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Research Guides

Research Guide to Birth and Baptismal Records

Pennsylvania did not have a systematic registry of births before 1906. Birth records from 1906 to the present are maintained by the Pennsylvania Department of Health's Division of Vital Records. For births and/or baptisms before that date, researchers should check church records. Knowing the township where your ancestors lived or their religious denomination will help to narrow your search. The library holds copies of church records from many congregations across the county, but not all. To locate the specific church records in our collection, use Churches and Cemeteries of Lancaster County (LC 310.35 R579) or search by the church name in our library catalog. Many of the databases available through our subscriptions to Heritage Quest Online and Ancestry Library Edition, including census records, might be useful in finding birth information. 

We also have microfilm copies of county birth records from 1852-1855 and 1894-1907 and delayed birth records filed from 1941-1959 for births from 1869-1906.

Below is a list of other resources located in the reading room.


17th Century

  • Fisher, Early Pennsylvania Births, 1675-1875 (310.31 F533)
  • Pennsylvania Vital Records from Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine and Pennsylvania Magazine of History & Biography (929.32 P415p)

18th Century

  • Family Bibles from the Landis Valley Museum (microfilm drawer no. 1)
  • Fisher, Early Pennsylvania Births, 1675-1875 (310.31 F533)
  • Humphrey, Pennsylvania Births, Lancaster County (310.31 H926)
  • Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine volumes 30 and 31(905.29 GSP v30 and v31)
  • Pennsylvania German Church Records of Births, Baptisms, Marriages, Burials, etc., from the Pennsylvania German Society Proceedings and Addresses (929.32 P415)
  • Pennsylvania Vital Records from Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine and Pennsylvania Magazine of History & Biography (929.32 P415p)
  • Rice and Dellock, Circuit and Circuit Riders volume 1 (929.3748 R497)
  • Smith and Weiser, Trinity Lutheran Church [Lancaster City] Records, 1730-1796 (LC 284.1 T832ds)
  • Wright, Church Records of the Eighteenth Century (310.31 W949)

19th Century

  • Biographical Sketches Index (Access database via public terminal)
  • County birth records on microfilm (see above)
  • Family Bibles from the Landis Valley Museum (microfilm drawer no. 1)
  • Fisher, Early Pennsylvania Births, 1675-1875 (310.31 F533)
  • Pennsylvania Vital Records from Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine and Pennsylvania Magazine of History & Biography (929.32 P415p)

20th Century

  • Biographical Sketches Index (Access database via public terminal)

General References Containing Births in Lancaster County

  • Biographical Annals of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (LC 092 B615)
  • Ellis and Evans, The History of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, with Biographical Sketches (LC 09 E47)
  • Journal of the Lancaster County Historical Society
  • Portrait and Biographical Record of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (LC 092 P853)
  • Schory, Everyname Index to Egle's Notes & Queries (974.8005 E31a Index)

 

 

 

 

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