Research Sites in Montour County

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The MCGS Genealogy Room
The Montour County Historical Society
The Montour County Courthouse
The Thomas Beaver Free Library
Printable MCGS Research Request (Fee for research by MCGS volunteer)

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The MCGS Genealogy Room

is located on the second floor of the Thomas Beaver Free Library, 205 Ferry Street, Danville, PA. The library is at the corner of Market and Ferry Streets in Danville. The entrance is on the Ferry Street side. Turn right after entering and take the stairs to the second floor. We are at the end of the hall to the left. An elevator is also available. Phone: (570)275-6177 (Please call during open hours. We cannot return long-distance calls). Please contact us with any questions. There is a fee of $2.00/hour for non-members, and copies are 25¢.

Regular Hours
Mondays   1:00 PM-5:00 PM
Saturdays 11:00 AM-1:30 PM

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Additional hours may be available by prior arrangement. If you are planning a visit to Danville and would like to make arrangements to visit the Genealogy Room to do research, please contact the website administrator, Cindy Elder, prior to your visit. If staffing is available we will try to accommodate you within the open hours of the Thomas Beaver Free Library.

A partial list of some helpful resources you'll find at MCGS:

  • Cemetery lists (including some plot maps) of almost all Montour County Cemeteries.
  • Census images for 1790-1930, immigration and military information available via Ancestry.com on MCGS computers.
  • Church records (See Church Files page to see if we have what you want).
  • County History Books: Beers, Battle, Freeze, Floyd etc.
  • Deed Index: Montour County Grantor index 1850 through 1958. (You can plan your trip to the courthouse by finding out what's available).
  • Danville and other local histories.
  • Deaths & Marriages reported in the Danville Intelligencer 1828-1879. For information on requesting a search and obtaining relevant copies, please click here.
  • Ethnic Collections: Welsh, Jewish.
  • Genealogies in binders, files, Family Tree Maker and bound format.
  • History of Pennsylvania Volunteers by Samuel Bates, Pennsylvania German Pioneers by Strassberger & Hinke.
  • Microfiche: Montour County Naturalizations, Marriages 1852-1854, Deaths 1852-1854, Book titled "Pleas Entered & Enrolled by William Montgomery, Justice of the Peace for the county of Northumberland (1797-1805).
  • Microfilm listed below:
  • Church records: Several reels of church records outlined on church record page.
  • Newspapers:
    • The Gem 1885-1903
    • The Danville Intelligencer 1828-1898 and 1904-1907 (marriage and death notices have been printed, extracted and compiled into a database). There are some time periods missing; for example there are no issues between 22 Nov 1861 to 06 Sep 1872 and 03 Sep 1875 to 06 April 1877.
    • The Danville News from 1956 through 2014
    • Montour American 1871-1897, 1903-1910
    • The Morning News September 1898-1930
    • The Sun 1883-1899
  • Columbia County:
    • Columbia Co. Naturalizations 1814-1847
    • Columbia County Orphans Court Dockets 1814-1869
    • Columbia Co. Tax Assessments 1814-1840
  • Montour County:
    • Montour County Birth Register 1892-1905.
    • Montour County Common Pleas Dockets 1850-1888.
    • Montour County Death Register 1893-1905.
    • Montour County Marriage License Index 1885-1909.
    • Montour County Marriage licenses 1885-1909.
    • Montour County Orphan's Court Dockets 1851-1865.
    • Montour County Special Delayed Birth Registration Index, Volumes 1-3.
    • Montour County WW I Draft Registrations.
  • Northumberland County:
    • Northumberland County mortgages, wills and administrations 1773-1833.
    • Northumberland County Deed Books 1770-1836
    • Northumberland County Grantor and Grantee Indexes 1772-1914.
    • Northumberland County Orphans Court Indexes 1727-1930.
    • Northumberland County Orphans Court Dockets 1772-1813.
    • Northumberland County Will Indexes 1792-1930.
    • Northumberland County Wills 1772-1871.
  • Naturalizations: All Montour County Naturalization documents from 1850 through 1956 are indexed and available on microfiche.
  • Obituaries: Database includes primary information; newspaper clipping on file.
  • Photographs
  • City Directories, yearbooks, scrapbooks.
  • Surname files: Files of contributed genealogies and related documents referenced by surname.
  • Will Indexes: Montour County Will Book Index 1850-1963, Northumberland County Vol. I (1772-1858)

Donating Materials to MCGS

Our collection continues to grow through the generosity of many helpful individuals. We welcome donations of books, resources, genealogies, histories, anything related to genealogy. If you are planning to send us anything, it would be helpful to include a completed and signed accession form. Click here for printable accession form. You may wish to exclude living persons from your genealogical information. If you include data regarding living individuals, please be sure you have permission of those persons to do so. We respect your privacy.

Using the Genealogy Room

The fee for individuals to perform their own research in the Genealogy Room is $2.00 an hour for non-members and no charge for members.

Research Request

If you are unable to travel to Danville, our volunteer staff is willing to perform research in the MCGS Genealogy Room, the Thomas Beaver Library and the Montour County Courthouse for a fee (Fee schedule is on the research request). Please send a written request click here for a printable form with specific details and appropriate deposit to:

Correspondence Secretary
Montour County Genealogical Society
205 Ferry Street
Danville, PA 17821

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The Thomas Beaver Free Library

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located at the corner of East Market & Ferry Streets, Danville, PA. (570) 275-4180 | www.tbflibrary.org

Day Hours
Monday   1:00 PM-8:00 PM
Tuesday 10:30 AM-5:00 PM
Wednesday 10:30 AM-5:00 PM
Thursday 10:30 AM-8:00 PM
Friday 10:30 AM-5:00 PM
Saturday 10:30 AM-3:00 PM

Library holdings of interest to genealogists are:

  • City Directories for various dates between 1898 and 1989
  • County Histories
  • Military References
  • Danville Histories
  • WPA Microfilm
  • Maps & Atlases
  • Danville Newspapers on microfilm
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The Montour County Historical Society

is located in the Montgomery House Museum at the corner of Bloom and Mill Streets, Danville. This beautifully restored home of William Montgomery holds various local artifacts. A small library contains local and county histories, some industrial record books, business and law ledgers, military references, photographs, some Danville Tax Records, and maps. The building is open to visitors on Sundays from 2:00-4:00 PM from Memorial Day until the first Sunday in October. To schedule visits during other hours, please contact the curator in writing.

Montour County Historical Society, P.O. Box 8, 1 Mill St., Danville, PA 17821
http://montourcountyhistoricalsociety.org/
Call for appointment: 275-7875 or 275-0383
or e-mail Lynn Reichen at MCHS17821@aol.com

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The Montour County Courthouse

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is located at 29 Mill Street, Danville. Public records of interest to genealogists can be found in the Prothonotary's Office, the Register & Recorder's Office, and in the Commissioner's Vault in the basement. Please check the notations below in regard to dates for which documents are available at this site.
Note: MCGS has a copy of the Montour County Will Book Index 1850-1963, so that you can plan ahead for your courthouse research trip! Copies are 50¢ each.

  • 1766-1813: Records will be in Northumberland Co.
  • 1813-1850: Records will be in Columbia Co. (At this time, Danville was the county seat of Columbia Co.)
  • 1850 to present: Records will be in Montour County.

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Prothonotary's Office   (570) 271-3010

  • Birth records from 1892-1905 (After 1905 birth records are at the PA Department of Health.) Make sure to ask for complete record, not just the birth certificate or death certificate. There is a link to the Dept. of Health on the Links page. Their site gives full information about requirements for requesting birth or death records and printable forms for your use.
  • Death Records-1852-1854 & 1893-1905 (After 1905, the death records are in the PA Department of Health). The death record lists where the parents lived, where they were born, doctor's name and cause of death).
  • Sheriff Sales
  • Marriage Licenses 1852-1854 & 1885 to present
  • JP Docket for 1798-1805 (includes some early marriage licenses).
  • Money Judgment records (for borrowing money, good to place person in Montour Co.)
  • Naturalizations 1850-1950 (may tell where person came from, ship, & signature). If husband/father was naturalized, most likely wife and children were too, but they are not listed on form. If child came with someone other than parent, then he must be naturalized. These records are found in the Little Common Pleas Docket.
  • Clerk of Orphans' Court Records. This court protects people who can't protect themselves. Guardianship for children, adoption papers (sealed in PA) and First and Final filings in estate cases.
  • Civil records. Lawsuits 1850-present. Old divorce records, filed by name.
  • Criminal records. These list all criminal proceedings and coroner's inquest hearings. Included are all coroners' reports on unattended deaths and also deaths, which resulted from suspected foul play.
  • Old Land Grant Docket that came from the Surveyor General's Office in Harrisburg. Lists old land grants from the county, some as early as 1756.
  • Old articles of incorporations for businesses and organizations
  • Three maps can also be viewed:
    1831 Hand-drawn map
    1857 map, drawn to scale
    1876 Atlas of Columbia/Montour County

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Register and Recorder's Office   (570) 271-3012

The will book index 1850-1963 is available in the MCGS Genealogy room and is now available online at the Montour County website at www.montourco.org. Please refer to directions on the site as to how to obtain copies of an estate.

  • Will Dockets which list wills, estates and letters of administration from 1850 to present on microfiche.
  • Deeds and Mortgages from 1850 to present
  • WPA cemetery records. (Veterans grave sites only)

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Commissioners' vault in basement contains old tax records.

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