423 Allegheny St., Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania 16648 (Corner of Allegheny and Union Streets)
General Court House (814) 693-3000
Register of Wills (814) 693-3092
Recorder of Deeds (814) 693-3095
Prothonotary (814) 693-3080
Blair County's records start in the year 1846 and extend to the present day. For records earlier than 1846, look in Huntingdon County for the present-day townships of Allegheny, Antis, Blair, Catharine, Frankstown, Logan, Snyder and Tyrone. Look in Bedford County for the present-day townships of Freedom, Greenfield, Huston, Juniata, North Woodbury, Taylor and Woodbury.
The Estate Files are maintained in the Register & Recorders Office, and are open to the public. The original dockets containing the Wills and Deeds are partially maintained in this office; the older dockets have been microfiched and the original dockets have been stored elsewhere. The condition of the microfiche is horrendous and barely useable; it is readable on the machine, but copies made on the microfiche reader/copiers tend to be difficult to read. The Deed Index is in (handwritten) book form, and the many volumes of this index are kept in the main Office. The Will Index is also in (hand-written) book form, and the many volumes of this index are kept in a room located to the right of the main Office. Researchers are permitted to help themselves to these index volumes, but photocopies may be made only by clerks, for a fee. The older original volumes of the Deed Books have recently been removed from the court house and are being stored by the Blair County genealogical Society at 431 Scotch Valley Road, Hollidaysburg. As with the Deed Books, the older volumes of the Will Books have been removed from the Blair County Court House. Their whereabouts is not being disclosed by the Register, perhaps to discourage their use.
The Will Book microfiche sheets are kept in a horizontal drawer unit; microfiche may be taken out of the file by the researcher, but it may not be returned by the researcher. Used microfiche sheets are to be placed in a holding box for the clerks to return to their proper places. A computer, on which the index has been transcribed is available for use. Counter space only is available for use.
The Orphans Court Files are main-tained in the Prothonotary Office, and are open to the public. The Orphans Court Dockets, Marriage Records, Birth and Death Dockets, Court of Quarter Sessions, and various other types of records are maintained in this office. A book form index comprised of numerous volumes is available; entries refer the researcher to files which have been microfiched. The microfiche sheets are filed in a horizontal drawer unit similar to that found in the Register & Recorders Office. Handling of the microfiche in this office is also similar to that in the other office. A mircofiche reader/copier is available, but the microfiche in this office is as difficult to read and reproduce as in the Register & Recorders Office. The Orphans Court Files index has been transcribed into a computer system. Three terminals are available for researchers to use. Counter space only is available for use.
The Tax Assessment Records at one time were maintained in the basement of the courthouse. They were stored in shelving units along the walls of the hallway directly beneath the main entrance hallway and next to the Sheriff's Office. They were recently transferred to the Blair County Genealogical Society at 431 Scotch Valley Road, Hollidaysburg. The tax returns consist of bound volumes, some containing more than one year. Not all returns are extant. Photocopies can be obtained, for a fee at the Blair County Genealogical Society.
Topographic maps and certain other maps can be obtained at the Highland Hall Annex. Inquiries should be made at the Tax Assessors Office located in the basement of the court house.
Personal photocopiers and computers are not permitted in the court house, except by prior, special arrangements.
|Note: The comments in this section were derived from numerous, random visits to this Court House over a period of time. They might not represent everyone's experience at this Court House. They are presented here because certain of the Courts have consistently exhibited ill-will toward both, genealogical and historical researchers.
The Blair County Court system, although not the worst in the region, is on the whole rather uncooperative. The personnel in the Prothonotary Office are helpful and congenial, but they are about the only ones so disposed. The personnel in the Register & Recorders Office find it a great bother to be interrupted from their discussions of how they spent their evenings and other personal business to answer simple questions asked by researchers. Although they are not openly hostile to researchers, they simply ignore you if you attempt to ask them for assistance or information. The best advice when going to the Registers & Recorders Office is to simply survey the office and its files and try to help yourself without infringing on the personnel's valuable time. The Register & Recorder, for many years, was not congenial, and his employees appear to have learned to act according to his example, which is very unfortunate for the researcher.
The Prothonotary, on the other hand, advocated a policy of being helpful, and the employees of that office, likewise, emulate that example.