Register of Wills & Clerk of Orphans' Court
**Please note that this office does NOT accept cash. Check or money order are accepted for county fees and inheritance tax. Credit cards are accepted for county fees, including marriage licenses. **
Appointments are required for certain in-person services.
Courthouse Office Hours: 8am to 4:30pm.
Please arrive before 4:00pm so we have time to process your transaction.
Thomas P. Gacki, Esquire - Solicitor
Sara Shaffer, First Deputy, Register of Wills – firstname.lastname@example.org
Jenna Gamble, First Deputy, Orphans’ Court – email@example.com
The Dauphin County Register of Wills and Clerk of the Orphans’ Court is a dual officeholder who is elected to a four-year term. Jean Marfizo King, a life-long resident of Dauphin County, was elected to the position in November 2011 and was sworn into office in January 2012. The Register of Wills and Clerk of the Orphans’ Court Office staff is committed to providing the public with exceptional service.
The primary duties of the Register of Wills and Clerk of the Orphans’ Court Division include:
- Granting Letters Testamentary (with a will) or Letters of Administration (without a will) to qualified individuals for deceased residents of Dauphin County.
- Acting as Agent for the Collection of Inheritance Taxes for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Revenue.
- Processing Applications For and Issuance Of Marriage Licenses
- Maintaining Dockets and Files for Adoptions, Incapacitated Persons, and the Appointment of Guardians.
The Register of Wills and Clerk of the Orphans’ Court office is the official record keeping office of birth and death records from 1893 through 1906 and also maintains all marriage licenses from 1887 to the present. As such, this office is a valuable resource for genealogical information.
Register of Wills
The Register of Wills acts in a quasi-judicial capacity by probating wills and granting of letters to a personal representative of an estate. The administration of all necessary filings for a decedent’s estate is handled by the Register’s office. This includes acting as an agent for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of Revenue in the collection of inheritance taxes.
The Register of Wills’ role is to determine whether a document offered for probate should be received as the last will and testament of the decedent. When disputes arise at the time of probate, the Register has the ability to hold hearings, take testimony, review evidence and render decisions on how the administration of the estate should proceed.
Clerk of the Orphans’ Court Division
The Clerk of the Orphans’ Court office serves as the filing office and custodian of records for matters involving adoptions, guardianships and estate litigation. The office also processes marriage license applications and issues marriage licenses to couples who plan to marry in Pennsylvania.
The Register of Wills and Clerk of the Orphans’ Court office maintains marriage license records from 1887 to the present.
The office also maintains birth and death records from 1893 to 1906.
Should you require information regarding birth or death records that are NOT from 1893 through 1906, please contact:
Pennsylvania Department of Health
Division of Vital Records
101 South Mercer Street
P.O. Box 1528
New Castle, PA 16101