History of the Office

York County was part of Chester County until May 19, 1729, when York became part of Lancaster County. York remained part of Lancaster County until August 19, 1749, when York County was formally created.

The will of Daniel Johnson of Chanceford Township was the first to be probated (on Oct. 24, 1749) in the newly formed County.

The first Register of Wills and Clerk of the Orphans' Court of York County was George Stevenson, who was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1718. At the time of his service, Stevenson was a prominent landowner who wielded significant political influence.

The Register of Wills was appointed by the General Assembly until 1790. From 1790 to 1839, appointments were made by the Governor of Pennsylvania.

On Oct. 11, 1839, John Stahle became the first elected Register of Wills.



George Stevenson 1749
Samuel Johnston 1764
Archibald McLean 1777
Jacob Barnitz 1785
Jacob B. Wentz 1824
Frederick Eichelberger 1829
William P Fisher 1830
Jesse Spangler 1830
Michael Doudel 1833
James R. Reilly 1836


John Stahle 1839
David Bender 1845
Jacob Glessner 1848
George Maish 1851
William Davis 1854
Abraham Hershey 1857
Amos Shearer 1860
William Philby 1863
Jacob Stickle 1866
George Bollinger 1869
John Giesey 1872
Christian S. Gerber (Died in office) 1875
James Kell (Appointed) 1877
John S. Hiestand 1877
Oliver Stuck 1880
Henry W. Bowman 1883
William Thompson 1886
Edward Stuck 1889
David Witmer 1892
John H. Wambaugh 1895
Philip J. Barnhart 1898
Z.C. Myers 1901
Christian T. Grove 1904
Milton J. Herbert 1908
Henry Hohler 1912
Edward Bupp 1916
Samuel Meisenhelder 1920
Jacob D. Markle 1924
Paul R. Schweitzer 1928
William A. Schweitzer (Acting)
J. Frank Lindenmuth (Appointed)
William A. Schweitzer 1932
G. Frank Lindenmuth 1936
Donald Waltman 1940
Edward G. Ruff 1944
Claude P. Young 1948
Iidris R. Jones 1952
Charles E. Gross 1956
B.A. Wagner 1960
James G. Morgan 1964
Stephen E. Anderson 1972
Heather L. Dorion 1980
William J. Walters 1984
Bradley C. Jacobs 2000
Bryan K. Tate 2020