Sullivan County, Pennsylvania Genealogy

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United StatesGotoarrow.png Pennsylvania Gotoarrow.png Sullivan County

Sullivan County, Pennsylvania
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Sullivan County
Location in the state of Pennsylvania
Map of the U.S. highlighting Pennsylvania
Location of Pennsylvania in the U.S.
Founded March 15, 1847
County Seat Laporte
Sullivan County, Pennsylvania Courthouse.jpg
Address Sullivan County Courthouse
245 Muncy Street
P.O. Box 157
Laporte, PA 18626
Sullivan County Website
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Historical Facts

Beginning dates for major county records
  • Parent Counties: Formed from Lycoming County 15 March 1847. [1]
  • County Seat: Laporte
  • Neighboring Counties: Sullivan County, Pennsylvania Genealogy residents may also have records in [2]Bradford (north)  • Columbia (south)  • Luzerne (southeast)  • Lycoming (west)  • Wyoming (east)

Named for Senator Charles Sullivan, leader of the Pennsylvania Senate.

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 WorldCat Names in Stone
USGenWeb Billion Graves
Pennsylvania Genealogy Epodunk
Pennsylvania Gravestones
Billion Graves
Names in Stone
Access Genealogy

See Pennsylvania Cemeteries for more information.


For tips on accessing Sullivan 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.

Harmony Methodist Church, Joanna, Pennsylvania

The Sullivan County Historical Society and Museum has listed in their resources, Compilings, Churches - individually. They may have the church records for your ancestors. You may visit them or use their volunteers for a fee. There email address is

Additional church records can be located atLinkpendium and by searching the Family History Library Catalog. The FHLC has a plethora ofchurch recordsfor Sullivan County, many are limited in the time frame they cover. When searching the FHL catalog, be sure to also search at the town and township level.
Sullivan county new york churches.png
Finding Church Records at Other Repositories

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

County-wide Database - Multi-denominational
Contains records of:
  • Dushore: Peace Lutheran Church; Zion Lutheran Church
  • Mildred: Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church

Court Records

Orphan's 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.[3]

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

In Sullivan County, the Prothonotary is the clerk of the Orphan's Court. In fact five different offices are combined into one office.


Prothonotary, Recorder, Register of Wills,
Clerk of Courts and Clerk of Orphans Court

Sullivan County Courthouse
245 Muncy Street
Laporte, PA 18626
Phone: 570-946-7351
Fax: 570-946-7105 In Sullivan County, the Prothonotary office is responsible for all the duties in the court system, including the Orphan's Court.

District Court

District Court
Magisterial District Judge
245 Muncy Street, Suite 150
P.O. Box 259
Laporte, PA 18626
Phone: 570-946-4413
Fax: 570-946-4436

The District Court is presided over by a Magisterial District Judge. The judge has responsible for non-jury trials and civil cases involving amounts under $12,000. Also, they perform marriages.

Finding Court Records at Other Repositories

Additional court records can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Sullivan County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Court Records in online catalogs like:

Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic Groups





Published Histories

History of Sullivan County, Pennsylvania: compendium of biography. by Thomas J. Ingham. Salem, MS: Higgison, [1998] FHL book 974.859 H2i

Land and Property

Land records in Sullivan County began in 1847. These records are filed with the Register of Deeds office in Laporte, 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

  • 1847 - present Images are available on-line from 1847 to the present 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 Sullivan County Pennsylvania Land in online catalogs such as:


Media:Sullivan county pennsylvania townships.pngSullivan county pennsylvania townships.png
About this image
Click the image to view an enlarged version

Ancestor Tracks has posted free downloadable images from the Topographical Map of Sullivan Co. Pennsylvania from Recent and Actual Surveys and Records under the Superintendence of F.W. Beers (A. Pomeroy & Co., New York, 1872).  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 be used commercially.  We hereby give permission to use them strictly for personal use; please attribute to Ancestor Tracks.



Naturalization and Citizenship


Sullivan 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 Sullivan County

Online Newspapers

To learn if there are newspapers online for a specific town or city in Pennsylvania, see 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


Indentured Servants


Poorhouse, Almshouse

Probate Records

Probate matters in Sullivan 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:

Sullivan 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 Sullivan 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.


Sullivan County Courthouse
245 Muncy Street
PO Box 157
Laporte, PA 18626
Phone: 570-946-7351
Fax: 570-946-7105
Hours: 8:30 a. m. to 4:00 p. m.

In Sullivan County, the prothonotary is responsible for five different offices. They are Prothonotary, Recorder, Register of Wills, Clerk of Courts, and Clerk of Orphan's Court.

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 Sullivan County, Pennsylvania Genealogy is the Towanda Pennsylvania Family History Center. For additional nearby Family History Centers, search online in the FHC directory.


Sullivan County Historical Society and Museum
458 Meylert St<Laporte, PA 18626
Phone: 570-946-5020

Hours: May 31–September 1 — Thursday–Saturdays 1:00 p.m to 5:00 p.m.
Rest of Year: By Appointment (please call)
The Museum has an extensive collection of genealogies as well as historical records and documents. There is a large listing of maps online that are available at the museum.
The obituary listing is from 1800 to 1999 and online. Then you can order the obituaries for $5.00 each.

Endless Mountains War Memorial Museum
Main Street
Box 7166
Sonestown, PA 17758
Phone: 570-482-2610

The website has a few lists of casualties and genealogical information. The museum has memorabilia and is non-profit.

Rich in history, Sullivan County contains a few societies dealing with the history of the area.

Sullivan County Historical Society and Museum
458 Meylert St
Laporte, PA 18626
Phone: 570-946-5020

Hours: May 31–September 1 — Thursday–Saturdays 1:00 p.m to 5:00 p.m.
Rest of Year: By Appointment (please call)
The Society holdings are housed at the museum.


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


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

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

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. The Philadelphia Courts at accessed 10 July 2012