, Mountville at BillionGraves
- Saint Peters Cemetery in Columbia PA at BillionGraves
- Silver Springs Cemetery in West Hempfield PA at BillionGraves
- Trinity Cemetery in Columbia PA at BillionGraves
- Washington Boro Cemetery in Washington Boro PA at BillionGraves
For tips on accessing Lancaster 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.
- Lancaster County USGenWeb Project This site has several listings of online Lancaster County church records.
- 1728-1853 - Sachse, Julius F. "The Registers of the Ephrata Community," The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Burials 1728-1853: Vol. 14 (1890):297-312, Burials 1730s-1813: 387-402. For free online access, see WeRelate.
St. James's Church, Lancaster
Registers begin in 1755.
St. John's Church, Pequea
Registers are lost, but some parishioners appear in the registers of St. James's Church, Lancaster.
St. Thomas's Church, Caernarvon
Registers are lost, but some parishioners appear in the registers of St. James's Church, Lancaster."
Bangor Church, Caernarvon
Registers are lost, but some parishioners appear in the registers of St. James's Church, Lancaster. An old trunk was discovered at Bangor Church with "sundry account-books and ancient title-deeds."
The first Scotch-Irish settlement in Lancaster County was made at Chickies Creek in 1714. Donegal Presbyterian Church was built there shortly thereafter. Pequea Presbyterian Church, constructed at another early Scotch-Irish settlement, was built in 1724.
Paxtang Church and Derry Church were both organized in 1729.
The Hanover Presbyterian Church was built in 1736 in a Scotch-Irish settlement. This ground later fell within the bounds of Dauphin County and still later Lebanon County after those counties split off.
Ethnic, Political, or Religious Groups
- Come join our Lancaster County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Group at Facebook
- Lancaster County has placed all county land records on-line Which can be viewed for free. Land Records from 1981 to present can be viewed and searched; you do not have to be a registered user, just login as Guest. Land Records from 1729 to 1981 can be viewed but not searched; the eFilm system is a bit awkward if you don't have the Page number and the Land Record number (Book and Volume for older records).
- Deeds, 1729-1867; Index, 1729-1894 FHL film 21439 (first of 111 films)
- Ancestor Tracks has published Early Landowners of Pennsylvania: Atlas of Township Warrantee Maps of Lancaster County which contains the Township Warrantee Maps on file at the Pennsylvania Archives in Harrisburg. Each Warrantee Map was painstakingly platted by draftsmen from the original warrants, surveys, and patents of current Lancaster County. The maps show precise outlines in metes and bounds of each original tract and all surrounding tracts in each township. Information included: names of the warrantee and patentee (first owners); tract name and size; dates of the warrant, survey and patent; patent book and page number; survey book and page number; and atlals coordinate. Surveys have been placed online by the Pennsylvania Archives.
- Lancaster County USGenWeb Project This site has several online histories of Lancaster County.
Some of the Lancaster County histories available in the Family History Library:
- History of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men. Ellis, Franklin, 1828-1885 (Has been microfilmed on #547037 or on #1000559 Item 3)
- History of Lancaster County : to which is prefixed a brief sketch of the early history of Pennsylvania. Rupp, Israel Daniel, 1803-1878 (Has been microfilmed on #1036814 Item 3)
- An authentic history of Lancaster County, in the state of Pennsylvania. Mombert, J. I. (Jacob Isidor) , 1829-1913 (This book has been digitized.)
- 1875 Historical Atlas of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Everts & Stewart (Has been microfilmed on #982071 Item 13)
- Ancestor Tracks has posted free, downloadable images from the Bridgens' Atlas of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania from Actual Surveys by H.F. Bridgens published by D.S. Bare in 1864. This atlas 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.
- An Atlas of Township Warrantee Maps of Lancaster County and a Companion Scans of Township Warrantee Maps plus Current Road Overlay CD ($) are 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.
- Lancaster County USGenWeb Project This site contains several maps of Lancaster County both old and modern.
- Online map site: http://www.800padutch.com/lancastermap.shtml
French and Indian War
In 1756, Colonel Armstrong recruited many Scotch-Irish men from Lancaster County. They attacked and destroyed the Indian village at Kittanning (present-day Armstrong County).
Colonel Henry Bouquet led a group of Scotch-Irish men from Lancaster County to rescue Fort Pitt. They decisively defeated the Indians at the Battle of Bushy Run.
Reverend John Elder, pastor of Derry and Paxtang churches, recruited Scotch-Irish rangers from his congregation in 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.
Local men served in the Lancaster County Militia. A guide at the Pennsylvania State Archives website identifies townships where specific companies recruited soldiers, see Revolutionary War Militia Battalions and Companies, Arranged by County.
Pennsylvania Volunteers of the Civil War lists Lancaster County Pennsylvania Soldiers in the Civil War - Civil War Books, Rosters, Medal of Honor Recipients, and Soldier Biographies.
The Lancaster County Digitization Project is a consortium of institutions interested in digitizing the county's newspaper and manuscript collections. Several Lancaster county newspapers are provided in digital format through this and other collaborative efforts.
- Lancaster Examiner and Hearld (1834-72) from Collections: Our Digital Newspapers
- The Columbia Spy (1830-89) from Collections: Our Digital Newspapers
- The Intelligencer Journal (1848-71) from Collections: Our Digital Newspapers
- The New Holland Clarion (1873-1950) from Collections: Our Digital Newspapers
- The Lancaster Farmer (1869-84) from Collections: Our Digital Newspapers
Newspapers in Lancaster Pennsylvania at Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
A number of wills and other probate records from the Lancaster County Probate office have been filmed by the Family History Library in Salt Lake and are available for viewing either in Salt Lake or in one of its affiliate Family History Centers.
Lancaster County has an Online Index for their Probate Files and can be viewed for free.
An Index to the Will Books and Intestate Records of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania 1729-1850 ($) by Eleanore Jane Fulton at Ancestry, institutional access only
These records are held at the County Archives.
- Marriage Licenses are recorded continuously from 1885 and an index are available on-line.
- Old birth records from 1881 through 1906 are kept by the Register of Wills
- Old death registrations from 1894 through 1907 are kept in the County Archives
Birth/Death records from 1907 to the present are kept by the Pennsylvania Department of Vital Records at New Castle, PA
The Lancaster County Register of Wills maintains a 24-hour telephone information line (717-295-2001) which gives specific details about how to access these birth/death records
Societies and Libraries
There are two very helpful societies in Lancaster County:
Lancaster County Historical Society
230 N President Ave
Lancaster, PA 17603
The society has a research library.
The Family History Library has some of the journals they have published on microfilm.
Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society
2215 Millstream Rd
Lancaster, PA 17602-1499
The society has an online catalog.
Family History Centers
- The Lancaster County PA GenWeb Project, has numerous maps, church records, local histories, family histories, and other genealogical and historical information for Lancaster county.
- FamilyHart Online Database This is an online family database containing over 719,000 records, mostly of Pennsylvania Dutch Extraction. Many of the families are from Lancaster County. This database adds 1,000 names per week which is updated online every quarter. It is the most comprehensive family database online for Pennsylvania Dutch families.
- Pennsylvania Dutch Family History, Genealogy, Culture and Life This site contains links to everything Pennsylvania Dutch with a large concentration in Lancaster County.
- Wayland F. Dunaway, The Scotch-Irish of Colonial Pennsylvania (Chapel Hill, N.C.: The University of North Carolina Press, 1944), 50. Free digital version at PA's Past: Digital Bookshelf at Penn State. Cite error: Invalid
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- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), [FHL book 973 D27e 2002].
- Philip Syng Physick Conner,"Registers of the Anglican Church in Pennsylvania prior to 1800," The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 12 (1888):341-349. For free online access, see WeRelate.
- 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.
- Wikipedia contributors, "9th Pennsylvania Regiment," http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9th_Pennsylvania_Regiment, accessed 31 May 2012.