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United States
Pennsylvania
Perry County

Guide to Perry County, Pennsylvania ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

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County Facts
County seat: New Bloomfield
Organized: March 22, 1820
Parent County(s): Cumberland[1]
Neighboring Counties
Snyder  • Cumberland  • Juniata  • Northumberland  • Dauphin  • Franklin
See County Maps
Courthouse
Perry County, Pennsylvania Courthouse.jpg
Location Map
Perry County PA Map.png
Adoption
Pa-rootsbuttonwiki.gif This user is a member of PA Roots and its members, an organization that has adopted some pages in the wiki.

County Information

Description

The county was named for Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry. It's county seat is New Bloomfield and was founded March 22, 1820. It is located in the Central area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse

Perry County Courthouse
P.O. Box 37
2 East Main St.
New Bloomfield, PA 17068
Phone: 717-582-2131

Copies of documents including birth, marriages, deaths, divorces, land, and probate records can be obtained by using: Pennsylvania Public Records.

Perry County, Pennsylvania Record Dates

Information for this chart was taken from various sources, often containing conflicting dates. This information should be taken as a guide and should be verified by contacting the county and/or the state government agency.

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[3]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1893 1870 bef 1906 1820 1820 1820 1790
Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1906. General compliance by 1915.

Record Loss

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Boundary Changes

  • Formed from Cumberland County 22 March 1820. [4]
  • County seat: New Bloomfield[5]

For animated maps illustrating Pennsylvania county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Pennsylvania County Boundary Maps" (1673-1878) may be viewed for free at the MapofUS.org website.

Populated Places

The following are locations in Perry County, Pennsylvania:

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.

History Timeline

Resources

Bible Records

Biographies

Business, Commerce, and Occupations

Cemeteries

Cemeteries of Perry County, Pennsylvania online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
Tombstone Transcriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See Pennsylvania Cemeteries for more information

 

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

Additional Cemetery Resources

  • PA-Roots
  • Names in Stone
  • Ancestry($)
  • Pennsylvania Cemeteries is useful as it gives the locations of the cemeteries in Pennsylvania that one can then go and search if needed.
  • 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). Various compilations of cemetery inscriptions have been published, such as those for the western counties by Closson Press and Mechling Books.[6]

Census Records

For links and tips on using Federal (or United States) census records online for Perry County, 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. For members, they may contain: age, date of baptism, christening, or birth; marriage date and maiden name; death/burial date. For general information about Pennsylvania denominations, see Pennsylvania Church Records.

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.

Perry County Pennsylvania Churches

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

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


Lutheran
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.

  • 1774-1870 St. Michael Evangelical Lutheran Church, Pfouts Valley, Baptism Index 1774-1870 in International Genealogical Index at FamilySearch. Batch C504851
  • 1875-1884 St. Michael Evangelical Lutheran Church, Pfouts Valley, Baptism Index 1875-1884 in International Genealogical Index at FamilySearch. Batch M523911
  • 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

Methodist

  • 1893-1930 Church records, 1893-1930 (Newport Methodist) which covers Newport, Millerstown, and Donnally Mills. In 1906 Newport was its own charge.

Presbyterian
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.

  • 1778-1793 Center Presbyterian Church, Shermans Valley, Marriage Index 1778-1793 in International Genealogical Index at FamilySearch. Batch M523911
  • Pastor's register of baptisms, communicants, burials - Transcribed from a register in possession of Mrs. F. A. Blair, Blairs Mills, Pa; FHL 473620

Reformed
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.

Court Records

For information about records kept in the Orphan's court, Prothonotary Court, Court of Common Pleas, and other courts in counties of Pennsylvania, visit the Pennsylvania Court Records Wiki page.

Directories

Emigration and Immigration

For online resources, passenger lists, and specific groups coming to Pennsylvania, see Pennsylvania Emigration and Immigration.

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups

For groups that came, see People section of the Pennsylvania Emigration page.

Funeral Homes

Genealogies

Guardianship

The Orphan's Court ensures the best interests of those not capable of handling their own affairs: minors, incapacitated persons, decedents' estates, and more.[7]

Land and Property Records

Land and property records can place an ancestor in a specific location and reveal family relationships. Records include: deeds, abstracts, indexes, mortgages, leases, grants, sheriff sales, land patents, maps and more. For more information, see Pennsylvania 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.

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

Local Histories

Maps and Gazetteers

Perry County

Maps

Migration

Military Records

War of 1812

Civil War

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. For more information, see Pennsylvania Naturalization

Online Naturalization Indexes and Records

Newspapers

Newspapers may contain obituaries, births, marriages, deaths, anniversaries, family gatherings, family travel, achievements, business notices, engagement information, and probate court proceedings. Newspapers are often found in local or university libraries, historical or genealogical societies, or state archives in the area where the newspaper was published. See Pennsylvania Newspapers for more information.

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

1862-1922 Newspaper articles pertaining to Blain Borough
1894 and 1918 Misc news from The News

Obituaries

Obituaries are generally found in local newspapers where the person died or where family members lived. Local libraries or societies may have indexes or other sources.

Online Obituary Abstracts

Obituary Excerpts and Abstracts

Other Records

Periodicals

Probate Records

Probate matters in Perry 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

Perry County Only:

Online Probate Abstracts

Original Probate Records on Microfilm

School Records

Tax Records

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. County marriage records were kept in earnest in 1885. Births and deaths, at the county level, were begun in 1893 and kept through 1905. For the most complete set of records, contact the County Orphans' Court.

Birth

Early births 1893–1905 are located at the County Orphans' Court. For more information, see Pennsylvania Vital Records.

Marriage

Pennsylvania marriages were created by county officals. Contact Perry County Courthouse

Death

Early deaths 1893–1905 are located at the County Orphans' Court. For indexes and records, 1906 and later, see Pennsylvania Vital Records.

Divorce

Divorce records are available through the office of the Prothonotary.

Research Facilities

Archives

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.

  • National Archives at Philadelphia
    14700 Townsend Road
    Philadelphia, PA 19154-1096
    Phone: 215-305-2044
    Fax: 215-305-2052
    Website

Family History Centers

Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes.

The main FHC for Perry County is the Carlisle Pennsylvania Family History Center. For additional nearby Family History Centers, search online in the FHC directory.

Libraries

  • The Perry Historians Library aka The Harry W. Lenig Library
    P.O. Box 73
    763 Dix Hill Rd.
    Newport, PA 17074-0073
    Visit
    Website
    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.
    23 E. McClure Street
    New Bloomfield, PA 17068.
    Phone: 717-582-7426
    Website

Museums

Societies

Websites

Research Guides

References

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Pennsylvania.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. https://familysearch.org/wiki/en/Perry_County,_Pennsylvania_Genealogy accessed 2/12/2017
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Pennsylvania.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Pennsylvania.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  5. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Pennsylvania.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  6. Ancestry.com. Ancestry's Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1998.
  7. The Philadelphia Courts at Common Pleas accessed 10 July 2012
  8. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/images/0/03/Igipennsylvaniap.pdf.