Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania
Genealogy and Facts
Philadelphia County was established in 1682 as one of three original counties. The county was named for the "Brotherly love" from Greek philos ("love") and adelphos ("brother").
Currently the Philadelphia County Seat is located in Philadelphia and in addition the county government website is http://www.phila.gov
Counties adjacent to Philadelphia County are Montgomery County (north), Bucks County (northeast), Burlington County, New Jersey (east), Camden County, New Jersey (southeast), Gloucester County, New Jersey (south), Delaware County (west).
Municipalities situated in Philadelphia County consist of Districts, Townships and Boroughs of the County of Philadelphia Before 1854: Aramingo Borough, Belmont District, Blockley, Bridesburg Borough, Bristol, Byberry, Delaware, Frankford Borough, Germantown Borough, Germantown, Kensington District, Kingsessing, Lower Dublin, Manayunk Borough, Moreland, Moyamensing District, Northern Liberties District, Northern Liberties, Oxford, Passyunk, Penn District, Penn, Philadelphia City, Roxborough, Richmond District, Southwark District, Spring Garden District, West Philadelphia Borough, Whitehall Borough. See also Philadelphia County Municipalities Incorporation Dates.
Philadelphia 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 Philadelphia County Birth, Marriage, Divorce or Death Records. You can also Order Electronically Online or can download an application for Pennsylvania Birth Certificate, Death Certificate Applications to mail. Walk-in service is available at any of these six public offices: Erie, Harrisburg, New Castle, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh or Scranton.
Philadelphia 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.
Philadelphia Co. Mortality Schedules can be obtained for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Philadelphia Co. Industry and Agriculture Schedules can be acquired for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Philadelphia 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.
Philadelphia County Society and Family History Resources
A list of Philadelphia County Historical and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives.
- Pennsylvania Genealogy Network Community (plus.google.com)
- State of Pennsylvania 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.
- The Philadelphia City Archives , 3101 Market Street 1st. Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19104; (215) 686-1581 prior to 1915, (215) 560-3054 after 1915
Chestnut Hill Historical Society, 8708 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19118
- Descendants of Signers of the Declaration of Independence, 1300 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
- Genealogical Society Of Pennsylvania,
215 S. Broad St., 7th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107-5325; Phone: (215) 545-0391,
- German Society of Pennsylvania, 611 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19123
- American Swedish Historical Museum, 1900 Pattison Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19145
- Germantown Historical Society, 5501 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia 19144
- Historical Society Of Pennsylvania. 1300 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107; Phone: 215-732-6200
- Jewish Genealogical Society Of Philadelphia, 1279 June Road, Huntingdon Valley 19006-8405
- Lutheran Archives Center at Philadelphia, 7301 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19119
- Presbyterian Historical Society 425 Lombard Street Philadelphia, PA 19147
- Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania Message Boards (boards.ancestry.com) read and post messages about your ancestors in Philadelphia County
- Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Forum (genforum.genealogy.com) read and post messages with other genealogy researchers for Philadelphia County
Philadelphia County Courthouse and Government Records
Researchers often forget the great importance of Philadelphia 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 Philadelphia 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 Philadelphia County. The dates indicated listed below tend to be the first known records data with this county.
The city and county of Philadelphia were combined in 1854 and city and county offices merged in 1952.
- Philadelphia 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.
- Address: Department of Records, Room 156, City Hall, Philadelphia, PA 19107
- Phone: (215) 686-2261
- Land Records: 1684
- Philadelphia 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: First Judicial District of Pennsylvania, Room 284 City Hall, Philadelphia, PA 19107
- Phone: 215 686-6652
- Court & Divorce Records: 1682
- Philadelphia 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: Room 180 City Hall, Philadelphia, PA 19107
- Phone: (215) 686-6250
- Marriage & Probate Records: 1682 ; (215) 686-2234
- Birth & Death Records: before Jan 1906
- Philadelphia County Tax Assessor Office has tax records but may also be in the county commissioners' office or with the prothonotary.
Philadelphia County Links
The following are web links to Genealogy and family history, Records and Resources relevant to Philadelphia 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 Philadelphia County genealogy or family history related sites.
Philadelphia Co. PA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers
Philadelphia Co. PA Books, Newspapers & Publications
Philadelphia Co. PA Birth, Marriage & Death Records
- See Also Statewide Birth, Marriage, Divorce and Death Records in Pennsylvania
- Order Hard Copies of Vital Records (archives.com)
- Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915 (familysearch.org)
- Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Marriage Indexes, 1885-1951 (familysearch.org)
- Pennsylvania Vital Records, Vol. I, Vol. II, Vol. III (search.ancestry.com)
- Pennsylvania County Marriages, 1885 - 1950 (familysearch.org)
- Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1924 (search.ancestry.com) This database includes death records beginning on that date through 1924. Later records will eventually be added to this collection. Records of stillbirths were required to be filed as both a birth and death record, so you may find records of stillborn children in this collection.
- Social Security Death Index (search.ancestry.com)
Philadelphia Co. PA Court, Probate Land and Tax Records
Philadelphia Co. PA Census Records
Philadelphia Co. PA Cemeteries & Graveyards
Philadelphia Co. PA Church & Bible Records
Philadelphia Co. PA Family Websites, Pictures & Histories
Philadelphia Co. PA General and History Websites
- See Also State History for Pennsylvania
- Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania Wikipedia (wikipedia.org)
- Encyclopedia of Philadelphia (search.ancestry.com)
- History of Philadelphia, 1609-1884 (search.ancestry.com)
- Philadelphia History, 1609-1884 (search.ancestry.com)
- Philadelphia, a history of the city and its people : a record of 225 years (search.ancestry.com)
- Annals of Philadelphia, and Pennsylvania, in the olden time : being a collection of memoirs, anecdotes, and incidents of the ci (search.ancestry.com)
- Memorial history of the city of Philadelphia from its first settlement to the year 1895 (search.ancestry.com)
- Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania Wiki (familysearch.org)
- Philadelphia Co. PA Genealogy (kindredtrails.com)
- Family History Library (familysearch.org)
- Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania (linkpendium.com)
- Cyndi's List - United States - Pennsylvania - Counties - Philadelphia (cyndislist.com)
- Philadelphia County Pennsylvania (genealogytrails.com)
- Philadelphia Co. PAGenweb (phillygenweb.org)
- Philadelphia County Genealogy Queries (cousinconnect.com)
- Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania USGenWeb Archives (usgwarchives.net)
- Founders' Week memorial volume : containing an account of the two hundred and twenty-fifth anniversary of the founding of the (search.ancestry.com)
- Story of Philadelphia (search.ancestry.com)
- Martin's bench and bar of Philadelphia : together with other lists of persons appointed to administer the laws in the city and (search.ancestry.com)
- Ancient and modern Germantown, Mount Airy and Chestnut Hill (search.ancestry.com)
- Philadelphia and its manufactures : a handbook exhibiting the development, variety and statistics of the manufacturing industry (search.ancestry.com)
- The Johnson family and allied families of Lincolnshire, England, being the ancestry and posterity of Lawrence Johnson of Philad (search.ancestry.com)
- Illustrated Philadelphia, its wealth and industries (search.ancestry.com)
- Biographies of successful Philadelphia merchants (search.ancestry.com)
- History of New Amsterdam, or, New York as it was in the days of the Dutch governors : together with papers on events connected (search.ancestry.com)
- West Phildelphia illustrated : early history of West Philadelphia and its environs, its people and its historical points (search.ancestry.com)
- The history of the consolidation of the city of Philadelphia (search.ancestry.com)
- The old "main line" (search.ancestry.com)
- Genealogy of Philadelphia County subdivisions (search.ancestry.com)
- A biography of deceased butchers, and a narrative of facts (search.ancestry.com)
- Personal reminiscences of "the main line" in the sixties and seventies (search.ancestry.com)
- The story of St. Paul's "on Delaware," 1703-1903 (search.ancestry.com)
- Philadelphia Co. Data Collections (search.ancestry.com)
Philadelphia Co. PA Immigration & Naturalization
- See Also Statewide Immigration and Naturalization Links for Pennsylvania
- Philadelphia Passenger Lists, 1800-1945 (search.ancestry.com)
- Philadelphia, Passenger and Immigration Lists, 1800-1850 (search.ancestry.com)
- Philadelphia Bank Immigrant Passage Records, 1890-1949 (search.ancestry.com)
- Philadelphia, 1789-1880 Naturalization Records (search.ancestry.com)
- Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore Steamship Arrivals, 1890-1930 (search.ancestry.com)
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Chinese Arrivals, 1900-1923 (search.ancestry.com)
- U.S. Chinese Immigration Case Files, 1883-1924 (search.ancestry.com)
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Indentures, 1771-1773 (search.ancestry.com)
- Philadelphia German Immigration, 1700-75 (search.ancestry.com)
- Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia, 1800-1819 (search.ancestry.com)
- Pennsylvania German Pioneers: A Publication of the Original Lists of Arrivals in the Port of Philadelphia from 1727 to 1808, Vol. I (search.ancestry.com)
- Pennsylvania German Pioneers: A Publication of the Original Lists of Arrivals in the Port of Philadelphia from 1727 to 1808, Vol. II (search.ancestry.com)
- Pennsylvania, Quaker arrivals at Philadelphia (Meeting), 1682-1750 (search.ancestry.com)
- Pennsylvania, Naturalizations, 1794-1908 (search.ancestry.com)
Philadelphia Co. PA Military Records
- See Also Statewide Military Records for Pennsylvania
- Philadelphia in the Civil War, 1861-1865 (search.ancestry.com)
- History of the Philadelphia Brigade : Sixty-Ninth, Seventy-First, Seventy-Second, and One Hundred and Sixth Pennsylvania Volunt (search.ancestry.com)
- Register of the members of the "Artillery Corps, Washington Grays" of the city of Philadelphia who served in the War of the Reb (search.ancestry.com)
- Pennsylvania Military Records (fold3.com) offers access to military records, stories, photos, and personal documents belonging to the Pennsylvania both males and females who served. Excellent for Philadelphia County genealogists, researchers, historians and a lot more.
Philadelphia Co. PA Schools & Directories