Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania Genealogy

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United StatesGotoarrow.png Pennsylvania Gotoarrow.png Susquehanna County

Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Susquehanna County
Location in the state of Pennsylvania
Map of the U.S. highlighting Pennsylvania
Location of Pennsylvania in the U.S.
Founded February 21, 1810
County Seat Montrose
Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania Courthouse.jpg
Address Susquehanna County Courthouse
11 Maple Street
Montrose, PA 18801
Susquehanna County Website
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Historical Facts

Beginning dates for major county records

Susquehanna County was once a part of Connecticut, along with Luzerne, and several other northeastern Pennsylvania counties.  For further information on this go to:

Susquehanna County is named for the Susquehanna River. which runs through the county.  In 1810 the county had 10 townships and 3500 residents.  In the 2000 Federal Census, Susquehanna County had 27 townships and 13 towns.  Residents numbered 42,238.

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

{{FHL|480013|subject-id|disp=Family History Library}}

WorldCat Names in Stone


Billion Graves

Pennsylvania Genealogy


Pennsylvania Gravestones

Billion Graves

Names in Stone

Access Genealogy


See Pennsylvania Cemeteries for more information.

There are four different titles for Cemeteries in Susquehanna County listed in the Family History Library Catalog, with three of them having been microfilmed.  They are listed under Pennsylvania, Susquehanna.  (See under websites)

A listing of Susquehanna County cemeteries is given on website:


For tips on accessing Susquehanna 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.

Susquehanna county pennsylvania churches.png

The Susquehanna County Historical Society has a great listing of all the township and borough churches, giving current and past information. Also, some information of what records may be located.

  • Type the name of the township you want in the box labeled "Search this site with Google" and press enter
  • You will see a list of findings with one being "(name of township) Township"
  • Click on the Link, this will take you to the Township page
  • In the middle of the page you will see "Churches"
  • Below will be a list of churches and then a list of other churches with dates, histories, and possible records

Additional church records can be located at Linkpendium and by searching the Family History Library Catalog. The FHLC has a plethora ofchurch recordsfor Susquehanna 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.

Finding Church Records at Other Repositories

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


County-wide Database - Multi-denominational
Contains records of:
  • Clifford: United Methodist Church
  • Great Bend: Grace Church Episcopal Great Bend
  • Hallstead: First Presbyterian Church
  • Montrose: St. Paul's Episcopal Church; United Methodist Church
  • New Milford: St. Mark's Episcopal Church

The following book has a section on Churches, including a brief history and pictures of many of the early structures.

  • Looking Back, Souvenir Book of the Susquehanna County Sesquicentennial Celebration 1810-1960. by Sesquicentennial Committee. FHL book 974.834 H2L or film 1320543 item 7

OnLine Church records for Susquehanna Co., Pa. by Rootsweb OnLine Church records for Susquehanna Co., Pa. by Rootsweb

Court Records

Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania Genealogy court records are housed at the Susquehanna 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. Susquehanna 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.[3]

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.[4] For the Susquehanna 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 Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Prothonotary office information.

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.[5]

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

Finding Court Records at Other Repositories

Additional court records can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Susquehanna 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





There are several good histories of Susquehanna County, but the one by Emily Blackman is superior:

History of Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania : from a period preceding its settlement to recent times, including the annals of geography of each township... by Emily C. Blackman  (FHL 1425564 Item 5)

Another history is:  Centennial history of Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania by Rhamanthus Menville Stocker

974.834 H2  (FHL 1000573 Item 1)

Other histories are listed in the FHL Catalog under Pennsylvania, Susquehanna. (See website below)

It is important to remember too that this area of Pennsylvania was once Connecticut.  The information on this website will lead you to other historical/genealogical records of Wyoming Valley:

Published Histories

Land and Property

Land records in Susquehanna County began in 1810. These records are filed with the Register and Recorder office in Montrose, 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

  • 1974 - present Images are available on-line from 1974 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 Susquehanna County Pennsylvania Land in online catalogs such as:


Ancestor Tracks has posted free downloadable images from theMap of Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania from Actual Survey by G.M. Hopkins, C.E. (Philadelphia: Lee & Marsh Publishers, 1858).  This 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 to attribute to Ancestor Tracks.

There is a clickable map of Susquehanna County which gives information concerning each township, but their online site is not working. 



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.


Susquehanna 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 Susquehanna County

  • The Susquehanna County Independent/Weekender
    24 S. Main St.
    Montrose PA 18801
    Phone: (570) 278-6397
    This newspaper was preceded by the following weekly newspapers:
  • The Montrose Independent (1927-1985)
  • Independent Republican (1855-1926)
  • The Montrose Democrat (1879-1926)

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 Susquehanna 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:

Susquehanna 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 Susquehanna 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.


Susquehanna County Courthouse
PO Box 218
11 Maple Street
Montrose, PA 18801
Phone: 570-278-4600
Fax: 570-278-2963
Office hours: 8:30–4:30 Monday through Friday.
From the community webpage you will have access to each clerk, the pronthonotary, recorder of deeds, and administrator.

Orphan's Court
Toll Free Phone: 800-386-4981
Copies are $2.00 for a regular copy and $3.00 for a certified copy.
Birth and death records can be obtained in person or through the mail.
Susquehanna County Prothonotary
Susquehanna County Courthouse
105 Maple Street
PO Box 218
Montrose, PA 18801
Phone: 570-278-4600
Hours: Mon–Fri 8:30am to 4:30pm
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 Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania is the Vestal New York Family History Center. For additional nearby Family History Centers, search online in the FHC directory.


Susquehanna County Historical Society
18 Monument Square
Montrose, PA 18801
Phone: 570-278-1881

Hours: May 1 to September 30— Monday–Thursday 9:00–5:00
October 1 to April 30—Monday and Thursday 9:00–5:00
Tuesday and Wednesday 12:00–5:00

Their journal information is available at:  

The Luzerne County Historical Society, formerly known as the Wyoming Historical and Geological Society
49 South Franklin Street
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701
Phone: 570-823-6244
Fax: 570-823-9011

Their Bishop's Memorial Library has records of their Connecticut/Pennsylvania connections.

Genealogical Research Society of Northeastern Pennsylvania, Inc. (GRSNP)
110 Main Street
Peckville, PA 18452
Phone: 570-383-7661
FAX: 570-383-7466

Hours: Monday through Thursday 9:00–2:00 and Wednesday night 6:00 pm–900 pm and Saturday by appointment
A simple search of a dated name or event $20 - Detailed searches are at the rate of $40 an hour. Postage and photocopies up to $1 are included.[6]

The GRSNP serves northeastern counties:

  • Lackawanna
  • Luzerne
  • Monroe
  • Pike
  • Susquehanna
  • Wayne
  • Wyoming

There resources include the research center and library, newsletters, and database queries.[7]


The Family History Library has microfilmed the following tax records:

Tax Assessment Records from 1813-1865.  The record gives the record of each township, and each is on a separate roll of film.  Some of the townships may also include Military Lists for the years ca 1855-1863. See the Family History Library Catalog listed under the websites for film numbers.

Unseated Land Records 1820-1904.  These are additional tax records in the Family History Library Catalog (1927752, Items 2-9, and 1927823, Item 1)

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 – $ 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 Susquehanna 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.
  • 1835-1976 - Pennsylvania, Marriages, 1709-1940 - free index. Not complete for all years.
  • 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.
  • 1885–present – Marriage licenses issued by the county are only available from 1885 to the present at:
Clerk of the Orphans Court
Susquehanna County Courthouse
105 Maple Street
PO Box 218
Montrose, PA 18801
Phone: 570-278-4600
Hours: Mon–Fri 8:30am to 4:30pm

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 – $ 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

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 Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania accessed 10 July 2012.
  4. Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania, Clerk of Courts in (accessed 25 Aug 2012)
  5. The Philadelphia Courts at accessed 10 July 2012