Berks County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Guide
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Berks County, Pennsylvania (Map It) was created on March 11, 1752 from Chester County, Lancaster County and Philidelphia County. The county was named for the English county of Berkshire. Learn More About State of Pennsylvania History
Berks County is bordered by Schuykill County (north), Lehigh County (northeast), Montgomery County (southeast), Chester County (south), Lancaster County (southwest), Lebanon County (west). A Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania contains detailed information about roads and boundaries, these maps may include rural communities, churches, and cemeteries.
Berks County Townships include Albanlsacmity, Bern, Bethel, Brecknock, Caernarvon, Centre, Colebrookdale, Cumru, District, Douglass, Earl, Exeter, Greenwich, Heidelberg, Hereford, Jefferson, Longswamp, Lowlsace, Lower Heidelberg, Maidencreek, Marion, Maxatawny, Muhlenberg, North Heidelberg, Oley, Ontelaunee, Penn, Perry, Pike, Richmond, Robeson, Rockland, Ruscombmanor, South Heidelberg, Spring, Tilden, Tulpehocken, Union, Upper Bern, Upper Tulpehocken, Washington, Windsor.
Berks County Boroughs include Adamstown, Bally, Bechtelsville, Bernville, Birdsboro, Boyertown, Centerport, Fleetwood, Hamburg, Kenhorst, Kutztown, Laureldale, Leesport, Lenhartsville, Lyons, Mohnton, Mount Penn, New Morgan, Robesonia, St. Lawrence, Shillington, Shoemakersville, Sinking Spring, Strausstown, Topton, Wernersville, West Reading, Womelsdorf, Wyomissing.
Berks County Cities & Towns include Reading. See also Berks County Municipalities Incorporation Dates.
Berks County, Pennsylvania Courthouse Records
Please contact the each clerk's department to confirm mailing address, hours, fees and other information before visiting or requesting information because contact information sometimes changes. The Clerk's Office DOES NOT DO RESEARCH. The documents are available to interested parties, barring confidential issues. Most staff will assist people in finding the materials, but it is up to the individual to do the research.
The following dates indicates what vital, land, probate, and court records are in Berks county. The date listed for each category of record is usually the earliest registration filed. The earliest date does not indicate that there are numerous records for that year and does not mean that all such events were actually registered.
- Berks County Recorder of Deeds has Land Records from 1752. The County Recorder of Deeds is responsible for recording documents related to property. Documents recorded consist of, but are not limited to, deeds, mortgages, restrictions, notaries, public and elected county officers. Other documents, such as Military Service Discharges, foreign birth certificates, as well as obscure documents like cattle brands, are also recorded here.
- Berks County Prothonotary / Clerk of Courts has Court & Divorce Records from 1752. The Prothonotary / Clerk of Courts has been the clerk of court of common pleas since 1707. Court records here include divorces, naturalizations, peddlers' licenses, registration of attorneys, oaths of county officers, equity, sheriff's sales, juror lists, some tax records, and some civil court records.Other court records are with the clerk of courts.
- Berks County Register of Wills/ Orphan's Court Clerk has Marriage & Probate Records from 1752 and Birth & Death Records from before Jan 1906. The Wills/ Orphan's Court Clerk are often the same person, sometimes sharing the responsibility of the recorder of deeds and clerk of courts as well. The Register of Wills' principal duties include probating wills and accepting for filing all documents necessary to complete the administration of a decedent's estate. The Clerk of Orphans' Court, our office serves as the filing office and custodian of records for matters involving adoptions, guardianships and estate litigation. The office also issues all marriage licenses. Since 1885 the clerk of the orphans' court in each county has had the responsibility of recording marriages.
- Berks County Tax Assessor Office has tax records but may also be in the county commissioners' office or with the prothonotary.
Berks County, Pennsylvania Census Records
- Learn More: State of Pennsylvania Census Records
- U.S. Federal Population Schedules: 1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 (free index), 1890 (fragmented), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940
- U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedules: 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880
- Selected U.S. Federal Census Agriculture Schedules: 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880
- Selected U.S. Federal Census Industry Schedules: 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880
- Union Veterans Schedules: 1890
Berks County, Pennsylvania Vital Records
- Learn More: State of Pennsylvania Vital Records
- Birth & Death Records: 1906 to present.
- Marriage Records: does not have marriage records. The marriage records should be available in the County Court House.
- Divorce Records: does not have marriage records. The marriage records should be available in the County Court House.
- Locations: Pennsylvania Office of Vital Statistics, Pennsylvania State Archives
- Vital Records Online: USAVital, VitalChek or Social Security Death Index
- Vital Records by Mail: Birth Certificate, Death Certificate Applications.
- In Person: Division of Vital Records, 101 South Mercer Street, Central Building, Room 401, New Castle, PA 16103; PH (724) 656-3100
Berks County, Pennsylvania Resources
- Pennsylvania Archives - Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission series contains records of pennsylvania, from 1664 to 1780, and includes military, marriage, tax and land records. This is a Free Database.
- Berks County Historical Society
- Berks County Genealogical Society
- Berks County, Pennsylvania Message Boards
- Berks County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Forum read and post messages with other genealogy researchers for Berks County
Berks County, Pennsylvania External Links
- Historical Maps of Berks County, Pennsylvania - PA D.O.T.
- Historical Newspapers from Pennsylvania (1719 - 1997)
- Newspapers of Berks County, Pennsylvania, 1789-1900
- Berks County, Pennsylvania Books - Amazon
- Berks County, Pennsylvania Marriages, 1885-1929
- Reading, Pennsylvania Births, 1876-1905
- Reading, Pennsylvania Deaths, 1873-1905
- Berks County, Pennsylvania Births, 1876-1906
- Berks County, Pennsylvania Deaths, 1852-55, 1894-1906
- Reading, Pennsylvania Marriages, 1876-84
- Berks County, Pennsylvania Delayed Births
- Berks County, Pennsylvania Estate Records, 1752-1914
- Index of Berks County, Pennsylvania, wills and administration records, 1752-1850
- A directory of burials on Salem Belleman's graveyard, 1746-1972
- Berks Co., Pennsylvania - FindaGrave
- Pennsylvania Church Recordsdams, Berks, and Lancaster Counties, 1729-1881
- Berks County, Pennsylvania, 1745-1805: Cacusi or Hain's Reformed Church
- Berks County, Pennsylvania, 1762-1810: Longswamp Reformed Church records
- Book of biographies, this volume contains biographical sketches of leading citizens of Berks County, Pa.
- Historical and biographical annals of Berks County, Pennsylvania
- Reading and Berks County, Pennsylvania, a history
- Transactions of the Historical Society of Berks County
- History of the counties of Berks and Lebanon
- Berks County, Pennsylvania Links - Cyndi's List
- Berks Co. PAGenweb
- Berks Co. Data Collections
- Reading, Pennsylvania Directories, 1887-90
- Rhode's Berks County Grange directory
- Berks County, Pennsylvania Service Roster, 1917-18
- Durell's Battery in the Civil War
- Company 6-F, Berks County Pennsylvania State Guard Reserve of Rehrersburg, Pa.
- Officers of Berks County, for each year, from 1752 to 1860, also the vote of the county at the presidential & governors' elect
- Berks County, Pennsylvania Military Records