From 1926 to 1928, PA 147 from Northumberland to Chillisquaque was signed as U.S. Route 111 and U.S. Route 711. In 1928, the US 711 designation was removed from the road. Eight years later, US 111 was removed from the alignment. PA 147 was designated in 1963 to replace the section of PA 14 between Clarks Ferry and Halls.
As part of the Central Susquehanna Valley Transportation Project, PA 147 will join PA 61 in a new road starting at their current southern junction in Sunbury, continuing west across the river as far as the new path for U.S. Route 15. PA 147 will then join US 15 northward for this new route until US 15 converges with its business spur near Lewisburg, at which point PA 147 will cross the west branch of the river and resume its current route at a junction with PA 405. PA 405 will replace PA 147 between this junction and the junction with PA 61.