Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Guide
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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
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
- 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
Philadelphia 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
Philadelphia 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.
- The Philadelphia Circhives
- Chestnut Hill Historical Society
- Descendants of Signers of the Declaration of Independence
- Genealogical Society Of Pennsylvania
- German Society of Pennsylvania
- American Swedish Historical Museum
- Germantown Historical Society
- Historical Society Of Pennsylvania
- Jewish Genealogical Society Of Philadelphia
- Lutherrchives Center at Philadelphia
- Presbyterian Historical Society
- Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania Message Boards
- Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Forum read and post messages with other genealogy researchers for Philadelphia County
Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania External Links
- Historical Maps of Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania - PA D.O.T.
- Historical Newspapers from Pennsylvania (1719 - 1997)
- The Philadelphia Jewish Exponent Obituary Index, 1887-2006
- Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania Books - Amazon
- Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915
- Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Marriage Indexes, 1885-1951
- Minutes of the Common Council of the city of Philadelphia, 1704 to 1776. See also Philadelphia Old Rights (Index)
- Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania Wills, 1682-1819
- Runaway Servants, Convicts, apprentices
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia National Cemetery, 1862-2010
- Philadelphia, Tombstone Inscriptions from Christ Church
- Philadelphia Co., Pennsylvania - FindaGrave
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Church Records, 1709-60
- Every person index of the Memorial history of the city of Philadelphia, 1895-1898, edited by John Russell Young
- Encyclopedia of Philadelphia
- History of Philadelphia, 1609-1884
- Philadelphia History, 1609-1884
- Philadelphia, a history of the city and its people
- Annals of Philadelphia, and Pennsylvania, in the olden time
- Memorial history of the city of Philadelphia from its first settlement to the year 1895
- Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania Links - Cyndi's List
- Philadelphia Co. PAGenweb
- Story of Philadelphia
- Biographies of successful Philadelphia merchants
- The history of the consolidation of the city of Philadelphia
- Genealogy of Philadelphia County subdivisions
- A biography of deceased butchers, and a narrative of facts
- The story of St. Paul's "on Delaware," 1703-1903
- Philadelphia Co. Data Collections
- Philadelphia Passenger Lists, 1800-1945
- Philadelphia, Passenger and Immigration Lists, 1800-1850
- Philadelphia Bank Immigrant Passage Records, 1890-1949
- Philadelphia, 1789-1880 Naturalization Records
- Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore Steamshrrivals, 1890-1930
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Chinerrivals, 1900-1923
- U.S. Chinese Immigration Case Files, 1883-1924
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Indentures, 1771-1773
- Philadelphia German Immigration, 1700-75
- Passengrrivals at the Port of Philadelphia, 1800-1819
- Pennsylvania German Pioneer Publication of the Original Lists rrivals in the Port of Philadelphia from 1727 to 1808, Vol. I
- Pennsylvania German Pioneer Publication of the Original Lists rrivals in the Port of Philadelphia from 1727 to 1808, Vol. II
- Pennsylvania, Quaker arrivals at Philadelphia (Meeting), 1682-1750
- Philadelphia in the Civil War, 1861-1865
- History of the Philadelphia Brigade
- Register of the members of the "Artillery Corps, Washington Grays" of the city of Philadelphia who served in the War of the Reb
- Philadelphia City Directories
- Philadelphia City Directory, 1890
- Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania Military Records