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Erie County, Pennsylvania

Erie County

Erie County was established on March 12, 1800, from part of Allegheny County. The county was named for Lake Erie.

Currently the Erie County Seat is located in Erie and in addition the county government website is

Counties adjacent to Erie County are Ontario, Canada (north), Chautauqua County, New York (northeast), Warren County (east), Crawford County (south), Ashtabula County, Ohio (west).

Municipalities situated in Erie County consist of Townships: Lawrence Park (the only "first class township" in the county), Amity, Concord, Conneaut, Elk Creek, Fairview, Franklin, Girard, Greene, Greenfield, Harborcreek, Lawrence Park, LeBoeuf, McKean, Millcreek, North East, Springfield, Summit, Union, Venango, Washington, Waterford, Wayne. Boroughs: Albion, Cranesville, Edinboro, Elgin, Girard, Lake City, McKean, Mill Village, North East, Platea, Union City, Waterford, Wattsburg, Wesleyville. Cities & Towns: Corry, Erie. See also Erie County Municipalities Incorporation Dates.

Erie County vital records can be found at the 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.

You can search online for Erie County Birth, Marriage, Divorce or Death Records. You can also Order Electronically Online or can download an application for Pennsylvania  Birth CertificateDeath Certificate Applications to mail. Walk-in service is available at any of these six public offices: Erie, Harrisburg, New Castle, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh or Scranton.

Erie 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.

Erie Co. Mortality Schedules can be obtained for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Erie Co. Industry and Agriculture Schedules can be acquired for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Erie 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.

Erie County Society and Family History Resources

A list of Erie County Historical  and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives.

Erie County Courthouse and Government Records

Researchers often forget the great importance of Erie 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 Erie 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 Erie County. The dates indicated listed below tend to be the first known records data with this county.

Erie County was attached to Crawford County until 1803. A courthouse fire destroyed pre-1823 records.
  • Erie County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
    • Address: 140 West Sixth Street, Erie, PA 16501
    • Phone: (814) 451-6000
  • Erie 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) 451-6246
    • Land Records: 1823
  • Erie 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.
    • Address: (814) 451-6250
    • Phone: (814) 451-6221
    • Court & Divorce Records: 1823
  • Erie 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: 814-451-6260
    • Marriage & Probate Records: 1823 
    • Birth & Death Records: before Jan 1906
  • Erie County Tax Assessor Office has tax records but may also be in the county commissioners' office or with the prothonotary.

Erie County Links

The following are web links to Genealogy and family history, Records and Resources relevant to Erie 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 Erie County genealogy or family history related sites.

Erie Co. PA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Erie Co. PA Books, Newspapers & Publications

Erie Co. PA Birth, Marriage & Death Records

Erie Co. PA Court, Probate Land and Tax Records

Erie Co. PA Census Records

Erie Co. PA Cemeteries & Graveyards

Erie Co. PA Church & Bible Records

Erie Co. PA Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Erie Co. PA General and History Websites

Erie Co. PA Immigration & Naturalization

Erie Co. PA Military Records

Erie Co. PA Schools & Directories

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