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Northumberland County, Pennsylvania Genealogy

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Guide to Northumberland 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: Sunbury
Organized: March 21, 1772
Parent County(s): Lancaster, Berks, Bedford, Cumberland, Northampton[1]
Neighboring Counties
Montour  • Lycoming  • Dauphin  • Snyder  • Juniata  • Columbia  • Schuylkill  • Perry  • Union
See County Maps
Courthouse
Northumberland County, Pennsylvania Courthouse.jpg
Location Map
Northumberland County PA Map.png
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County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The county was named for Northumberland. The county is located in the Central area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Northumberland County Courthouse
201 Market Street
Sunbury, PA 17801
Phone: 570-988-4148
Office of the Prothonotary Phone: 570-988-4151
Clerk of Courts: Phone: 570-988-4148
Register & Recorder/Orphan’s Court Phone: 570-988-4143
Northumberland County Website

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.

Northumberland 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 1893 1771 1772 1772 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]

Several times the county was divided over the years: [6]

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 Northumberland 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]

Indentured Servants

  • List of imported servants and transported convicts from Europe. Online at: Immigrant Servants Database. Includes list of imported servants and transported convicts who served labor terms in Colonial York County, Pennsylvania.

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Northumberland 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

Census Records[edit | edit source]

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


Church Records[edit | edit source]

Northumberland County Pennsylvania Churches

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.

The Northumberland County Historical Society has various records for churches throughout the Northumberland County area. However, the society has not put the records online and to view the records one must go to the society. The society will do limited lookups in the records. See their website for details.


County-wide Database - Multi-denominational

Contains the church records of:
  • Danville: Danville Methodist Episcopal Church; Emmanuel Evangelical Congregational Church
  • Fairview: United Methodist Church
  • Milton: Bethany United Methodist Church; Christ United Church of Christ; United Methodist Church
  • Northumberland: Christ United Methodist Church; St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church; United Methodist Church
  • Potts Grove: Presbyterian Church
  • Ralpho: German Reformed Church; St. Peter's Lutheran Church
  • Rebuck: Evangelical Lutheran and Reformed Congregations; Lutheran Church
  • Stone Valley: Zion Lutheran Church
  • Sunbury: Boehm's Reformed Church (United Church of Christ); First Presbyterian Church; Mountain Presbyterian Church; St. Luke's Lutheran Church; St. Matthew's Episcopal Church (Francisville, Pa.); Zion Lutheran Church
  • Turbotville: Trinity United Church of Christ; Zion Lutheran Church
  • Watsontown: First Presbyterian Church

Baptists
There were many Baptist churches established in Northumberland County, including the Milton Baptist Church organized with 9 members in 1826.[7]

Hemlock

Lutheran
There were many Lutheran churches in the county. One of the earliest Lutheran churches built was the Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Sunbury in 1791. In Milton, the Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church gathered in a union church with the Reformed Church in 1807 although they met before that date. St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Northumberland was dedicated in 1818 although they also met together before that date.[9]

David's Lutheran and Reformed Church, Jordan Township

Follmer's Evangelical Lutheran Church, Turbot Township

Himmel Lutheran and Reformed Church, Washington Township

Lutheran Church, Stone Valley

St. Elias Union Church

St. James or St. Jacob's Howarter Lutheran and Reformed Church, Upper Mahanoy Township

  • 1803-1869 St. James or St. Jacob's Howarter Lutheran and Reformed Church, Upper Mahanoy Township, Baptism Index 1803-1869 International Genealogical Index at FamilySearch.

St. John's Lutheran Church

Schwaben Creek Lutheran Church, Washington Township

Stone Valley Lutheran and Reformed Congregations, Lower Mahanoy Township

Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Milton

Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, Sunbury Township

Presbyterian
In Northumberland, the Presbyterians first record of gathering was written in a journal in 1775, although it was 1787 before they were officially organized.[10]

Reformed
The first Reformed Church in Sunbury was organized in 1784 and met in the same church building as the Presbyterians until 1841 when they built their own church. It is believed the Reformed Church was the first religion to practice in Milton. However, they didn't have an official building until 1807 when they began meeting in a union church with the Lutherans. The Associate Reformed Church in Milton was organized in 1818 by members originally associated with the Presbyterian church.[11]

Roman Catholics
In Milton, St. Joseph's Catholic Church was created just after 1783. More Catholic churches were organized as more immigrants moved to the county, including St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Church organized by Polish immigrants in 1861.[12]

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.

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.

Indentured Servants

  • List of imported servants and transported convicts from Europe. Online at: Immigrant Servants Database. Includes list of imported servants and transported convicts who served labor terms in Colonial York County, Pennsylvania.

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.[13]

Orphans

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 Northumberland County began in 1772. These records are filed with the Register and Recorder office in Sunbury, Pennsylvania.

Online Land Indexes and Records

Media:Northumberland county pennsylvania townships.pngNorthumberland county pennsylvania townships.png
About this image

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Montour CountyColumbia CountyLycoming CountyUnion CountySnyder CountyJuniata CountyPerry CountyDauphin CountySchuylkill CountyPA NORTHUMBERLAND.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources



Maps

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Revolutionary War
Local men served in the Northumberland County Militia. A guide at the Pennsylvania State Archives website identifies townships where specific companies recruited soldiers, see Revolutionary War Militia Battalions and Companies, Arranged by County. Northumberland County men also served in the 1st Pennsylvania Regiment,[14] the 3rd Pennsylvania Regiment,[14] and the 6th Pennsylvania Regiment.[15]

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

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 Northumberland 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

Northumberland Democrat, Aug 18, 1904 and Aug 29, 1907
Mount Carmel ledger, 4th quarter 1892, 1893, 1894
Shamokin Newspaper Abstracts 1862-1893
Shamokin Herald June 15, 1893 and June 23, 1893
Sunbury American, April 1860, April 1861, March 1862
Sunbury Gazette, various dates in 1853

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]

Prison Records

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Probate matters in Northumberland 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]

Mt. Carmel High School Grads 1887-1892 and 1936
Shamokin High School 1877-1958
Trevorton High School Graduation 1913

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 Northumberland 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 Northumberland 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]

The Mount Carmel Area Public Library collection includes: Microfilm collection of newspapers, local histories, coal mining histories, high school year book collection. MCA Obituary Indexes from 1860 to 1963.

Museums[edit | edit source]

  • Muncy Historical Society and Museum of History
    40 North Main Street
    P.O. Box 11
    Muncy, PA 17756
    Phone: 570-546-5917
    Website

Societies[edit | edit source]

  • Muncy Historical Society and Museum of History
    40 North Main Street
    P.O. Box 11
    Muncy, PA 17756
    Phone: 570-546-5917
    Website
The Muncy Historical Society publishes Now and Then Magazine (1868 to present) which includes: Cemetery records,marriage records, death records, local Revolutionary War veteran pension declarations, published family genealogies, county histories.
  • The Northumberland County Historical Society
    1150 North Front St.
    Sunbury, PA 17801-1126
    Phone/Fax: 570-286-4083
    Website
  • Montour County Genealogical Society
    205 Ferry Street
    Danville, PA 17821
    Phone: 570-275-6177
    Website
The collections held in the 2nd floor genealogy room of the Thomas Beaver Free Library includes records for Columbia, Montour and Northumberland Counties. Research requests may be submitted in writing using a printable form which includes the fee schedule.

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/Northumberland_County,_Pennsylvania 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. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Pennsylvania.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  7. Herbert C. Bell, History of Northumberland County, Pennsylvania (Chicago, IL: Runk Brown, 1891), 581; Digital version on Internet Archive; FamilySearch Digital Library; At various libraries(WorldCat); FHL film 1000567 item 4.
  8. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. PDF printout at: PA Parish Records List.
  9. Herbert C. Bell, History of Northumberland County, Pennsylvania (Chicago, IL: Runk Brown, 1891), 502, 540, 579; Digital version on Internet Archive; FamilySearch Digital Library; At various libraries(WorldCat); FHL film 1000567 item 4.
  10. Herbert C. Bell, History of Northumberland County, Pennsylvania (Chicago, IL: Runk Brown, 1891), 506, 507, 538; Digital version on Internet Archive; FamilySearch Digital Library; At various libraries(WorldCat); FHL film 1000567 item 4.
  11. Herbert C. Bell, History of Northumberland County, Pennsylvania (Chicago, IL: Runk Brown, 1891), 504, 575, 576 581; Digital version on Internet Archive; FamilySearch Digital Library; At various libraries(WorldCat); FHL film 1000567 item 4.
  12. Herbert C. Bell, History of Northumberland County, Pennsylvania (Chicago, IL: Runk Brown, 1891), 568 634; Digital version on Internet Archive; FamilySearch Digital Library; At various libraries(WorldCat); FHL film 1000567 item 4.
  13. The Philadelphia Courts at Common Pleas accessed 10 July 2012
  14. 14.0 14.1 John B.B. Trussell and Charles C. Dallas, The Pennsylvania Line; Regimental Organization and Operations, 1776-1783 (Harrisburg, Pa.: Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1977). Digital version at Family History Archive.
  15. Wikipedia contributors, "6th Pennsylvania Regiment," 6th Pennsylvania Regiment, accessed 31 May 2012.

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