Register of Wills & Clerk of Orphans' Court

Jean Marfizo King, MBA

The Dauphin County Register of Wills and Clerk of the Orphans’ Court is a dual office holder 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.  Since being elected, Jean’s focus has been to preserve historical records and to modernize, making the office more efficient and convenient for residents.  Nearly every record in her offices, including marriage licenses, probates, inheritance tax files, guardianships, terminations, and adoptions has been scanned, indexed, and preserved. 

 

In March 2020, Jean led her offices to be the first in Pennsylvania to implement virtual marriage licenses and probates.  Her innovations and development in virtual marriage licensing, virtual probate, and e-filing earned her the prestigious Governor’s Award for Local Government Excellence in Information Technology in 2022. 

Jean’s commitment to preservation and modernization allows the public to access the offices and its public records from anywhere in the world at any time of day.  Utilizing her global business experience and MBA, Jean has been successful in modernizing the office, and raising revenues for Dauphin County without using taxpayer dollars.

The Register of Wills and Clerk of the Orphans’ Court Staff are committed to providing the public with exceptional service.

Courthouse Office Hours: 8am to 4:30pm. 
Transactions involving payment must be completed by 4:00 pm.

Thomas P. Gacki, Esquire - Solicitor
Sara Shaffer, First Deputy, Register of Wills – sshaffer@dauphincounty.gov
Jenna Gamble, First Deputy, Orphans’ Court – jgamble@dauphincounty.gov

**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.


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Register of Wills 

The Register of Wills acts in a quasi-judicial capacity by probating wills and granting letters to a personal representative of an estate.  The Register of Wills determines whether a document offered for probate should be received as the last will and testament of a decedent.  When disputes arise at the time of probate, the Register can hold hearings, take testimony, review evidence, and render decisions on how the administration of the estate should proceed.

The primary duties of the Register of Wills include:

  1. Granting Letters Testamentary (with a will) or Letters of Administration (without a will) to qualified individuals for deceased residents of Dauphin County.
  2. Acting as Agent to the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue for the collection of Inheritance Tax.
  3. Administration and maintenance of estate dockets and files, including historical files.

Clerk of the Orphans’ Court Division

The Clerk of the Orphans’ Court serves as the filing office and custodian of records for matters including adoptions, guardianships of minors and incapacitated persons, and estate litigation, among other things.  The office also processes marriage license applications to couples who plan to marry in Pennsylvania.

The primary duties of the Clerk of the Orphans’ Court include:

  1. Processing Applications for and issuance of Marriage Licenses
  2. Maintaining marriage license records from 1885 to the present
  3. Administration and maintenance of termination, adoption, and guardianship dockets and files.

Genealogy & Historical Records

As an official record keeping office, the Register of Wills and Clerk of the Orphans’ Court is a valuable resource for genealogical information.

In addition to modern marriage and estate records, this office is the record keeper of:

  1. Marriage Licenses from 1885 to the present.
  2. Estates dating back to the late 1700s to the present.
  3. Inheritance tax dockets back to 1917.
  4. Orphans’ Court records dating back to the late 1700s to the present.
  5. Birth and Death records from 1893 to 1906.

All of the historical and public records have been digitally preserved and are accessible by clicking on Search Records/Online Docket.

Click here if you need a COPY of a Birth Record or Death Record from 1893 to 1906.

Should you require information regarding birth or death records from 1906 forward, please visit health.pa.gov.

Jean Marfizo King, MBA
Dauphin County Courthouse - 1st Floor
Room 103
101 Market Street
Harrisburg, PA  17101
Phone: (717) 780-6500
Fax: (717) 780-6474

Northern Dauphin Human Services Center
295 State Drive
Elizabethville, PA 17023
(717) 905-2700 ext. 2507

First and Third Wednesdays 9 am - 4:30 pm

2023 Branch Office Hours Schedule