Franklin County, Pennsylvania Facts
Franklin County was established on September 9, 1784 from Cumberland County. The county was named in honor of Benjamin Franklin, key founding father of the United States.
Currently the Franklin County Seat is located in Chambersburg and in addition the county government website is www.co.franklin.pa.us
Counties adjacent to Franklin County are Juniata County (north), Perry County (northeast), Cumberland County (northeast), Adams County (east), Frederick County, Maryland (southeast), Washington County, Maryland (south), Fulton County (west), Huntingdon County (northwest).
Municipalities situated in Franklin County consist of Townships: Antrim, Fannett, Greene, Guilford, Hamilton, Letterkenny, Lurgan, Metal, Montgomery, Peters, Quincy, Southampton, St. Thomas, Warren, Washington. Boroughs: Chambersburg, Greencastle, Mercersburg, Mont Alto, Orrstown, Shippensburg (partial), Waynesboro. See also Franklin County Municipalities Incorporation Dates.
Franklin 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. Franklin Co. Mortality Schedules can be obtained for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Franklin Co. Industry and Agriculture Schedules can be acquired for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Franklin 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.
Franklin County Society and Family History Resources
A list of Franklin County Historical and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives.
- Pennsylvania State 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.
- Franklin County Archives, 717.709.7218
- Franklin County Historical Society, 175 East King Street, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania 17201; call (717)264-1667
- Franklin County, Pennsylvania Message Boards (boards.ancestry.com) read and post messages about your ancestors in Franklin County
- Franklin County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Forum (genforum.genealogy.com) read and post messages with other genealogy researchers for Franklin County
Franklin County Courthouse and Government Records
Researchers often forget the great importance of Franklin 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 Franklin 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 Franklin County. The dates indicated listed below tend to be the first known records data with this county.
- Franklin County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
- Address: 157 Lincoln Way East, Chambersburg, PA 17201
- Phone: (717) 261-3861
- Franklin 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: 717-261-3872
- Land Records: 1784
- Franklin 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: 717-261-3861
- Court & Divorce Records: 1784
- Franklin 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: 717-261-3872
- Marriage & Probate Records: 1784
- Birth & Death Records: before Jan 1906
- Franklin County Tax Assessor Office has tax records but may also be in the county commissioners' office or with the prothonotary.
- 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.
Franklin County Links
The following are web links to Genealogy and family history, Records and Resources relevant to Franklin 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 Franklin County genealogy or family history related sites.
Franklin Co. PA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers
Franklin Co. PA Books, Newspapers & Publications
Franklin Co. PA Birth, Marriage & Death Records
Franklin Co. PA Court, Probate Land and Tax Records
Franklin Co. PA Census Records
Franklin Co. PA Cemeteries & Graveyards
Franklin Co. PA Church & Bible Records
Franklin Co. PA Family Websites, Pictures & Histories
Franklin Co. PA General and History Websites
- Franklin County, Pennsylvania Wikipedia (wikipedia.org)
- History of Franklin County, Pennsylvania : containing a history of the county, its townships, towns, villages, schools, churche (search.ancestry.com)
- A century of education at Mercersburg, 1836-1936 (search.ancestry.com)
- The history and topography of Dauphin, Cumberland, Franklin, Bedford, Adams, Perry, Somerset, Cambria & Indiana counties : cont (search.ancestry.com)
- Medical men of Franklin County, 1750-1925 (search.ancestry.com)
- Franklin County, Pennsylvania Wiki (familysearch.org)
- Franklin Co. PA Genealogy (kindredtrails.com)
- Family History Library (familysearch.org)
- Franklin County, Pennsylvania (linkpendium.com)
- Cyndi's List - United States - Pennsylvania - Counties - Franklin (cyndislist.com)
- Franklin County Pennsylvania (genealogytrails.com)
- Franklin Co. PAGenweb (rootsweb.ancestry.com)
- Franklin County Genealogy Queries (cousinconnect.com)
- Franklin County, Pennsylvania USGenWeb Archives (usgwarchives.net)
- Franklin Co. Data Collections (search.ancestry.com)
Franklin Co. PA Immigration & Naturalization
Franklin Co. PA Military Records