Perry County, Pennsylvania Genealogy
Guide to Perry County, Pennsylvania ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.
- 1 County Information
- 2 Resources
- 2.1 Bible Records
- 2.2 Biographies
- 2.3 Business, Commerce, and Occupations
- 2.4 Cemeteries
- 2.5 Census Records
- 2.6 Church Records
- 2.7 Court Records
- 2.8 Directories
- 2.9 Emigration and Immigration
- 2.10 Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups
- 2.11 Funeral Homes
- 2.12 Genealogies
- 2.13 Guardianship
- 2.14 Land and Property Records
- 2.15 Local Histories
- 2.16 Maps and Gazetteers
- 2.17 Migration
- 2.18 Military Records
- 2.19 Naturalization and Citizenship
- 2.20 Newspapers
- 2.21 Obituaries
- 2.22 Other Records
- 2.23 Periodicals
- 2.24 Probate Records
- 2.25 School Records
- 2.26 Social Security Records
- 2.27 Tax Records
- 2.28 Vital Records
- 3 Research Facilities
- 4 Societies
- 5 Websites
- 6 Research Guides
- 7 References
County Information[edit | edit source]
Description[edit | edit source]
The county was named for Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry. It is located in the central area of the state.
County Courthouse[edit | edit source]
Perry County Courthouse
P.O. Box 325
2 East Main St.
New Bloomfield, PA 17068
Prothonotary/Clerk of Courts/Orphans’ Court/Register of Wills/Recorder Phone: 717-582-2131
Perry County Website
County Clerk has birth records 1893-1918, marriage records from 1870, and land records from 1820
Register of Wills has probate records
- 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[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.
Record Loss[edit | edit source]
There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.
Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]
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[edit | edit source]
For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit HomeTown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:
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]
- Cemetery records often reveal birth, marriage, death, relationship, military, and religious information.
Additional Cemetery Resources
- ca.1700-ca.1950 - Pennsylvania Cemetery Records, ca. 1700-ca. 1950 at FamilySearch — index and images
- Names in Stone
- 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.
Census Records[edit | edit source]
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.
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.
County-wide Database - Multi-denominational
- 1708-1985 Pennsylvania, Church and Town Records, 1708-1985 at Historical Society of Pennsylvania – $, free to members of the society; Also available at Ancestry $
- 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
- 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
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
- 1893-1930 Church records, 1893-1930 (Newport Methodist) which covers Newport, Millerstown, and Donnally Mills. In 1906 Newport was its own charge.
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
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.
List of Churches and Church Parishes
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.
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.
- 1820-1869 Orphans court docketsFHL film 22008 (first of 4 films)
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 Perry County began in 1820. These records are filed with the Register and Recorder office in New Bloomfield, Pennsylvania.
Online Land Indexes and Records
- 1820-present Images are available online using the Landex system. There is a fee to view the images.
- 1820-1950 Deed Book, 1820-1866; Indexes, 1820-1950 FHL film 22010 (first of 23 films) - images only; click on the camera icon to view images
Local Histories[edit | edit source]
- The History and Topography of Dauphin, Cumberland, Franklin, Bedford, Adams, and Perry Counties (Pennsylvania). 1846. By I. Daniel Rupp. Lancaster, Pa. : Gilbert Hills. Online at: FamilySearch Digital Library, Hathitrust, Internet Archive, Google Books, Ancestry ($); At various libraries (WorldCat). Index: FamilySearch Digital Library.
- History of Perry County in Pennsylvania from the Earliest Settlement to the Present Time. 1873. By Silas Wright. Lancaster, Pa. : Wylie and Griest. Online at: FamilySearch Digital Library, Hathitrust, Internet Archive, Ancestry ($); At various libraries (WorldCat).
- History of [...] the counties of Mifflin, Juniata, Perry, Union and Snyder in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. 2 volumes. 1886. By Franklin Ellis, Alfred Matthews. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania : Everts, Peck & Richards. Online at: Vol. 2 - FamilySearch Digital Library, Hathitrust, Internet Archive; At various libraries (WorldCat). Volume 2 contains histories for Perry, Union, and Snyder counties.
- History of Perry County, Pennsylvania. 1922. By Harry Harrison Hain. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania : Hain-Moore Co. Online at: FamilySearch Digital Library, Hathitrust, Google Books; At various libraries (WorldCat).
- A History of the Juniata Valley. 3 volumes. 1936. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania : National Historical Association, Inc. Online at: Vol. 1 - FamilySearch Digital Library, Vol. 2 - FamilySearch Digital Library, Vol. 3 - FamilySearch Digital Library.
Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]
- Maps of Pennsylvania (1673-1878)
- Ancestor Tracks has posted free downloadable images from the 1877 Atlas of Perry, Juniata & Mifflin Counties under the Direction of Beach Nichols, published by Pomeroy, Whitman & Co. 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 to be used commercially. We hereby give permission to use them strictly for personal use; please attribute to Ancestor Tracks.
- FamilySearch Places:Cities and Towns- How to Use FS Places
Migration[edit | edit source]
Military Records[edit | edit source]
War of 1812
- 1861-1865 - Pennsylvania, Register of Military Volunteers, 1861-1865 at FamilySearch — index
- Civil War Regimental Rolls courtesy USGenWeb.com
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
- 1901-1930 Naturalization Petitions of the U.S. Circuit and District Courts for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, 1906-1930; and 1901-1906 on Fold3.com - ($), indexed, National Archives publication M1622, Middle District court was created in 1901, for earlier dates try the Eastern and Western District court records
- 1901-1930 Middle District, US Circuit and District Courts: Naturalization petitions, 1906-1930 located in U.S. Naturalization Records - Original Documents, 1795-1972 (World Archives Project) database on Ancestry $
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 Perry County
- Pennsylvania Newspapers
- Chronicling America US Newspaper Directory
- PAGenWeb Perry County Newspapers Newspapers published in Perry County, Pennsylvania through the years.
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
- Pennsylvania Obituary and Marriage Collection, 1947-2010 at FamilySearch
- PA-Roots Newspaper Articles for Perry County, Pennsylvania.
- Perry County Archives Newspaper Articles courtesy USGenWeb Archives including:
- 1862-1922 Newspaper articles pertaining to Blain Borough
- 1894 and 1918 Misc news from The News
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
- PA-Roots Obituaries for Perry County, Pennsylvania.
- Perry County Archives Obituaries courtesy USGenWeb Archives
Obituary Excerpts and Abstracts
- Historically Informative Obituaries' FHL book 974.845 H25p no. 3 (August 1978)
- Contributed by Deborah S. White, a descendant of the deceased, A Perry County Obituary, Perry County Democrat FHL book 974.845 H25p (no. 4 (1979)
Other Records[edit | edit source]
Periodicals[edit | edit source]
Probate Records[edit | edit source]
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
- 1683-1993 Pennsylvania Wills and Probate Records 1683-1993 at Ancestry $
- 1820-1911 Perry County Probate Records - at FamilySearch
- 1820-1911 Wills FHL film 22005 (first of 6 films) - images only; click on the camera icon to view images
- 1820-1835 Index to Will Book A
School Records[edit | edit source]
Social Security Records[edit | edit source]
- 1935-2014 United States Social Security Death Index at FamilySearch - How to use this collection; index. Also at Ancestry, findmypast, Fold3, GenealogyBank, MyHeritage, and Steve Morse. Click here for more information.
- 1936-2007 U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 at Ancestry ($) — index, click here for more information.
Tax Records[edit | edit source]
- 1767 Early Assessments of Toboyne and Tyrone Townships at PAGenWeb
- 1785-1883 Perry County, Pennsylvania Tax Records at PAGenWeb
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.
- 1852-1854 Perry County Birth Index 1852-1854 in International Genealogical Index at FamilySearch. Batch C523901
- 1852-1854 Pennsylvania Births Ancestry $
Marriage[edit | edit source]
Pennsylvania marriages were created by county officials. Contact Perry County Courthouse
- 1626-2016 Pennsylvania, United States Marriages at FindMyPast$
- 1677-1950 Pennsylvania Civil Marriages, 1677-1950 at FamilySearch
- 1700-1821 Pennsylvania Marriage Records Ancestry $
- 1725-1976 Pennsylvania, Marriages, 1709-1940 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 Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
- Pre-1810 Pennsylvania Marriages Ancestry $
- 1852-1854 Pennsylvania Marriages Ancestry $
- 1885 Perry County Marriage Index 1885 in International Genealogical Index at FamilySearch. Batch M523902
- 1885-1950 Pennsylvania County Marriage, 1885-1950 Extracted marriage records. 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.
- 1885-1887 and 1890-1991 Some Perry County, PA Marriages, courtesy USGenWeb Archives
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.
- 1720-1999 Pennsylvania Deaths and Burials, 1720-1999 at FamilySearch — index, some images
- 1850-1880 Pennsylvania Mortality Schedules, 1850-1880 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1852-1919 Perry County Death Index 1852-1919 in International Genealogical Index at FamilySearch
- 1852-1854 Pennsylvania Deaths Ancestry $
- 1852-1855 Some Perry County, PA Death Records, courtesy USGenWeb Archives
Divorce[edit | edit source]
Divorce records are available through the office of the Prothonotary.
Research Facilities[edit | edit source]
Archives[edit | edit source]
Listed below are archives in Perry County. For state-wide archival repositories, see Pennsylvania Archives and Libraries.
- National Archives at Philadelphia
14700 Townsend Road
Philadelphia, PA 19154-1096
Family History Centers[edit | edit source]
Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.
Local Centers and Libraries
Libraries[edit | edit source]
Listed below are libraries in Perry County. For state-wide library facilities, see Pennsylvania Archives and Libraries.
- The Perry Historians Library aka The Harry W. Lenig Library
P.O. Box 73
763 Dix Hill Rd.
Newport, PA 17074-0073
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.
Museums[edit | edit source]
Societies[edit | edit source]
Listed below are societies in Perry County. For state-wide genealogical societies, see Pennsylvania Societies.
- Historical Society of Perry County PA
P.O. Box 81
Newport, PA 17074-0081
Websites[edit | edit source]
- Perry County PA Genealogy
- FamilySearch Catalog – The FamilySearch catalog contains descriptions and access information for all genealogical materials (including books, online materials, microfilm, microfiche, and publications) in their collection. Use Historical Records to search for specific individuals in genealogical records.
Research Guides[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Pennsylvania.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
- https://familysearch.org/wiki/en/Perry_County,_Pennsylvania_Genealogy accessed 2/12/2017
- The Handybook for Genealogists : United States of America, 10th ed., (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002) Perry County, Pennsylvania, p.592
- Wikipedia contributors, "Perry County, Pennsylvania," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perry_County,_Pennsylvania, accessed 30 January 2020.
- Ancestry.com. Ancestry's Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1998.
- The Philadelphia Courts at Common Pleas accessed 10 July 2012
- 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.