Centre County, Pennsylvania
Genealogy and Facts
Centre County, Pennsylvania genealogy and family tree research page. Discover links to record collections, history, and genealogy sources to assist you to you track your personal Centre Co. ancestors. Get started by building a Free Family Tree.
Centre County was established on February 13, 1800, from parts of Lycoming County, Mifflin County, Huntingdon County and Northampton County. The county was named for the Centre Furnance, the first industrial facility in the area.
Currently the Centre County Seat is located in Bellefonte and in addition the county government website is www.co.centre.pa.us
Counties adjacent to Centre County are Clinton County (north), Union County (east), Mifflin County (southeast), Huntingdon County (south), Blair County (south), Clearfield County (west), Cambria County (southwest).
Municipalities situated in Centre County consist of Townships: Benner, Boggs, Burnside, College, Curtin, Ferguson, Gregg, Haines, Halfmoon, Harris, Howard, Huston, Liberty, Marion, Miles, Patton, Penn, Rush, Potter, Snow Shoe, Spring, Taylor, Union, Walker, Worth. Boroughs: Bellefonte, Centre Hall, Howard, Milesburg, Millheim, Philipsburg, Port Matilda, Snow Shoe, South Philipsburg, State College, Unionville. See also Centre County Municipalities Incorporation Dates.
Centre County does have Federal Census Schedules to assist in looking into your family tree. Federal Population Schedules are available for 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 (free index), 1890 (fragment), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940.
Centre Co. Mortality Schedules can be obtained for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Centre Co. Industry and Agriculture Schedules can be acquired for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Centre Co. Union Veterans Schedules can be found for 1890. You can find free down-loadable and also printable census forms to help with your research.
Centre County Society and Family History Resources
A list of Centre County Historical and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives.
- Pennsylvania State Genealogy Network (facebook.com)
- Pennsylvania Archives - Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission (fold3.com) series contains records of pennsylvania, from 1664 to 1780, and includes military, marriage, tax and land records. This is a Free Database.
- Centre County Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 1135, State College 16804-1135
- Centre County Historical Society, 1001 E. College Avenue, State College, PA 16801
- Centre County, Pennsylvania Message Boards (boards.ancestry.com) read and post messages about your ancestors in Centre County
- Centre County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Forum (genforum.genealogy.com) read and post messages with other genealogy researchers for Centre County
Centre County Courthouse and Government Records
Researchers often forget the great importance of Centre County court, probate, and land documents as a resource of genealogical information. Hidden away in Pennsylvania courthouses and archives everywhere are the hopes and dreams and frustrations of countless Pennsylvania inhabitants. The possibilities are great that your chosen ancestors have left a detailed record of at least several factors of their lives in the Centre County court records. Even if your ancestors and forefathers is not mentioned in a Court case, contemplate all of the other procedures which may have lead to him or her appearing in court records.
You should speak to the clerk's department to determine hours, mailing address, fees and other facts in advance of visiting or looking for information because of sometimes changing contact info. The Department Offices DO NOT DO RESEARCH. The data files are readily available to interested parties, barring private issues. A lot of employees will guide individuals in locating the materials, but it's up to the man or women to complete the researching.
The below information and facts shows whatever death, marriage, birth,, land, wills, and legal records are typically in Centre County. The dates indicated listed below tend to be the first known records data with this county.
- Centre County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
- Address: 414 Holmes Avenue, Bellefonte, PA 16823
- Phone: (814) 355-6724
- Centre 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.
- Phone: (814) 355-6801
- Land Records: 1801
- Centre County 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.
- Phone: (814) 355-6796
- Court & Divorce Records: 1800
- Centre County Register of 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
- Phone: (814)-355-6724
- Marriage & Probate Records: 1800
- Birth & Death Records: before Jan 1906
- Centre County Tax Assessor Office has tax records but may also be in the county commissioners' office or with the prothonotary.
- Pennsylvania Office of Vital Records has copies of birth and death records since 1906 and death records. There is a fee for each copy requested. Please refer to the information to the Statewide Vital Records in Pennsylvania for current fees and application process. Birth, marriage, and death records are connected with central life events.
Centre County Links
The following are web links to Genealogy and family history, Records and Resources relevant to Centre County. Each of these genealogy links fall into 3 categories: Business oriented Sites, Private Sites or Organization Sites. Some have free access some require a cost. This is basically a listing which has been compiled or submitted. I do not recommend or promote one genealogy site over another. Feel free to provide your own favorite Centre County genealogy or family history related sites.
Centre Co. PA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers
Centre Co. PA Books, Newspapers & Publications
Centre Co. PA Birth, Marriage & Death Records
Centre Co. PA Court, Probate Land and Tax Records
Centre Co. PA Census Records
Centre Co. PA Cemeteries & Graveyards
Centre Co. PA Church & Bible Records
Centre Co. PA Family Websites, Pictures & Histories
Centre Co. PA General and History Websites
- See Also State History for Pennsylvania
- Centre County, Pennsylvania Wikipedia (wikipedia.org)
- Historical Sketches (co.centre.pa.us) A brief history of Centre County
- Commemorative biographical record of central Pennsylvania : including the counties of Centre, Clearfield, Jefferson and Clarion (search.ancestry.com)
- History and topography of Northumberland, Huntingdon, Mifflin, Centre, Union, Columbia, Juniata and Clinton Counties, Pa. : emb (search.ancestry.com)
- Centre County, Pennsylvania Wiki (familysearch.org)
- Centre Co. PA Genealogy (kindredtrails.com)
- Family History Library (familysearch.org)
- Centre County, Pennsylvania (linkpendium.com)
- Cyndi's List - United States - Pennsylvania - Counties - Centre (cyndislist.com)
- Centre County Pennsylvania (genealogytrails.com)
- Centre Co. PAGenweb (rootsweb.ancestry.com)
- Centre County Genealogy Queries (cousinconnect.com)
- Centre County, Pennsylvania USGenWeb Archives (usgwarchives.net)
- Centre Co. Data Collections (search.ancestry.com)
Centre Co. PA Immigration & Naturalization
Centre Co. PA Military Records