Lebanon County, Pennsylvania Genealogy

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United StatesGotoarrow.png Pennsylvania Gotoarrow.png Lebanon County

Lebanon County, Pennsylvania
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lebanon County
Location in the state of Pennsylvania
Map of the U.S. highlighting Pennsylvania
Location of Pennsylvania in the U.S.
Founded February 16, 1813
County Seat Lebanon
Address Lebanon County Building
400 South 8th Street
Lebanon, PA 17042-6794
Lebanon County Website
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Historical Facts

Beginning dates for major county records
  • Parent Counties: Formed from Dauphin and Lancaster Counties 16 February 1813. [1]
  • County Seat: Lebanon
  • Neighboring Counties: Lebanon County, Pennsylvania Genealogy residents may also have records in [2]Schuylkill (north) • Berks (east) • Lancaster (south)  • Dauphin (west)

Lebanon County was predominantly settled by Germans.[3]

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


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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 Lebanon 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 Lebanon County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Church Records  in online catalogs like:

County-wide Database – Multi-denominational
Lebanon county pennsylvania churches.png
Contains the church records of:
  • Jonestown: St. Mark's Episcopal Church
  • Lebanon: St. Luke's Episcopal Church
  • Palmyra: Lutheran Church; Trinity United Church of Christ
  • Schaefferstown: St. Luke's Lutheran Church; St. Paul's United Church of Christ
  • 1714-1800 - Humphrey, John T. Pennsylvania Births, Lebanon County, 1714-1800. Washington, D.C.: Humphrey Pub., 1996. FHL Book 974.819 K2h.
Information taken from these church records: records of John Casper Stoever, Jr.; Quitopahilla or Hill Lutheran Church in North Annville Township; Tulpehocken Reformed Church in Jackson Township; Bindnagel's Lutheran Church in North Londonderry Township; Tabor Reformed Church in Lebanon; Swatara Reformed Church in Bethel Township; Bethel Moravian Church; Salem Lutheran Church in Lebanon; Millbach Reformed Church in Millcreek Township; Klopp's Reformed Church in Bethel Township; Heidelberg Reformed Church in Schaefferstown; Heidelberg Lutheran Church in Schaefferstown; Ziegel Lutheran Church in Bethel Township; St. John's Lutheran Church in Fredericksburg; Kimmerling's Reformed Church in Lebanon Township; Campbelltown Lutheran Church in Campbelltown; Quitopahilla Reformed Church in Cleona; Zion Lutheran Church in Jonestown; Trinity Lutheran Church in Colebrook.
Union Churches

It was common in Lebanon County to have Union churches. These were churches where two congregations shared a common property. Each congregation usually held independent services. Often the Union churches in Lebanon County were Lutheran and Reformed congregations. [4]


The first Catholic church was built in Lebanon City between 1810-1814.


The first Lutheran congregation was Hill church established in 1733 by John Caspar Stoever, near Quitopahila. Early churches were also formed in Stouchsburg and North Annesville and Lebanon. The Millbach church was a union church of Lutherans and Reformed Calvinists. In 1787 in Heidelburg and Lebanon, the Lutherans and Reformed churches had separate buildings. In most other towns there were union churches.


Methodism first entered Lebanon in 1827 and the first building was built in Lebanon City in 1840.


The Moravians entered Lebanon County in 1740. Until 1752 it was the leading religious group in the county. Early congregations were formed in Bethel, Tulpehocken and Hebron. [5]

  • 1775-1781 - "Extracts from the Records of the Moravian Congregation at Hebron, Pennsylvania, 1775-1781," The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 18 (1894):449-462. For free online access, see WeRelate.

The Hanover Presbyterian Church was built in 1736 in a Scotch-Irish settlement. This settlement was previously in Dauphin County, before Lebanon County was formed, and in Lancaster County, before Dauphin County was formed.[3] As the county grew, the Presbyterian faith became less prominent than the Lutheran, Reformed, Moravian and Mennonite congregations. [6]


Reformed congregations (also called Calvinists) often shared their property with local Lutheran congregations.  These were called union churches.  In 1787 in Heidelburg and Lebanon, the Lutherans and Reformed churches had separate buildings. Millbach, Heidelberg and Tulpehocken were all early Reformed congregations.

  • 1763-1769 - Kelker, Luther R. "Record of Marriages Performed by Rev. John Conrad Bucher, 1763-1769," The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 26 (1902):375-381. For free online access, see WeRelate.

United Brethren

The first congregation was established in Lebanon in 1820. Another church was built near Anneville in 1823.

Court Records

Court of Common Pleas

Lebanon County, Pennsylvania Genealogy court records are housed at the Lebanon 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.

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. Lebanon 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.[7]

Clerk of the Courts

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.[8] For the Lebanon 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 Lebanon County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Prothonotary office information.

The Prothonotory offices is found ubder the Departments tab.

Orphans' Court

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 Lebanon County began in 1813. These records are filed with the Recorder of Deeds office in Lebanon, 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

  • 1956–present Images are available online using the Landex system. There is a fee to view the images.

Land Records on Microfilm


  • 1805–1824 Patent Book of Land Surveys. FHL film 1032469 Item 4 The earlier land records for what would become Lebanon County are for the applicable parent counties.

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


Ancestor Tracks has posted free and downloadable images from the County Atlas of Lebanon County Pennsylvania from Recent and Actual Surveys under the Superintendence of F.W. Beers published by F.A. Davis in 1875.  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 commerically.  We hereby give permission to use them strictly for personal use; please attirbute to Ancestor Tracks.



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 Lebanon County, Pennsylvania include the following:

Online Naturalization Indexes and Records


Lebanon 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 Lebanon 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 Excerpts and Abstracts

  • Translated and transcribed by Robert A. Heilman, Deaths Reported by Der Libanon Demokrat, a German Language Newspaper Published at Lebanon, Pennsylvania, 1832-1864 (Bowie, Maryland:Heritage Books, c1990) At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL book 974.819/L1 V4h
  • Scrapbook by Schuyler C. Brossman; Lebanon Daily News (Lebanon, Pennsylvania,) Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, War Dead of World War I, World War II, Korea, and Part of the Vietnan War : as Published in the Daily News, Lebanon, Pennsylvania With a Few Related Clippings (SLC, Utah, 1992) FHL film 1597995 item 8
  • Brossman, Schuyler C., Veterans of Western Berks County, Pennsylvania (SLC, Utah, 1963-64,1967-68, 1976, 1988, 1995) FHL film 363885 (1st of 8)


Indentured Servants


Poorhouse, Almshouse

Probate Records

Probate matters in Lebanon 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 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:

Lebanon 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 Lebanon 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.


Lebanon County Courthouse
400 South Eighth Street
Lebanon, PA 17042

Clerk of Courts
Phone: (717) 228-4419
Fax: (717) 228-4467
Office Hours : Monday through Friday - 8:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M.

Prothonotarys Office
Room 104
Telephone: (717) 228-4418
Fax : (717) 228-4467

Family History Centers

Lebanon County Historical Society
924 Cumberland Street
Lebanon, PA 17042
Phone: 717–272-1473
E–mail: office@lchsociety.org
Hours: Monday 1:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Tuesday CLOSED
Wednesday CLOSED
Thursday 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Friday 1:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Saturday 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Sunday 1:00 PM – 4:30 PM
All Holidays CLOSED

The Historical Society's archive holdings include:

  • church histories, records, and cemetery surveys
  • federal census records
  • local newspapers on microfilm, including Pennsylvania German publications
  • historical maps and city business directories
  • county marriage records on microfilm from 1886 through 1949
  • several hundred compiled family histories
  • high school yearbooks

The Historical Society will conduct research for a fee. Questions regarding Research by Mail:

E–mail office@lchsociety.org
Phone: 717–272-1473


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

  • 1726-1930 - Pennsylvania, Births and Christenings, 1709-1950 - free 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.com – ($) Index with images.

Pennsylvania marriages are located at the county level. Contact the Lebanon County, Pennsylvania Genealogy clerk's office for these records.

  • 1700-1821 - Pennsylvania Marriage Records Ancestry.com – ($) This database is incomplete for all counties.
  • 1725-1976 - Pennsylvania, Marriages, 1709-1940 - free index. Not complete for all years. This index is an electronic database of information. The entries are primarily from the International Genealogical Index (IGI) along with some entries derived from compiled and original records such as: Family Records, Church Records, Civil Registration. It may also include indexes generated by the internet indexing project sponsored by the LDS Church.
  • Pre-1810 – Pennsylvania Marriages Ancestry.com – ($) This database is incomplete for all counties. Includes 35,000 marriage records from vol. VIII of of the second series of the Pennsylvania Archives.
  • 1852-1854 - Pennsylvania Marriages Ancestry.com – ($) 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 Ancestry.com – ($) Index with images.

Finding Vital Records at Other Repositories

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

Web Sites

  • USGenWeb project. May have maps, name indexes, history or other information for this county. Select the state, then the county.
  • Family History Library Catalog


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. 3.0 3.1 Wayland F. Dunaway, The Scotch-Irish of Colonial Pennsylvania (Chapel Hill, N.C.: The University of North Carolina Press, 1944), 57-58. Free digital version at PA's Past: Digital Bookshelf at Penn State. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "way" defined multiple times with different content
  4. Theodore E. Schmauck, The Early Churches of Lebanon County (Lebanon, Pennsylvania: The Century Printing Co., 1902).
  5. Theodore E. Schmauk, The Early Churches of Lebanon County (Lebanon, Pennsylvania: The Century Printing Co., 1902)
  6. Theodore E. Schmauk, The Early Churches of Lebanon County (Lebanon, Pennsylvania: The Century Printing Co., 1902)
  7. The Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania http://www.pacourts.us/T/CommonPleas/ accessed 10 July 2012.
  8. Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania, Clerk of Courts in http://www.pacourts.us/T/CommonPleas/ClerksOfCourts.htm (accessed 25 Aug 2012)