Beaver County, Pennsylvania Genealogy

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Guide to Beaver County, Pennsylvania ancestry, family history and genealogy courthouse sources including birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, wills, deeds and land records, Civil War records, Revolutionary War records, family histories, cemeteries, churches, tax records, newspapers, and obituaries.


Beaver County, Pennsylvania
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Beaver County
Location in the state of Pennsylvania, United States Genealogy
Map of the U.S. highlighting Pennsylvania
Location of Pennsylvania in the U.S.
Founded March 12, 1800
County Seat Beaver
Beaver County, Pennsylvania Courthouse.jpg
Address Beaver County Courthouse
810 Third Street
Beaver, PA 15009
Beaver County Website
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Beaver County Pennsylvania Historical Facts[edit | edit source]

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[1]
Marriage Court Land Probate Census
1893 1852 1852 1800 1800 1800 1790
Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1906. General compliance by 1915.

Parent Counties: Formed from Allegheny, Lycoming and Washington Counties 12 March 1800.[2]

County Seat: Beaver

Beaver County Genealogy and History Center 250 East End Ave, Beaver, Pa 15009

Neighboring Counties:

Description[edit | edit source]

It is named from the Beaver River. It's county seat is Beaver. It was organized March 12, 1800. It is located in the West-Central section of the state.[3]

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

  • 1780: Future southern 1/3 of Beaver County was disputed between Virginia and Pennsylvania until Mason-Dixon Line was finalized.
  • 1785: Future northern 2/3 was not included in any county until 1785.
  • 27 January 1750: Future southern 1/3 was incorporated into Cumberland County when it was formed.
  • 9 March 1771: Future southern 1/3 became part of Bedford County when it was erected.
  • 26 February 1773: Future southern 1/3 became part of Westmoreland County when it was formed.
  • 28 March 1781: Future southern 1/3 became part of Washington County when it was formed.
  • 1783: Future northern 2/3 was designated as Depreciation Lands for Revolutionary War soldiers.
  • 1785: Future northern 2/3 was annexed to Northumberland County.
  • 24 September 1788: Nearly all of Beaver fell into Allegheny County when it was created. a small southern portion remained in Washington County.
  • 20 March 1849: Lawrence County was created, giving Beaver County its current boundaries. [4]

For animated maps illustrating Pennsylvania county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Pennsylvania County Boundary Maps" (1673-1878) may be viewed for free at the website.

Records Loss[edit | edit source]

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Beaver County Pennsylvania Genealogy Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Tombstone Transcriptions Online Tombstone Transcriptions in Print List of Cemeteries in the county Family History Library
PA Cemeteries WorldCat BillionGraves
PAGenWeb Archives Linkpendium
Tombstone Photos PAGravestones
PA-Roots Epodunk
BillionGraves Interment
See Pennsylvania Cemeteries for more information.

Additional Cemetery Resources

Census[edit | edit source]

For tips on accessing Beaver County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Federal (or United States) census records online, see: Pennsylvania Census.

There are no county or state census records available for Pennsylvania. County and city tax records can be used as a substitute when census records are not available.

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Church records and the information they provide vary significantly depending on the denomination and the record keeper. They may contain information about members of the congregation, such as age, date of baptism, christening, or birth; marriage information and maiden names; and death date. In Pennsylvania, church records are often used as a substitute for birth, marriage, and death information. For general information about Pennsylvania denominations, view the Pennsylvania Church Records wiki page.

Beaver County Pennsylvania churches.png

Moravians who came in the 1770s were perhaps the earliest religious group to arrive in the county, and they came to preach to the Indians. The early settlers were almost exclusively Scotch-Irish Presbyterians who arrived by 1785. Methodists arrived in the early 1800s. They kept very poor records. Episcopalians arrived around 1799. The minister of that church performed many of the early marriages in the county.[5]

Finding Church Records at Other Repositories

Additional church records can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Beaver County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Church Records  in online catalogs like:

County-wide Database[edit | edit source]


Contains church records of:
  • Aliquippa: House of Prayer Evangelical Lutheran Church
  • Beaver: First Presbyterian Church
  • Beaver Falls: Christ Lutheran Church; First United Methodist Church
  • Conway: Conway United Presbyterian Church
  • Freedom: First Presbyterian Church
  • Monaca: Lutheran Church of the Redeemer
  • New Brighton: Christ Episcopal Church
  • Rochester: Grace Lutheran Church
Catholic[edit | edit source]
  • "100 years of the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese 1843–1943". Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Quarterly, 17:1. FamilySearch Library book 974.8 B2wg. Contains chronolgy, map, county-by-county information.
  • The Archives of the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh contains all sacramental records older than 70 years beginning in 1808 for parishes in the following counties of Pennsylvania: Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Greene, Lawrence and Washington. Sacramental records include baptismal, first communion, confirmation, marriage and death registers. The only records older than 70 years that are open for research are death records. They are released without restriction. The research can only be done by Archive staff. Research fees are charged at an hourly rate. For more information about obtaining records of the Diocese and its records click here. For records before 1808 researchers should contact:
    Diocese of Greensburg
    723 E. Pittsburgh Street
    Greensburg, PA 15601
    Telephone: (412) 837-0901
    Fax: (412) 837-0857

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Beaver County, Pennsylvania Genealogy court records are housed at the Beaver County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Courthouse. For many counties copies of court records may be found at the Pennsylvania State Archives and in the FamilySearch collection. Note that within these collections some films may contain the same records, but have different titles. Other titles are not duplicates. See Finding Court Records at other repositories within this section for links to the online catalogs for these two collections. Films at the Pennsylvania State Archives are not available for inter-library loan. If court records are available FamilySearch films may be available at a local Family History Center. Call ahead for availability.

Court of Common Pleas[edit | edit source]

The Courts of Common Pleas are the trial courts of Pennsylvania. Major civil and criminal cases are heard in these courts. Judges also decide cases involving adoption, divorce, child custody, abuse, juvenile delinquency, estates, guardianships, charitable organizations and many other matters. The Common Pleas courts are organized into 60 judicial districts. Beaver County has its own judicial district.[6]

Clerk of the Court[edit | edit source]

The Clerk of Courts prepares and maintains the records for the Criminal Division of the Court of Common Pleas. The Clerk signs and affixes the Seal of the Courts to all writs and processes, administers oaths and affirmations, and assumes custody of the seal and records of the Courts. The Clerk certifies and distributes orders of the Court. The Clerk also certifies and prepares bills of costs for the defendants and utilizes the computerized financial management system to disburse fines, costs and restitution.[7] For the Beaver County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Clerk of Courts address see the Courthouse section on this page.

Prothonotary[edit | edit source]

The office of the Prothonotary is the custodian of all civil matters in the county. This includes naturalization, immigration, equity actions, judgements, federal and local tax liens, city liens, family court, arbitrations, license suspension appeals, appeals to higher court, commercial code filings, applications for passports and divorce proceedings. See the Courthouse section on this page for the Beaver County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Prothonotary office information.

Orphan's Court[edit | edit source]

See Vital Records
The Orphans' Court is responsible for a wide range of matters. The name of the Court is derived from the more general definition of "orphan," that being a person or thing that is without protective affiliation or sponsorship. This would include those not capable of handling their own affairs, minors, incapacitated persons, decedents estates, nonprofit corporations and trusts. It is the role of the Court to ensure that the best interests of the person or entity are not compromised.

It is believed the name of this court was borrowed from the Court of Orphans of the city of London, England which had the care and guardianship of children of deceased citizens, in their minority.[8]

For Beaver County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Orphans' Court contact information see the Courthouse section on this page.

Finding Court Records at Other Repositories

Additional court records can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Beaver County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Court Records in online catalogs like:

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

For information about emigration into Pennsylvania, see the Pennsylvania Emigration and Immigration page.

Ethnic Groups[edit | edit source]

Germans[edit | edit source]

Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Genealogy[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

Published Histories[edit | edit source]

Land and Property[edit | edit source]

Land records in Beaver County began in 1800. These records are filed with the Recorder of Deeds office in Beaver, Pennsylvania.

Land and property records can place an ancestor in a particular location, provide economic information, and reveal family relationships. Land records include: deeds, abstracts, indexes, mortgages, leases, grants, sheriff sales, land patents, and maps. Property records include liens as well as livestock brands and estray records.

The following are examples of available resources:

Online Land Records

  • 1957 – present Beaver County offers online access to indexes and images. Fees apply.

Land Records on Microfilm

Additional Resources

Note that the "Maps" section below includes maps related to land ownership.

See Pennsylvania Land and Property for more information about using land records, especially about original land warrants, surveys, and patents filed at the state land office.

Additional resources can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Beaver County Pennsylvania Land in online catalogs such as:

Maps[edit | edit source]

Beaver County

Military[edit | edit source]

Revolutionary War[edit | edit source]

Men living in what is now Beaver County (then Washington and Westmoreland counties) served in the 8th Pennsylvania Regiment.[9]

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. See Pennsylvania Naturalization for more information about the types of records and availability.

Naturalizations granted at the county level were kept by the office of the Prothonotary. Naturalizations could also be granted on the Federal Court level.

Naturalization records available for Beaver County, Pennsylvania include the following:
Online Naturalization Indexes and Records

Original Naturalization Records on Microfilm

Finding Naturalization Indexes at Other Repositories

Additional naturalization indexes can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Beaver County, Pennsylvania Genealogy naturalization in online catalogs like:

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Beaver County, Pennsylvania Genealogy newspapers may contain genealogical value including obituaries, births, marriages, deaths, anniversaries, family gatherings, family travel, achievements, business notices, engagement information, and probate court proceedings.

To access newspapers, contact public libraries, historical/genealogical societies, college or university libraries, or state archives in the area where the newspaper was published.

For information on state-wide newspapers see Pennsylvania Newspapers

Newspapers of Beaver County

Online Newspapers

  • Beaver County Times - full-text of more than 11,000 issues spanning 1954-2007 available for free on Google Newspaper Archive.
  • Beaver Falls Tribune - more than 2,700 full-text issues spanning 1912-1928 available for free on Google Newspaper Archive
  • Beaver Times - full-text of close to 800 digital issues spanning 1900-1906 available for free on Google Newspaper Archive
  • Beaver Valley Times - full-text of more than 2,500 issues spanning 1946-1960 available for free on Google Newspaper Archive

Online Newspaper Abstracts

Newspaper Extracts and Abstracts

  • Foster, Nancy (compiler), Every-name Index to History of the Newspapres of Beaver County, Pennsylvania. (Cincinnati, Ohio:N.B. Foster, c1993) FHL book 974.8 A1 no. 543
  • Two books by Mark H Welchley, used together, provide abstracts from the Beaver County Argus newspaper from 1830 - 1858. Argus Genealogical Gleanings covers 1830-1838 FHL book 974.892 V28w and Beaver County, Pennsylvania Marriages from Beaver County Newspapers FHL book 974.892 V2w covers 1830-1878. Note that the content of these books do not overlap, despite the overlapping of the dates.
  • Clear, Helen G. Beaver County Deaths (abstracted from Warner's History) (S.I. : s.n., 19--) At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL book 974.892 V4c A list of deaths taken from newspapers. Death dates are 1817-1886.
Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Obituaries are generally found in local newspapers where the person died. However, sometimes an obituary is found in the location from which he or she originated. To find an obituary, see the information under the Newspaper heading

Online Obituary Abstracts

Occupations[edit | edit source]

Indentured Servants[edit | edit source]

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Poorhouse, Almshouse[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Probate matters in {{{1}}} 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 Records

Original probate records for some Pennsylvania counties are available free online as digital images at The dates vary significantly for each county and not all counties are listed. Some counties may only have probate indexes. This Pennsylvania collection of images may be browsed through the links listed below:

Complete Collection:

Online Probate Indexes

Original Probate Records on Microfilm

Additional Probate Indexes and Abstracts

Additional probate indexes or abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Beaver County, Pennsylvania Genealogy probate wills in online catalogs like:

Repositories[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

The Pennsylvania Archives collection contains county archive records that can be searched onsite. Currently the Archives' staff cannot provide research or make copies of these records. Their collections include Almshouse Registers; Tax records; Birth, Death and Marriage Indexes and Records; Midwife records; African American records; Wills; Deeds; Naturalizations; Coroner's inquests; and Orphan's Court dockets. A list of the Archive's county holdings are on Microfilm or Manuscript form.

Courthouse[edit | edit source]
  • Clerk of Court:
    Room 207
    Phone: (724)-770-4586
Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Centers (FHCs) are branches of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, and are located all over the world. Their goal is to provide resources for family history research.

The main FHC for Beaver County, Pennsylvania Genealogy is the Beaver Valley Pennsylvania Family History Center. For additional nearby Family History Centers, search online in the FHC directory.

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. See family history center for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.

Libraries[edit | edit source]
  • Beaver County Library System
    109 Pleasant Drive, Suite 101
    Aliquippa, PA 15001
    Phone: (724) 378-6227
    The Beaver County library system consists of nine libraries.
Museums[edit | edit source]
Societies[edit | edit source]

Taxation[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. While the records for that time period are available, there were few events recorded. County marriage records were kept in earnest in 1885. Births and deaths, at the county level, were begun in 1893 and kept through 1905. Abstracts and copies of vital records are available for some counties, but most are incomplete. For the most complete set of records, always contact the County Orphans' Court. See also How to order Pennsylvania Vital Records

Births[edit | edit source]

Early births 1893–1905 are located at the County Orphans' Court. See the heading Court Records on this page for contact information.

Indexes for Pennsylvania birth records are available through the Department of of Health for 1906 and 1907. Once an individual is located in the index a non certified Birth certificate can be obtained by writing and sending $3.00 to:

Division of Vital Records
ATTN: Public Records
P.O. Box 1528
New Castle, PA 16103

Marriages[edit | edit source]

Pennsylvania marriages are located at the county level. Contact the Beaver County, Pennsylvania Genealogy clerk's office for these records.

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Divorce records are available through the office of the Prothonotary. The office of the Prothonotary is located in the courthouse building.

Deaths[edit | edit source]

Early deaths 1893–1905 are located at the County Orphans' Court. See the heading Court Records on this page for contact information.

Indexes for Pennsylvania death records are available through the Department of Health for 1906 through 1962. Once an individual is located in the index a non certified death certificate can be obtained obtained by writing and sending $3.00 to:

Division of Vital Records
ATTN: Public Records
P.O. Box 1528
New Castle, PA 16103

Finding Vital Records at Other Repositories

Additional vital records can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Beaver County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Vital Records in online catalogs like:

Genealogy Societies and Libraries[edit | edit source]

Beaver County Pennsylvania Genealogy Websites[edit | edit source]

Beaver County Pennsylvania Places[edit | edit source]

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

Beaver County Pennsylvania Genealogy References[edit | edit source]

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Beaver 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.
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), [FHL book 973 D27e 2002].
  3.,_Pennsylvania accessed 2/1/2017
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 181. [FHL book 973 D27e 2002].
  5. The History of Beaver County, Pennsylvania : including its early settlement, its erection into a separate county, its subsequent growth and development, sketches of its boroughs, villages and townships. . . (Evansville, Indiana : Unigraphic, 1980) FHL book 974.892 H2h 1980.
  6. The Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania 10 July 2012.
  7. Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania, Clerk of Courts in (accessed 25 Aug 2012)
  8. The Philadelphia Courts at accessed 10 July 2012
  9. Harold Frederic, William C. Frederick III with William J. McMaster Sr., Path of Blood: The Untold Story of the Kittanning PA. Regiment in the American Revolution (Kittanning, Pa.: W.C. Frederick, 1998). FHL Book 974.8 M2ff
  10. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at