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Wayne County, Pennsylvania Genealogy

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Guide to Wayne 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: Honesdale
Organized: March 21, 1798
Parent County(s): Northampton[1]
Neighboring Counties
Delaware (NY)  • Monroe  • Susquehanna  • Sullivan (NY)  • Lackawanna  • Pike  • Broome (NY)
See County Maps
Courthouse
Wayne County, Pennsylvania Courthouse.jpg
Location Map
Wayne County PA Map.png
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Anthony Wayne

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The county was named for the Revolutionary War General Anthony Wayne. The county is located in the Northeastern tip of the state.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Wayne County Courthouse
925 Court Street
Honesdale, PA 18431
Phone: 570-253-5970
Recorder of Deeds: 570-253-5970 Ext. 4040
Prothonotary: 570-523-5970 ext. 4030
Register of Wills: 570-253-5970 Ext. 4040
Wayne County Website

Prothonotary Office has birth and death records 1893-1906, marriage records from 1885, divorce records from 1900, court records from 1798, school records from 1912-1971, and 1180 county tax assessment census
County Registrar and Recorder has probate and land records from 1798[3]

Wayne 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[4]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1893 1885 1893 1798 1798 1798 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]

26 March 1814: Pike County set off. [7]

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]

The following are locations in Wayne 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 Wayne 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 Wayne 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.

Wayne County Pennsylvania churches

Baptist
Baptists arrived in the area in 1795. Eventually there were two groups, the Free Communion Baptist Church at Mount Pleasant and the Honesdale Baptist Church.[8]

Catholic
Irish Catholics lived in Mount Pleasant, Preston, Buckingham, Carbondale, Honsdale, Ledgedale, and White Mills townships. Many people were Delaware and Hudson Canal Co. employees. The German Catholic Church was organized 1853 .[8]

Episcopal
Honesdale Grace Episcopal Church and Dyberry Parish in Bethany were both established in1832. St. John's Protestant Episcopal Church in Hamlin was established in 1844. [8]

Jewish
The Temple Beth Israel synagogue was established 1849 from land donated by Delaware and Hudson Canal Co. The Sherith-Israel Synagogue. Russian and Polish Jews 1880's established the Sherith-Isreal synagogue. [8]

Lutheran
Honesdale German Evangelical Lutheran Congregation was established in 1845. [8]

Methodist
The first group organized in 1825; by 1900 the Methodist outnumbered the other denominations. Members could attend in Salem Corners, Pleasant Mount, and Honesdale. [8]

Presbyterian
There were five churches organized between 1829 and 1849.[8]

  • 1829 Hensdale (Dyberry Forks)
  • 1835 Waymart
  • 1842 Prompton
  • 1842 -1900 Prompton Sessions Records Available from the Wayne County Historical Society, Research Library. You may view it at the library for free if a member or for a $5.00 charge. You may hire a professional from their web page.
  • 1848 Lebonon
  • 1849 Hawley

First Presbyterian Church, Honesdale

Contains the church records of:
  • Honesdale: First Presbyterian Church

Presbyterian Church, Mount Pleasant Township

Presbyterian Church, Prompton

Russian Orthodox
Russians settled in South Canaan and had a monastery and school. [8]

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.

Many early residence came from New England, New York, and New Jersey. (Ref. History of Wayne County Pennsylvania 1798-1998 by Walter B. Barbe and Kurk A. Reed. Wayne County Historical Society C 1998.)

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.[9]

Orphans Court

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.

Online Land Indexes and Records

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Susquehanna CountyLackawanna CountyMonroe CountyPike CountySullivan CountyDelaware CountyBroome CountyPA WAYNE.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Maps

Migration[edit | edit source]

The migration routes used by early European settlers to and from Wayne County included:[10]

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

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 Wayne 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 Wayne 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]

  • 1798 Pennsylvania, U.S. Direct Tax Lists, 1798 at Ancestry ($).

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 Wayne 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 not necessarily intended to index any specific set of records. This index is not complete for any particular place or region. This collection may include information previously published in the International Genealogical Index or Vital Records Index collections. In Wayne county, the Prothonotary's office has: *1885–present - Marriage records (see above for address)
  • Pre-1810 Pennsylvania Marriages Ancestry $
  • 1852-1854 Pennsylvania Marriages Ancestry $
  • 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.

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.

  • 1852-1854 Pennsylvania Deaths Ancestry $

Divorce[edit | edit source]

  • Divorce records are available through the office of the Prothonotary.

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]

  • Wayne County Library Alliance operates 7 public libraries in Wayne County.
Visit website for individual library locations and contact information, hours and services
  • Wayne Public Library
    1406 Main Street, Honesdale, PA
    Phone: 570-253-1220
    FAX: 570-253-1240
    Facebook
Visit website for individual library locations and contact information, hours and services
  • Bethany Public Library and Historical Society
    RR3 Box 650
    Bethany
    Honesdale, PA 18431

Museums[edit | edit source]

  • Wayne County Historical Society
    810 Main St.
    Honesdale, PA 18431
    Phone: 570-253-3240
    Fax: 570-253-5204
    website
There are four museums available for touring and gatherings. The main museum is the society's headquarter.
Visit website for museum locations and hours. Website also maintains a list of historical sites and information about their research library.
  • Equinunk Historical Society Museums
    1972 Pine Mill Road
    P.O. Box 41
    Equinunk, PA 18417-0041
    Phone: 570-224-6722
    Email: ehs22@verizon.net
    website
Website also maintains a list of historical sites and information about their research library.

Societies[edit | edit source]

  • Bethany Public Library and Historical Society
    RR3 Box 650
    Bethany
    Honesdale, PA 18431
  • Wayne County Historical Society
    (WCHS)
    810 Main Street
    P.O. Box 446
    Honesdale, PA 18431-1847
    Phone: 570-253-3240
    Fax: 570-253-5204
Email: wchspa@ptd.net
website
There are four museums available for touring and gatherings. The main museum is the society's headquarters. Visit website for hours and services.
  • Genealogical Research Society of Northeastern Pennsylvania, Inc
    (GRSNP)
    1100 Main Street
    Peckville, PA 18452
    Phone: 570-383-7661
    FAX: 570-383-7466
    Email: info@grsnp.org
    website
The GRSNP serves northeastern counties:
  • Lackawanna
  • Luzerne
  • Monroe
  • Pike
  • Susquehanna
  • Wayne
  • Wyoming
Visit website for hours and services

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/Wayne_County,_Pennsylvania accessed 2/12/2017
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists : United States of America, 10th ed., (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002), p. 593.
  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. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Pennsylvania.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 Walter B. Barbe and Kurk A. Reed. History of Wayne County Pennsylfania 1798-1998. (Wayne County Historical Society, 1998).FHL book 974.823 H2bw
  9. The Philadelphia Courts at Common Pleas accessed 10 July 2012
  10. Handybook, 850-51.

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