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Forest County, Pennsylvania Genealogy

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Guide to Forest 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: Tionesta
Organized: April 11, 1848
Parent County(s): Jefferson[1]
Neighboring Counties
Warren  • Elk  • Venango  • McKean  • Clarion  • Jefferson
See County Maps
Courthouse
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Location Map
Forest County PA Map.png
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County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The county was named for the forests contained within its limits. The county is located in the Northwest area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Forest County Courthouse
526 Elm Street
Tionesta, PA 16353
Phone: 814-755-3579
Prothonotary/Clerk of Courts/Register of Wills/Recorder of Deeds/Clerk of Orphan's Court: 814-755-3526
Forest County Website

Forest County, Pennsylvania Record Dates[edit | edit source]

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 1885 bef 1906 1855 1857 1855 1790
Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1906. General compliance by 1915.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

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

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

  • Formed from Jefferson County 11 April 1848.[4]
  • County seat: Tionesta[5]
  • 31 October 1866: part taken from Venango County to enlarge Forest County.

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

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

The following are locations in Forest County, Pennsylvania:

History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

Business, Commerce, and Occupations[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Forest 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

 

Additional Cemetery Resources

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The usage of "Mormon" and "LDS" on this page is approved according to current policy.


Census Records[edit | edit source]

For links and tips on using Federal (or United States) census records online for Forest County, see: Pennsylvania Census.


Church Records[edit | edit source]

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.

Some of the major religious affiliations in Forest County are: Lutheran, Methodist and Presbyterian. For a history of the various churches in the towns of Forest County see "History of Forest County, 1867-1967.[6]

Forest county pennsylvania churches.png

County-wide Database - Multi-denominational

Catholic

  • "100 years of the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese 1843–1943," Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 17, No. 1. FHL Book 974.8 B2wg. Chronology, map, county-by-county information.

Court Records[edit | edit source]

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.

Court of Common Pleas

Directories[edit | edit source]

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

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

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups[edit | edit source]

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

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

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 Forest County began in 1784. These records are filed with the Prothonotary/Recorder of Deeds office in Tionesta, Pennsylvania.

Land Indexes and Records

  • 1852–1904 Sheriffs' Deed Book FHL film 870469 - images only; click on the camera icon to view images
  • 1857–1933 Deed Books, 1857-1886; Indexes to Deeds, 1857-1933 FHL film 870462 (first of 12 films) - images only; click on the camera icon to view images

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Warren CountyMcKean CountyElk CountyJefferson CountyClarion CountyVenango CountyPA FOREST.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Maps

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

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

  • 1858–1906 Naturalization Docket FHL Film 1317055 - images only; click on the camera icon to view images

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

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 Forest 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[edit | edit source]

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

Other Records[edit | edit source]

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Probate matters in Forest 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 Indexes and Records

School Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[edit | edit source]

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

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

Marriage[edit | edit source]

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

Death[edit | edit source]

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

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Divorce records are available through the office of the Prothonotary, Forest County Courthouse.

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

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

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

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.

Libraries[edit | edit source]

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

  • Forest County Historical Society & Museum
    206 Elm St.
    Tionesta, PA 16353-9702
    Phone: 814-755-4422
    Website
    The Forest History Center is housed in an 1875 pre-Victorian Eastlake style home filled with artifacts and genealogies of the area’s families.

Websites[edit | edit source]

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forest_County,_Pennsylvania accessed 2/12/2017
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Forest County, Pennsylvania. Page 588-593 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 579-581.
  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. Ronald Childs, "History of Forest County, 1867-1967" (Forset Press, Inc., Tionesta, Pa, 1989), 296-319. WorldCat 36442423; FHL book 974.868 H2c
  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/9/92/Igipennsylvaniaf.pdf.
  9. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/images/9/92/Igipennsylvaniaf.pdf.

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