Difference between revisions of "Mercer County, Pennsylvania Genealogy"

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==== Naturalization and Citizenship  ====
==== Naturalization and Citizenship  ====
''Naturalization records available for Mercer County, Pennsylvania include the following:''<br> <br> '''Online Naturalization Indexes and Records'''<br>
:*'''1820-1906''' – [http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=1192 Index to Declarations and Petitions in the Western District of Pennsylvania, US Circuit and District Courts] located in ''US Naturalization Records Indexes, 1794-1995'' database on [http://ancestry.com Ancestry.com] - ($), National Archives publication M1208<br>
:*'''1820-1930''' – [http://www.fold3.com/titleinfo.php?id=119&title=naturalizations_pa_western%2F&xid=319 Naturalization Petitions of the U.S. District Court, 1820-1930, and Circuit Court, 1820-1911, for the Western District of Pennsylvania] on [http://www.fold3.com/ Fold3.com] - ($), indexed, National Archives publication M1537, incomplete for all counties<br>
:*'''1820-1930''' - [http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=1554 Naturalization Petitions of the U.S. District Court, 1820-1930, and Circuit Court, 1820-1911, for the Western District of Pennsylvania] located in ''Selected US Naturalization Records - Original Documents, 1790-1974'' database on [http://ancestry.com Ancestry.com] - ($), indexed, National Archives publication M1537<br>
==== Newspapers  ====
==== Newspapers  ====

Revision as of 16:49, 19 September 2012

United StatesGotoarrow.png Pennsylvania Gotoarrow.png Mercer County

Mercer County, Pennsylvania
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Mercer County
Location in the state of Pennsylvania
Map of the U.S. highlighting Pennsylvania
Location of Pennsylvania in the U.S.
Founded March 12, 1800
County Seat Mercer
Mercer County, Pennsylvania Courthouse.jpg
Address Mercer County Courthouse
138 S. Diamond St.
Mercer, PA 16137-1284
Mercer County Website
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Historical Facts

Beginning dates for major county records

Boundary Changes

20 March 1849: Lawrence County set off. Mahoning, Neshannock and Slippery Rock Townships, along with a small portion of Shenango and Lackawannock Townships became part of Lawrence County.  This area included the town of New Castle.[3]

Record Loss

1866--The First Mercer County Courthouse, built in 1807, was destroyed by fire in February 25, 1866.  All records were saved from the fire.[4][5]

1907--The Second Mercer County Courthouse, built in 1866, was destroyed by fire in December 15, 1907.  All records, except for some early tax records, were saved from the fire.[6][5]


Bible Records


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

Online Grave Transcripts Published Grave Transcripts County Cemetery Directories
Findagrave.com Family History Library Findagrave.com
Interment.net WorldCat Names in Stone
USGenWeb-tombstone photos Billion Graves
Pennsylvania Genealogy Epodunk
Pennsylvania Gravestones
Billion Graves
Names in Stone
Access Genealogy

See Pennsylvania Cemeteries for more information.


For tips on accessing Mercer 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 Mercer County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Church Records  in online catalogs like:

County-wide Database – Multi-denominational
Mercer county pennsylvania churches.png
Contains the church records of:
  • Greenville: Zion Reformed Church of Christ
  • Trenton: Central Methodist Episcopal Church; Hamilton Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church
  • 1843-1948. "100 years of the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese 1843–1943". Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Quarterly, 17:1. FamilySearch Library book 974.8 B2wg. Contains chronolgy, map, county-by-county information.
  • 1730-1779. Records of Rev. John Casper Stoever, Baptismal and Marriage, 1730-1779. Baptisms and marriages took place in Mercer County, Pennsylvania and in Spotsylvania, Virginia.  Digital version: Internet Archive and PAGenWeb.

Court Records

Mercer County, Pennsylvania Genealogy court records are housed at the Mercer 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. Mercer 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 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.[8] For the Mercer 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 Mercer County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Prothonotary office information.

The Prothonotary Office is located with the Government Offices of the county.

Orphan's Court (see Vital Records)


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 Mercer County began in 1800. These records are filed with the Recorder of Deeds office in Mercer, 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

  • The Recorder of Deeds offers an online search of land records. Guest users can view the index (unspecified date range) for free but fees apply for viewing images (1986–present).

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 Mercer County Pennsylvania Land in online catalogs such as:


1873--Landowner Maps from the Combination Atlas of Mercer County and the State of Pennsylvania, 1873, Mercer County PAGenWeb site.



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 Mercer County, Pennsylvania include the following:

Online Naturalization Indexes and Records


Mercer 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 Mercer 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

The Mercer County Genealogical Society has an online obituary index. You may order copies of obituaries from the society.

Online Obituary Abstracts


Indentured Servants


Poorhouse, Almshouse

Probate Records

Probate matters in {{{1}}} 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 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:

Mercer 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 Mercer 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.


Mercer County has had three courthouses. The first courthouse, built in 1807 was a two story, square brick structure with wings on the east and west sides. The building was remodeled in 1840, then burned in 1866. The second courthouse, built in 1866 and made of red brick, and included a belfry and town clock, burned in 1907. The third and present courthouse was built in 1909.

Courthouse address:
138 S. Diamond St.
Mercer, PA 16137-1284

Records available:
Births, 1893-1905
Marriages, 1885-present
Wills and probate, 1800- present
Land, 1800-present

Clerk of Courts
Phone: 724-662-7548

105 Mercer County Courthouse
Mercer, PA 16137-0066
Phone: 724–662-7561
E–mail: webmaster@mcc.co.mercer.pa.us
Office Hours:Monday–Friday, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm

Register of Wills and Orphans' Court
Phone: 724-662-7548

Family History Centers
  • Greenville Area Public Library
    330 Main St.
    Greenville, PA 16125-2615
  • Grove City Community Library
    125 West Main Street
    Grove City, PA 16127
  • Mercer Area Library
    145 N. Pitt St.
    Mercer, PA 16137-1206
  • Shenango Valley Community Library
    11 N. Sharpsville Ave.
    Sharon, PA 16146
    (724) 981-4360
  • Mercer County Genealogical Society
    P.O. Box 812
    Sharon, PA 16146-0812
    Phone: 724–346-5117
    Collection includes cemetery books, histories, city directories, birth and death records 1893–1905, marriage records 1885–1946, newspapers, newspaper abstracts of birth, marriage and deaths (indexed). Online obituary index
  • Mercer County Historical Society
    119 South Pitt St.
    Mercer, PA 16137-1211
    Phone: 724–662-3490
    E–mail: info@mchspa.org
    Hours: Tuesday through Friday, 10 AM to 4:30 PM and Saturday 10 AM to 3 PM.
    Collection includes family histories and research files, published histories of Mercer County, Civil War Regimental histories, city and county directories, newspapers. The society will do research for a fee. Requests must be sent by mail, not e-mail.
  • Grove City Area Historical Society
    P.O. Box 764
    Grove City, PA 16127
  • The Hermitage Historical Society
    5465 E. State Street
    Hermitage, PA 16148
  • Greenville Historical Society
    94 College Ave.
    Greenville, PA 16125
    Phone: 724–588-7150
  • Jamestown Area Historical Society
    405 Summit St.
    Jamestown, PA 16134-9153
    Phone: 724–932-5997
  • Stoneboro Community and Historical Society
    Lake St.
    Stoneboro, PA 16153
    Phone: 724–376-4190


  • Mercer Soldiers Orphans School has several lists of those who were students, teachers, or administrators of the school.The school started January 1, 1868 and closed in 1890.


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.

  • 1726-1950 Pennsylvania Births and Christenings, 1709-1950 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.

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


Pennsylvania marriages are located at the county level. Contact the Mercer 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.

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

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

Finding Vital Records at Other Repositories

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

Web Sites


Populated Places

Farrell | Fredonia | Greenville | Grove City | Hermitage (Hickory Township) | Jamestown | Mercer | Milledgeville | Orangeville | Sandy Lake | Sharpsville | Sharon | Sheakleyville | Stoneboro | Transfer | West Middlesex | Wheatland


  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. Mercer County 1840 Map showing portion ceded to Lawrence County in 1849 http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~pamercer/PA/PL/Maps/1840map.htm Mercer County PAGenWeb site
  4. gendisasters.com Mercer, PA Mercer County Courthouse Fire, Feb 1866 http://www3.gendisasters.com/pennsylvania/17330/mercer-pa-mercer-county-courthouse-fire-feb-1866
  5. 5.0 5.1 History of the Mercer County Courthouse http://www.mcc.co.mercer.pa.us/history/courthouse.htm
  6. gendisasters.com Mercer, PA Mercer County Courthouse Fire, Dec 1907 http://www3.gendisasters.com/pennsylvania/17331/mercer-pa-mercer-county-courthouse-fire-dec-1907
  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)