Lawrence County, Pennsylvania Genealogy

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United StatesGotoarrow.png Pennsylvania Gotoarrow.png Lawrence County

Lawrence County, Pennsylvania
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lawrence County
Location in the state of Pennsylvania
Map of the U.S. highlighting Pennsylvania
Location of Pennsylvania in the U.S.
Founded March 20, 1849
County Seat New Castle
Lawrence County, Pennsylvania Courthouse.jpg
Address Lawrence County Government Center
430 Court Street
New Castle, PA 16101
Lawrence County Website
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Historical Facts

Beginning dates for major county records

Named for the USS Lawrence, Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry's flagship in the Battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812.

Boundary Changes


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 Lawrence 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.

Finding Church Records at Other Repositories

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

LDS Ward and Branch Records
County-wide Database – Multi-denominational
Lawrence county pennsylvania churches.png
  • Hazen, Aaron Lyle. 20th Century History of New Castle and Lawrence County. Evansville, Indiana : Unigraphics, 1977. Reprint of original published: Chicago, Ill. : Richmond-Arnold Pub. Co., 1908. 1202 pages. includes histories of the churches in the county. Digital version: FamilySearch. FHL book 974.893 H2h.

Lists of founding members of the early church congregations in Lawrence County are listed in History of Lawrence County. Church histories are located under the township histories. WorldCat 5123388 FHL book 974.893 H2he [3]


Baptist congregations in New Castle were first established in 1843. By 1877 there were 5 congregations in New Castle.


Catholic priests visited Lawrence County until St. Mary's was erected in New Castle in 1852.


The first Episcopalian services were held in New Castle in 1843.


The first Lutheran church was established in New Castle in 1848. Other congregations organized in New Castle, including a Swedish Lutheran Zion church.


Congregations were established in New Castle (1836) Mahoningtown (1850).

Methodist Episcopal

The first Methodist Episcopal church was built in 1816 in New Castle. This congregation had been meeting since 1804. Other congregations were established in Wilmington, Wampum, Pulaski, Mahoning, Eon, Hickory, Mount Jackson, Clinton, and other communities.


The Moravians established a mission in Lawrence County in 1755, but moved to Tuscarawas Valley, Ohio, by 1773.


Earliest congregations were formed in Hopewell and Nashannock (1800), followed by New Castle (also called Lower Neshannock) and Westfield (1803).  Other congregations included Pulaski, Mahoningtown, Darlington, Little Beaver, Enon, Newport Village, and Westfield, among others in the county. 

United Presbyterian (Seceder or Associate Reformed)

An early congregation was formed in Deer Creek (1800), Mahoning (1800) and New Castle (1808). Other congregations were established in Wampum, Beacon Valley, New Wilmington, and Hickory.

Court Records

Lawrence County, Pennsylvania Genealogy court records are housed at the Lawrence 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. Lawrence County, Pennsylvania Genealogy County 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.[4]

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.[5] For the Lawrence 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 Lawrence County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Prothonotary office information.

The public can access these records in person, but all genealogical searches (i.e. Naturalization, Family Tree, Etc.) are processed only via regular mail. Search fee is $12.00. Please send all pertinent information along with self-addressed , stamped envelope to:

430 Court Street
New Castle, PA. 16101

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.[6]

For Lawrence County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Orphans' Court contact information see the Courthouse section on this page.

Lawrence County Government Center 430 Court Street New Castle, PA 16101

Phone: 1-724-658-2541 

Hours: 8:00am to 4:00 pm Monday - Friday 

Emigration and Immigration

For information about emigration into Pennsylvania, see the Pennsylvania Emigration and Immigration page.

Ethnic Groups





Published Histories
  • 20th century history of New Castle and Lawrence County, Pennsylvania and Representative Citizens, 1908. Book on line at, Text version from the USGenWeb Archives.
  • Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens Lawrence County Pennsylvania, 1897. Text Version from the USGenWeb Archives.
  • History of Lawrence County Pennsylvania by S.W. and P.A. Durant, 1877.  Text Version from the USGenWeb Archives.
  • History of Lawrence County Pennsylvania, 1887.  Text Version from the USGenWeb Archives.

Land and Property

Land records in Lawrence County began in 1849. These records are filed with the Register of Wills and Recorder of Deeds office in New Castle, 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

  • 1979–present The Register of Wills and Recorder of Deeds office offers online access to land records through Record Fusion. The online indexes are free but fees apply for copies.

Land Records on Microfilm

Additional Resources

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


Ancestor Tracks has posted free downloadable images from the 1908 Warrantee Atlas of Lawrence County, Pennsylvania.  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.

Atlas of Lawrence County, 1872 shows landowners. From the USGenWeb archives.
Warrantee Atlas, 1909 Depreciation, Donation, Settlers lands.  From the USGenWeb archives.

Lawrence County Township Maps, 1986.  From the USGenWeb archives.

New Castle, PA 1896



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 Berks County, Pennsylvania include the following:

Online Naturalization Indexes and Records

Original Naturalization Records on Microfilm


Lawrence 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 Lawrence County



Indentured Servants


Poorhouse, Almshouse

Probate Records

Probate matters in Lawrence 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:

Lawrence County Only:

Original Probate Records on Microfilm

Additional Probate Indexes and Abstracts

Additional probate indexes or abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Lawrence 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.


Lawrence County Government Center
430 Court Street
New Castle, PA 16101
Phone: 724–656-2144

Clerk of Courts/Prothonotary
Phone: 724-658-2541 Ex. 2143

Family History Centers

New Castle Public Library Genealogy/History Room
207 East North Street
New Castle, PA 16101
Phone: 724-658-6659, ext. 112

The library's collection includes local family histories, Pennsylvania county history books, census, newspapers and a local marriage and obituary database taken from the New Castle News. The library will do limited research for a fee.


Colonel Norman J. Maxwell On-line Museum "Family Heirlooms, Artifacts, Ephemera and Historic Places"


Lawrence County Historical Society
408 North Jefferson Street
New Castle, PA 16101
Phone: 724-658-4022
Open 11 am to 4 pm Tuesday, Thursday & Saturdays.

The research room collection includes Lawrence County Will Books, Immigration Records, Marriage Records, Deeds, County History, Maps, City Directories, Yearbooks. Onsite research help is available.


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

  • 1852-1854 – Pennsylvania Births – ($) Index with images.

Pennsylvania marriages are located at the county level. Contact the Lawrence 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.
  • 1850-2010 - Lawrence County, Pennsylvania, Marriage Index, 1850-2010 at Ancestry ($); free version at New Castle Public Library website.
  • 1852-1854 - Pennsylvania Marriages – ($) Index with images.
  • 1885-1950 - Pennsylvania County Marriage, 1885-1950 Extracted marriage records – free. Most of the records consist of marriage licenses, certificates, applications, docket books, and affidavits. 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

  • 1852-1854 – Pennsylvania Deaths – ($) Index with images.

Finding Vital Records at Other Repositories

Additional vital records can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Lawrence 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,_Pennsylvania (accessed 17 July 2012).
  3. S.W. and P.A. Durant, History of Lawrence County (Phildelphia: L.H. Everts and Co., 1877)
  4. The Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania accessed 10 July 2012.
  5. Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania, Clerk of Courts in (accessed 25 Aug 2012)
  6. The Philadelphia Courts at accessed 10 July 2012