Genealogy Requests

 

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has prepared this information in an effort to aid you in your research of your family tree. Pennsylvania does not permit self-search of records due to their confidentiality. The employees of the Division of Vital Records conduct all searches.

 

The Department of Health's Division of Vital Records maintains birth and death certificates registered in Pennsylvania from 1906 to the present. Please select the following link for birth and death events that occurred prior to 1906.

 
Death Certificates

 

To apply for a certified copy of a death certificate from 1906 to the present, you may download the application form for mail and in-person requests. Be certain to indicate on the application form the intended use of the certified copy is for genealogical research.  Applicants may provide additional information not requested on the application form on a separate sheet of paper. If a genealogist is retained by a city/county/state office who has assumed administration of an estate, a letter signed by an official of the city/county/state office is required indicating for what purpose they retained the services of the genealogist and identify whose estate is involved.

 

Cost

 

There is a $9 fee for each certified copy. Check or money order should be made payable to Vital Records. The Armed Forces fee waiver does not apply to genealogical requests. 

 

 

Birth Certificates

 

To apply for a certified copy of a birth certificate from 1906 to the present, you may download the application form for mail and in-person requests. Be certain to indicate on the application form the intended use of the certified copy is for genealogical research. Applicants may provide additional information not requested on the application form on a separate sheet of paper.

 

Cost

 

There is a $20 fee for each certified copy. Check or money order should be made payable to Vital Records.  The Armed Forces fee waiver does not apply to genealogical requests. 

 

 

On December 15, 2011, Governor Tom Corbett approved Senate Bill 361.

 

Effective February 13, 2012, you may now access Pennsylvania birth and death indices to search for birth records for 1906 through 1907 and death records from 1906 through 1962. The original birth and death records for these years are located at the Pennsylvania State Archives.  Information on searching the indices is available on the Public Records page. 

 

  

Additional Suggestions 

 

·   There are a variety of web sites available that offer resources to genealogists. These sites can be found by searching the Internet for “genealogy.”

·   Research material is available at county courthouses, such as wills, deeds, mortgages, marriage and divorce records, tax records, and even military records.

·   Some libraries have information available on individual county and state historical societies. There are also a wide variety of references for genealogical research, including maps for the area of interest.

·   Some foreign countries may have records available. The addresses for these foreign agencies can be found in the public library or by searching the Internet.  

·   Question family, friends, or old neighbors who may be able to provide invaluable information.  Photographs in family albums could also be a source of information.  Family members may be able to identify unknown individuals in the pictures.