Difference between revisions of "Perry County, Pennsylvania Genealogy"

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Naturalization records available for Perry County, Pennsylvania include the following:<br>  
''Naturalization records available for Perry County, Pennsylvania include the following:''<br>  
'''Online Naturalization Indexes and Records'''<br>  
'''Online Naturalization Indexes and Records'''<br>  

Revision as of 18:20, 6 September 2012

United StatesGotoarrow.png Pennsylvania Gotoarrow.png Perry County

Perry County, Pennsylvania
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Perry County
Location in the state of Pennsylvania
Map of the U.S. highlighting Pennsylvania
Location of Pennsylvania in the U.S.
Founded March 22, 1820
County Seat New Bloomfield
Perry County, Pennsylvania Courthouse.jpg
Address Perry County Courthouse
P.O. Box 37
2 East Main St.
New Bloomfield, PA 17068
Perry County Website
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Historical Facts

Beginning dates for major county records

  • Named for Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, hero of Battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812.
  • One of reasons the county was created because residents did not want to travel over the mountains to get to Carlisle which was the seat of Cumberland County.

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 Findagrave.com


WorldCat 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.

Family History Library Catalog:

"Registration of graves and cemeteries in the eastern area of the county of Juniata : consisting of the townships of Delaware, Fayette, Fermanagh, Greenwood, Monroe, Susquehanna and Walker and the borough of Thompsontown with some cemeteries of Snyder and Perry counties..." It is on one microfilm and has only pieces of Perry, but it could be useful.

30 Perry County, Pennsylvania cemetery records : complete tombstone inscriptions is a 348 page book that includes an index.

"no. 3 (Aug 1978) - Bloomfield burials in 1890" is an article written by Isaac Simmers.

"no. 2 (April 1977) - Burial grounds" is another article but contains information on the Van Camp burial ground; Burial gound report; Limestone Presbyterian Churchyard; German tombstones in Zion (Toboyne) Chuchyard at Blain.

"no. 4 (1979) - Perry Valley burial grounds" another article but is an from the "Newport News" on May 27, 1897 listing names of persons buried in the area without tombstones or whose tombstones have been destroyed.

Ancestry's Red Book:

"Large collections of cemetery records are located at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, and at many local libraries and historical societies. The Pennsylvania State Library maintains the state’s Daughters of the American Revolution cemetery collection (see page 7). Records for several Philadelphia funeral directors are in the Collections of the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania (housed at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania).
The Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania microfilmed cemetery records throughout the commonwealth and is currently indexing cemetery records in their collections. Various compilations of cemetery inscriptions have been published, such as those for the western counties by Closson Press and Mechling Books."[3]

On Cyndi's List there are some websites dealing with cemeteries.

http://www.daddezio.com/cemetery/junction/CJ-PA-NDX.html is useful as it gives the locations of the cemeteries in Pennsylvania that one can then go and search if needed.

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=csr&CScnty=2290 has the name of the cemetery, how many intered and some photos. You can search the site by names and will reveal multiple states.


For tips on accessing Perry 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

Calvinism and Presbyterianism were the first in Perry County because Scotch-Irish settled the area first. In the early 1800s, as the Scotch-Irish moved out, more Germans moved in creating more Lutheran and German Reformed churches.[4]

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

Perry county pennsylvania churches.png

Ancestry's Red Book is the digitized version that has links to multiple societies and churches for more information on what is contained or how to contact them to get information.

County-wide Database - Multi-denominational
Contains the church records of:
  • Duncannon: Asbury United Methodist Church; Otterbein United Methodist Church
  • Marysville: Bethany United Methodist Church
  • Newport: Newport United Methodist Parish Charge

St. Michael's Lutheran Church was in Pfoutz Valley and was organized between 1770 and 1773. The Lebanon Lutheran Church was also an early church in the area in 1790 sharing a church with the Loysville Reformed Church. Mt. Zion Lutheran Church organized in about 1809, met in the old Union Church with St. Peter's Reformed Church.[5]

  • 1846-1847 – Marriages performed by John William Heim, Perry County, Pennsylvania - original at the Wentz Library of the Lutheran Theological Seminary, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; FHL 553473
  • 1901-1947 - Church records[Newport Evangelical Charge]  – Newport Charge included the following churches: Calvary at Newport, Ebenezer at Milford now Wila, Mt. Zion at Elliottsburg, Stony Point in Southwest Madison Township, St. Mary's in Liverpool and Messiah or Hunter's Valley in Spring Township; FHL 555502
  • Classified index to Churches between the mountains : a history of the Lutheran congregations in Perry County, Pennsylvania by Rev. D. H. Focht – A book that is more about history, but it may lead to where one needs to look; FHL 33326
  • 1893-1930 - Church records, 1893-1930 [Newport Methodist] which covers Newport, Millerstown, and Donnally Mills. In 1906 Newport was its own charge; 

The Centre Presbyterian Church was one of the first churches in the area being organized in 1766. Dick's Gap Church and Blain Presbyterian Church or the Upper Church of Blain were both organized in 1767.[6]

  • Pastor's register of baptisms, communicants, burials - Transcribed from a register in possession of Mrs. F. A. Blair, Blairs Mills, Pa; FHL 473620

Loysville Reformed Church shared their church with the Lebanon Lutheran Church. St. Peter's Reformed Church was organized in about 1809 and met with Mt. Zion Lutheran Church in the Old Union Church.[7]

United Brethren
  • 1856-1917 - Church records [Perry Circuit of the United Brethren in Christ] covers Classes attached to Perry Circuit are listed in the catalog entry; FHL 1053128

Court Records

Perry County, Pennsylvania Genealogy court records are housed at the Perry 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. Perry County, Pennsylvania Genealogy County shares its judicial district with Juniata County. Judges of the Common Pleas courts are elected to 10-year terms. A president judge and a court administrator serve in each judicial district.[8]

Clerk of the Court

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 Perry County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Prothonotary office information.

Orphan's Court (see Vital Records)

Finding Court Records at Other Repositories

Additional court records can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Perry 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 Perry County began in 1820. These records are filed with the Register and Recorder office in New Bloomfield, 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

  • 1820–present Images are available online using the Landex system. There is a fee to view the images.

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 Perry County Pennsylvania Land in online catalogs such as:


Ancestor Tracks has posted free downloadable images from the 1877 Atlas of Perry, Juniata & Mifflin Counties under the Direction of Beach Nichols, published by Pomeroy, Whitman & Co.  This wall map 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.



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 Perry County, Pennsylvania include the following:

Online Naturalization Indexes and Records

Finding Naturalization Indexes at Other Repositories

Additional naturalization indexes can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Perry County, Pennsylvania Genealogy naturalization  in online catalogs like:


Perry 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 Perry 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


Indentured Servants


Poorhouse, Almshouse

Probate Records

Probate matters in Perry 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:

Perry County Only:

Additional Probate Indexes and Abstracts

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


Perry County Courthouse
P.O. Box 37
2 East Main Street
New Bloomfield, PA 17068
Telephone: (717) 582-2131
Copies of documents including birth, marriages, deaths, divorces, land, and probate records can be obtained by using: Pennsylvania Public Record. Click on the link for the record you wish to request.
Prothonotary and Clerk of Court
Office P.O. Box# 325
New Bloomfield, PA 17068
Phone: 717-582-2131
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 Perry County, Pennsylvania Genealogy is the Carlisle Pennsylvania Family History Center. For additional nearby Family History Centers, search online in the FHC directory.


The Perry Historians Library aka The Harry W. Lenig Library
P.O. Box 73
763 Dix Hill Rd.
Newport, PA 17074-0073
Phone: During business hours:(717)582-4896; After business hours: (717)567-3956 and (717)789-3180 and (717)834-6514
Hours for the Library

The Library collection includes:

  • Surname File
  • Church Records
  • Newspapers
  • Cemetery Records
  • Mortuary Records
  • Court Records
  • Census schedules

The Perry County Public Libraries system has 4 libraries. Their main library is Bloomfield Public Library at 23 E. McClure Street, New Bloomfield, PA 17068. Their phone number is: (717) 582-7426.


Historical Society of Perry County PA
P.O. Box 81
Newport PA 17074-0081
e-mail: hsofpc@gmail.com


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.

  • 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 Perry 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 Perry County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Vital Records in online catalogs like:

Web Sites


Populated Places

Perry county has two types of municipalities, boroughs and twonships. It has 9 boroughs: Blain, Duncannon, Landisburg, Liverpool, Marysville, Millerstown, Bloomfield, New Buffalo, and Newport, and 21 townships: Buffalo Township, Carroll Township, Centre Township, Greenwood Township, Howe Township, Jackson Township, Juniata Township, Liverpool Township, Miller Township, Northeast Madison Township, Oliver Township, Penn Township, Rye Township, Saville Township, Southwest Madison Township, Spring Township, Toboyne Township, Tuscarora Township, Tyrone Township, Watts Township, and Wheatfield Township. Bloomfield, though sometimes named New Bloomfield, is the county seat.


  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. Ancestry.com. Ancestry's Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1998.
  4. Harry Harrison Hain, History of Perry County, Pennsylvania (Harrisburg, PA: Hain-Moore Company, 1922), 281 and 284); Digital Version Online at Internet Archive; FamilySearch Books Online; At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL book 974.845 H2h.
  5. Harry Harrison Hain, History of Perry County, Pennsylvania (Harrisburg, PA: Hain-Moore Company, 1922), 284, 302, and 305); Digital Version Online at Internet Archive; FamilySearch Books Online; At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL book 974.845 H2h.
  6. Harry Harrison Hain, History of Perry County, Pennsylvania (Harrisburg, PA: Hain-Moore Company, 1922), 284, 290-292, and 294); Digital Version Online at Internet Archive; FamilySearch Books Online; At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL book 974.845 H2h.
  7. Harry Harrison Hain, History of Perry County, Pennsylvania (Harrisburg, PA: Hain-Moore Company, 1922), 305-306); Digital Version Online at Internet Archive; FamilySearch Books Online; At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL book 974.845 H2h.
  8. The Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania http://www.pacourts.us/T/CommonPleas/ accessed 10 July 2012.