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History & Folklore
Clearfield County

  • Formed: March 26, 1804; the northern portion from an unorganized part of Lycoming County and the southern portion from a piece of Allegheny Township, Huntingdon County.
  • Name derived from: Indian inhabitants who occupied the area in the early days cleared fields in the area.
  • County seat: Clearfield
    • First known by its Indian name, Chinklacamoose (many spellings), then Clearfield Town or Old Town. Laid out on lands owned by Abraham Witmer, a resident of Paradise, Lancaster County, PA.

Chronological Township Formation
From History of Clearfield County, Lewis Cass Aldrich, 1887
1804
Chinklacamoose: First and and only township until 1807.
1807
Beccaria: From Chinklacamoose. Formed the southern and southwestern part of Clearfield County; formerly part of Allegheny Township, Huntingdon County.
1807
Bradford: From Chinklacamoose. Formed the east centrl part of Clearfield County; formerly part of Allegheny Township, Huntingdon County.
1813
Lawrence: From Chinklacamoose. The northern part of Clearfield County.
1813
Pike: From Chinklacamoose. The northern part of Clearfield County.
1813
The township known as Chinklacamoose no longer exists—the townships of Beccaria, Bradford, Lawrence and Pike have replaced what was Chinklacamoose.
1817
Covington: From Lawrence.
1817
Gibson: From the northern part of Covington. Gibson Township became part of Cameron County in 1860.
1821
Sinnemahoning: From Pike.
1821
Fox: From Sinnemahoning. The township name was changed from Sinnemahoning to Fox in the same year it was formed. In 1868, part of Fox Township was added to Snyder Township, Jefferson County, another part was added to Horton Township, Elk County; and the remaining part was added to Huston Township, Clearfield County.
1826
Brady: From Pike.
1828
Decatur: From Bradford.
1832
Girard: Probably from Lawrence, records defective. [Note: This may not be correct. In the 1840 census, some families known to live in the area that is Gibson Township were listed as inhabitants of this township.]
1832
Jay: From Gibson and Fox townships.
1834
Jordan: From Beccaria.
1835
Bell: From Pike and ***** townships.
1835
Burnside: From ****.
1835
Penn: From Pike.
1836
Morris: From Bradford.

1838

Boggs: From Bradford

1839
Ferguson: From Pike, Penn, and Jordan.
1839
Huston: From Pike
1841
Karthus: From Covington.
1843
Part of Jay Township was incorporated into the newly formed Elk County, and the rest added to Huston and Lawrence townships, Clearfield County.
1843
Part of Gibson Township became a township in the newly formed Elk County, the rest was added to adjoining Clearfield County townships. There is no longer a township called Gibson in Clearfield County.
1845
Goshen: From Lawrence and Girard.
1846
Woodward: From Decatur.
1848
Union: From Pike and Brady.
1854
Knox: From Jordan, Pike and Ferguson.
1856
Graham: From Bradford and Morris.
1858
Gulich: From Beccaria.
1860
Bloom: From Penn, Pike, Brady, and Union.
1860
The portion of Gibson Township that was annexed to Elk County in 1843 was added to the newly formed Cameron County.
1868
Part of Fox Township was added to Snyder Township, Jefferson County, another part to Horton Township, Elk County, and the remainder to Huston Township, Clearfield County. There is no longer a township called Fox in the Clearfield County.
1873
Pine: From Pike and Huston.
1878
Sandy: From Brady and Huston.
1882
Bigler: From Woodward, Beccaria, Knox and Gulich townships.
1884
Cooper: From Morris.


Records Location

  • In Huntingdon or Lycoming county prior to 1805
  • At Bellefonte, Centre County between 1805 and 1812
  • In Clearfield, Clearfield County after 1812


Early Business and Occupations

  • Lumbering and transportation of logs on the Susquehanna River to eastern markets
  • Farming
  • Coal mining


Bibliography

  • History of Clearfield County, by Lewis Cass Aldrich, 1887
  • Clearfield County, Present & Past, by Thomas L. Wall, 1925
  • 20th Century of Clearfield County, by R.D. Swoope, Jr., 1911
  • Lumbering & Rafting in Clearfield County, by Jas. Mitchell
  • Atlas of Clearfield County, by J. H. Newton, 1878


Links

See these sites for more information on Clearfield County and its history, or to post queries regarding Clearfield County genealogy: