Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Guide

Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania (Map It) was created in 1682 as one of three original counties. The county was named for the "Brotherly love" from Greek philos ("love") and adelphos ("brother"). Learn More About State of Pennsylvania History

Philadelphia County is bordered by Montgomery County (north), Bucks County (northeast), Burlington County, New Jersey (east), Camden County, New Jersey (southeast), Gloucester County, New Jersey (south), Delaware County (west).

Philadelphia County Districts, Townships and Boroughs of the County of Philadelphia Before 1854 include Aramingo Borough, Belmont District, Blockley, Bridesburg Borough, Bristol, Byberry, Delaware, Frankford Borough, Germantown Borough, Germantown, Kensington District, Kingsessing, Lower Dublin, Manayunk Borough, Moreland, Moyamensing District, Northern Liberties District, Northern Liberties, Oxford, Passyunk, Penn District, Penn, Philadelphia City, Roxborough, Richmond District, Southwark District, Spring Garden District, West Philadelphia Borough, Whitehall Borough. See also Philadelphia County Municipalities Incorporation Dates.

Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania Courthouse Records

Philadelphia County Townships Map
Philadelphia County Townships Map


Philadelphia County, PA Courthouse

The Philadelphia County Courthouse is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The city and county of Philadelphia were combined in 1854 and city and county offices merged in 1952. Learn More About State of Pennsylvania Court, Tax, Land and Probate 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 Philadelphia 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.

  • Philadelphia County Recorder of Deeds has Land Records from 1684. 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.
  • Philadelphia County Prothonotary / Clerk of Courts has Court & Divorce Records from 1682. 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.
  • Philadelphia County Register of Wills / Orphan's Court Clerk has Marriage & Probate Records from 1682 ; (215) 686-2234 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.
  • Philadelphia County Tax Assessor Office has tax records but may also be in the county commissioners' office or with the prothonotary.

Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania Census Records

Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania Vital Records

Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania Resources

Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania External Links