Washington County Pennsylvania
and State of Pennsylvania
ARE RECORDS FOR WASHINGTON COUNTY PA
What do you need to know ?
The links on this page should help researchers
know which offices have what records,
and will give assistance about how to write for records.
Register of Wills
This office maintains the following records
- birth & death to 1906
- marriages - some begin 1885
- Wills - from 1700s and onward, oldest on microfilm
- Accounts, if died Intestate (without a Will)
- Orphan's Court
BIRTHS & DEATHS
1893 marks the first recorded births, but not all were recorded; if parents or next of kin did not record the
birth or death, the event may not be listed. The only existing Index
for EARLIEST births is locked up in the Vault, so you must ASK to see
it. Births and Death records (earliest) contain ONE line entry usually with
very limited information. Later records contain more information.
After Dec. 1906, the Department of Health maintains birth and death
records, but at the beginning the records may be missing if the events
were not reported.
If you know a month or
exact date for BIRTHS OR DEATHS ON ANY DATE AFTER 1808, the Citizens Library maintains newspapers on microfilm
starting 1808. The Washington Examiner newspaper,
published as a monthly in the very late 1700s preceded The Observer
and The Reporter but NO copies exist of The Examiner.
Marriages were not required to be recorded at the county in the
1700-1800s. The county will NOT have marriage applications or
returns (Licenses) this early. In this county, some records exist beginning
Other possible sources are to find which church the parties attended.
The couple could have married in either church...or sometimes, they picked a
different church where a friend/relative pastored. Sometimes, two or more
clergy officiated the wedding.
Also, a few pastor's / reverend's personal records exist. Check online
or at Citizens Library for these.
Best option for pre-1900s is to check the microfilmed newspapers at Citizens
Library. If you have an exact date, Staff will do look-up for $10.00 PER
55 S College St # 2
Washington, PA 15301
Give as much information as possible, names of bride & groom, and date of
WILLS & ACCOUNTS
Wills were recorded from the 1700s, with the earliest residents.
Wills were/are the one record that is typically filed quickly after a
death because the estate had to be settled and people wanted their
inheritances quickly. It is possible to determine an approximate
death date by looking at both the date the Will was written along with the
date filed & recorded.
Accounts were filed when the person owned real and personal property
AND died intestate. These collections of original papers are
goldmines of info. All have been microfilmed, including the index.
Courtesy of Leslie Nelson, written Feb. 28, 2003 to the PAWASHIN LIST
The responsibilities of the Orphans' Courts in Pennsylvania differ from county
to county, and some of the functions they performed 100+ years ago may have
since been transferred to other courts or county authorities, but here's a
The purpose of the Orphans' Court is to protect the personal and property
rights of anyone who may not be capable of handling his or her own affairs.
This definition encompasses more than orphans - it also includes deceased
persons, along with anyone else determined to be incapacitated.
Therefore, in addition to appointing guardians for minors and incapacitated
persons, the Orphans' Court has the power to appoint executors and
administrators of estates; handle matters relating to inheritances, estates
and trusts; and render binding decisions in disputes involving matters under
its jurisdiction, including challenges to wills. The Orphans' Court must
also approve any sales of property, civil settlements, etc., involving an
estate or a minor child.
Depending on the county, the Orphans' Court might also have jurisdiction in
marriage matters, in licensing or registering the marriage or in settling
disputes involving the legality of a marriage or intended marriage.
In small counties, the Orphans' Court sometimes acted as Register of Wills
or even as Register of Deeds. -- L. Nelson.
When writing to this office, include as much info as possible.
Fees: $10.00 PER NAME per search - copying is extra
Requests: Make requests IN WRITING, give as much info as possible
Payment: Personal Check, cash, money order. No credit cards.
this PDF (Acrobat Reader) brochure to get an
idea of what TYPES OF RECORDS that the
Washington County PA Court House might have.
NOTE: Call or write the office listed for up-to-date information about
where records are stored and how to make requests.
Washington County Courthouse (Main Address)
100 W. Beau St.
Washington, PA 15301-4402
Hours: Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
COURT HOUSE OFFICES
Please visit each "Office" on this Web Site to see what records
the Office maintains.
Citizen's Library Link
Added July 2008
Return to Home Page
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History of this website - The first PAGenWeb Washington County coordinator was
Jean Suplick Matuson [who developed Chartiers.com. She was followed by Georgeann
Malowney [who took over Chartiers.com], then Peggy Tebbetts, and lastly,
Christina Hunt who each held prior copyrights over this website. Each
coordinator has contributed much to the preservation of Washington County
This Washington County PA website is a current member of
PAGenWeb and the USGenWeb.