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Luzerne County, Pennsylvania

Luzerne County

Luzerne County was established on  September 25, 1786 from Northumberland County. The county was named in honor of Anne-César, Chevalier de la Luzerne, French ambassador to the U.S. who aided republican causes .

Currently the Luzerne County Seat is located in Wilkes-Barre and in addition the county government website is

Counties adjacent to Luzerne County are Wyoming County (north), Lackawanna County (northeast), Monroe County (east), Carbon County (southeast), Schuylkill County (south), Columbia County (west), Sullivan County (northwest).

Municipalities situated in Luzerne County consist of Townships: Bear Creek, Black Creek, Buck, Butler, Conyngham, Dallas, Dennison, Dorrance, Exeter, Fairmount, Fairview, Foster, Franklin, Hanover, Hazle, Hollenback, Hunlock, Huntington, Jackson, Jenkins, Kingston, Lake, Lehman, Nescopeck, Newport, Pittston, Plains, Plymouth, Rice, Ross, Salem, Slocum, Sugarloaf, Union, Wilkes-Barre, Wright. Boroughs: Ashley, Avoca, Bear Creek Village, Conyngham, Courtdale, Dallas, Dupont, Duryea, Edwardsville, Exeter, Forty Fort, Freeland, Harveys Lake, Hughestown, Jeddo, Kingston, Laflin, Larksville, Laurel Run, Luzerne, Nescopeck, New Columbus, Nuangola, Penn Lake Park, Plymouth, Pringle, Shickshinny, Sugar Notch, Swoyersville, Warrior Run, West Hazleton, West Pittston, West Wyoming, White Haven, Wyoming, Yatesville. Cities & Towns: Hazleton, Nanticoke, Pittston, Wilkes-Barre. See also Luzerne County Municipalities Incorporation Dates.

Luzerne 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 Luzerne 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.

Luzerne County does have Federal Census Schedules to assist in looking into your family tree. Federal Population Schedules are available for 1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 (free index), 1890 (fragment), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940.

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

  • Government Website:
  • Created Date / Origin: 
  • County Seat:  
  • Named After: 
  • Bordering Counties: 

Luzerne County Society and Family History Resources

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

Luzerne County Courthouse and Government Records

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

A flood in 1972 destroyed some estate files.
  • Luzerne County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
    • Address: 200 North River Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702
    • Phone: (570) 825-1672
  • Luzerne 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: (570) 825-1641
    • Land Records: 1787
  • Luzerne 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: (570) 825-1585 
    • Court & Divorce Records: 1787
  • Luzerne 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
    • Address: 20 N. Pennsylvania Avenue, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18711-1001
    • Phone: (570) 825-1668
    • Marriage & Probate Records: 1786 
    • Birth & Death Records: before Jan 1906
  • Luzerne County Tax Assessor Office has tax records but may also be in the county commissioners' office or with the prothonotary.

Luzerne County Links

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

Luzerne Co. PA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Luzerne Co. PA Books, Newspapers & Publications

Luzerne Co. PA Birth, Marriage & Death Records

Luzerne Co. PA Court, Probate Land and Tax Records

Luzerne Co. PA Census Records

Luzerne Co. PA Cemeteries & Graveyards

Luzerne Co. PA Church & Bible Records

Luzerne Co. PA Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Luzerne Co. PA General and History Websites

Luzerne Co. PA Immigration & Naturalization

Luzerne Co. PA Military Records

Luzerne Co. PA Schools & Directories

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