Elk County, Pennsylvania Genealogy

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Guide to Elk County, Pennsylvania ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

County Facts
County seat: Ridgway
Organized: April 18, 1843
Parent County(s): Jefferson, McKean, Clearfield[1]
Neighboring Counties
McKean  • Forest  • Clearfield  • Cameron  • Warren  • Jefferson
Courthouse
Elk County, Pennsylvania Courthouse.jpg
Location Map
Elk County PA Map.png
Adoption
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County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The county was named for the Eastern elk that historically inhabited the region. The county is located in the northcentral area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Elk County Courthouse
250 Main Street P.O. Box 448
Ridgway, PA 15853
Phone: 814-776-1161
Clerk of Orphans' Court/Register of Wills/Recorder of Deeds Phone: 814-776-5349 Email: recorder@countyofelkpa.com
Prothonotary and Clerk of the Court Phone: 814-776-5343 Email: sschneider@countyofelkpa.com
Elk County Website

Register and Recorder has birth and death records 1893-1906, marriage records from 1895, probate records from 1847, land records from 1861
Prothonotary Office has divorce and court records from 1843[3]

Elk 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 1895 1893 1843 1861 1847 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]

  • County seat: Ridgway[6]

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:[7]

Cities
Boroughs
Unincorporated communities
  • Portland Mills
Census-designated places
Townships


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 Elk 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

 

Census Records[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1850 3,531
1860 5,915 67.5%
1870 8,488 43.5%
1880 12,800 50.8%
1890 22,239 73.7%
1900 32,903 48.0%
1910 35,871 9.0%
1920 34,981 −2.5%
1930 33,431 −4.4%
1940 34,443 3.0%
1950 34,503 0.2%
1960 37,328 8.2%
1970 37,770 1.2%
1980 38,338 1.5%
1990 34,878 −9.0%
2000 35,111 0.7%
2010 31,946 −9.0%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

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.

Elk county pennsylvania churches.png

County-wide Database - Multi-denominational

Catholic

  • "100 years of the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese 1843 -1943," Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 17, No. 1. FHL Book 974.8 B2wg. Chronology, map, county-by-county information.


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.[8]

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 Elk County began in 1844. These records are filed with the Register and Recorder office in Ridgway, Pennsylvania.

Online Land Indexes and Records

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Clearfield CountyJefferson CountyForest CountyWarren CountyMcKean CountyCameron CountyPA ELK.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources



Maps

Migration[edit | edit source]

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 Elk County, Pennsylvania

Online Newspapers and Abstracts

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.

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 Obituaries Abstracts

Other Records[edit | edit source]

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Probate matters in Elk 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]

Social Security Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[edit | edit source]

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. Beginning in 1906 Pennsylvania birth records are available through the Department of Health. Birth records become public after 105 years. A statewide index is available.
Some birth records exist for the 1852 -1853 time period for Elk County. Only a small percentage of births were recorded in this time period. These records are available at:

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Pennsylvania marriages were created by county officials. Contact Elk County Courthouse The county began recording marriages in October 1885. A few marriage records were created by the county in the 1853 -1854 time period.

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.

Elk County began recording deaths in 1893 although some were recorded from 1853 to 1854. These records as well as records from 1893 to 1906 are available at the County Courthouse in Ridgway.

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 Elk County. For state-wide archival repositories, see Pennsylvania Archives and Libraries.

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, 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 Elk County. For state-wide library facilities, see Pennsylvania Archives and Libraries.

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

Listed below are societies in Elk County. For state-wide genealogical societies, see Pennsylvania Societies.


Elk County Historical Society
P.O. Box 361
Ridgway, PA 15853
Phone: 814-776-1032
Website
Elk County Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 142
Johnsonburg, PA 15845

Websites[edit | edit source]

  • USGenWeb project. May have maps, name indexes, history or other information for this county. Select the state, then the county.
  • Elk County PA Genealogy
  • Encyclopedia listing for Elk County, Pennsylvania from Wikipedia
  • 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]

  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. http://genealogytrails.com/sdak/ziebach/ accessed 2/1/2017
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists : United States of America, 10th ed., (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002) Elk County, Pennsylvania, p.589
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Elk County, Pennsylvania. Page 588-593 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 579-581.
  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. Wikipedia contributors, "Elk County, Pennsylvania," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elk_County,_Pennsylvania#Communities, accessed 20 January 2020.
  8. The Philadelphia Courts at Common Pleas accessed 10 July 2012
  9. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/images/2/23/Igipennsylvaniac.pdf.