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.