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The Daily Genealogist: Bedford County [Pennsylvania] Historical Society

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Valerie Beaudrault

Valerie Beaudrault
Assistant Editor

Bedford County Historical Society

Bedford County is located on Pennsylvania’s southern border with Maryland. The Bedford County Historical Society, which was established in 1937, operates the Pioneer Library. According to the historical society’s website, the library contains “the county's most extensive collection of historical and genealogical materials.”

A number of indexes have been made available on the website. Copies of various records may be ordered from the historical society for a fee. Click on the On-site Research link in the contents list to access the records. Click on the database title link to open a new page containing the index.

Alms House Records: Scroll down to view the alphabetical index. The data fields for the Alms House Records index are last name, first name, volume, and page number. There are instructions for ordering copies of the records at the top of the page.

Civil War Exemptions: These records include both requests for exemptions and lists of soldiers who received exemptions from service in the Civil War. Scroll down to view the alphabetical index. The data fields for the Civil War Exemptions index are full name, volume, and page number. Instructions for ordering copies of the records are at the beginning of the page.

Divorce Indexes: The divorce index is divided into a number of alphabetical sections. The data fields for the alphabetical by surname index include libellant’s full name, respondent’s full name, and year. Instructions for ordering copies of the records may be found by clicking on the Paid Research link.

Naturalization Papers: This alphabetical database is an index to individuals naturalized in Bedford County. The only information provided is the full name of the individual. There are instructions for ordering copies of the records at the top of the page.

Obituaries: This database indexes more than 100,000 obituaries in the historical society’s collection. The index is divided into a number of alphabetical sections. The data fields in the obituary index are last name, first name, book number, page number, birth date, death date, and maiden name–other. Indexing was done by a number of different individuals. Because of this the maiden name might appear in parentheses following the woman’s first name or it might be in the maiden name column. Instructions for ordering copies of obituaries may be found at the bottom of the page.

Orphans Court Records: This database is an index to Bedford County Orphans Court records from 1790 to 1900. It is divided into a number of alphabetical sections. The data fields are surname, first name, year, number of pages, and township. Instructions for ordering copies of the records may be found by clicking on the Paid Research link.

Pension Files: This database is an index to soldiers from Bedford County who received pensions due to service in the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Civil War (Union and Confederate), and Spanish American War. The data fields are last name, first name, and war in which the individual served. The information in the first name field includes not only the given name of the soldier but may also include whether the file includes a widow’s pension, a parent’s pension, aliases under which a soldier served, and more. The War field also sometimes includes the number of pages in the pension file. Instructions on how to order copies of the files may be found on the website.


Posted by Jean Powers at 04/11/2012 03:24:47 PM | 


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I like the way you described the topic with such clarity. This is something I have been thinking about for a long time and you really captured the essence of the subject.
Posted by: Purvis Jennifer ( Email | Visit ) at 5/5/2012 11:02 AM


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