How to Find Pennsylvania Birth Records

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''[[How to Find United States Birth Records|How to Find United States Births]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]]'' '''Pennsylvania Births'''<br> __NOTOC__  
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''[[How to Find United States Birth Records|How to Find United States Births]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Pennsylvania]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]]'' '''Pennsylvania Births'''<br> __NOTOC__  
  
 
One of the original thirteen colonies, Pennsylvania was a late comer to the keeping of vital records on a state level. Between 1852-1855 Pennsylvania counties were directed to record births within their jurisdiction. However few counties complied. In 1893 counties were again required to record births within their jurisdiction. This law had a better response and remained in effect until 1906 when the state of Pennsylvania began to record births on a statewide level.  
 
One of the original thirteen colonies, Pennsylvania was a late comer to the keeping of vital records on a state level. Between 1852-1855 Pennsylvania counties were directed to record births within their jurisdiction. However few counties complied. In 1893 counties were again required to record births within their jurisdiction. This law had a better response and remained in effect until 1906 when the state of Pennsylvania began to record births on a statewide level.  

Revision as of 20:13, 30 July 2013

How to Find United States Births Gotoarrow.png Pennsylvania Gotoarrow.png Pennsylvania Births

One of the original thirteen colonies, Pennsylvania was a late comer to the keeping of vital records on a state level. Between 1852-1855 Pennsylvania counties were directed to record births within their jurisdiction. However few counties complied. In 1893 counties were again required to record births within their jurisdiction. This law had a better response and remained in effect until 1906 when the state of Pennsylvania began to record births on a statewide level.

Next Step: When did the birth occur?

Choose a time period to search for your ancestor's birth record:

Learn more about U.S. Birth Records

Births Before 1852

Before 1852, no births were recorded by the county or state. You must search substitute records to locate your ancestor’s birth date and place.

  Records that give birth information:
Death Records
Cemetery Records
Newspapers
Church Records
Census
Military Records
Return to Top: Finding Pennsylvania Birth Records


Births 1852-1854

Between 1852 and 1854 the counties of Pennsylvania attempted to record births which occurred in their jurisdiction. However, there were very few births recorded. Currently, the births, which were recorded, are not available online but can be viewed at the respective county courthouses or the Pennsylvania State Archives. Film copies of the birth records can also be found at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah other records.

Records may be found for the following 49 of the 67 counties:

For births that exist during the time period, try the following databases.

Includes Index and Digital Images
Try:
1852-1854, Pennsylvania, Births at Ancestry.com $, To obtain a subscription to Ancestry; Ancestry is often available through your local public library for free
Can't find your ancestor in the online index? Tips for searching online indexes
No birth record for your ancestor? Other records with birth information
Return to Top: Finding Pennsylvania Birth Records


Births 1855-1892

During the period 1856 to 1892, no births were recorded by the county or state. You must search substitute records to locate your ancestor’s birth date and place.

  Records that give birth information:
Death Records
Cemetery Records
Newspapers
Church Records
Census
Military Records
Return to Top: Finding Pennsylvania Birth Records


Births 1893-1905

Between 1893 and 1905 Pennsylvania counties were required to record births within their jurisdiction. These records are not complete but should still be searched. Many of the birth records do not list the first name of the child. In those cases only the names of the parents may help to identify the correct child. Limited births maybe found in the following databases.

Includes Index No Digital Images

Try 1st:
1709-1950, Pennsylvania, Births
and Christenings at FamilySearch.org

Free at FamilySearch Centers and Libraries; Find your local FamilySearch Center This is an incomplete database which includes county records as well as church records. Below are the counties included in the collection.

Below are the counties included in the above collection.

       
Next try:
No birth record for your ancestor? Other records with birth information



Can't find your ancestor in the online index? Tips for searching online indexes

Obtain the Certificate

With an exact date (from your records or the index above), you can order a copy of the birth record for a fee from the county of birth. You can also visit the Family History Library to obtain a copy of the birth record.

If you do not want to order the birth record, there are other records with birth information you can search.

Return to Top: Finding Pennsylvania Birth Records


Births After 1905

In 1906 Pennsylvania began to record births on a statewide level. Currently birth indexes are available for 1906 and 1907 only as there is a 105 year restriction on birth records. Indexes are available at the Pennsylvania Department of Health website. 

STEP ONE: Find Birth Information

Index Only

1906-1907 Pennsylvania Birth Indices from the Pennsylvania Department of Health Free to search. Future indexes will be released at one per year. There is a 105 year restriction on birth records.
Can't find your ancestor in the online index? Tips for searching online indexes
No birth record for your ancestor? Other records with birth information

STEP TWO: Obtain the Certificate

With an exact date (from your records or the index above), you can order a copy of the birth record for a fee from the Pennsylvania Department of Health. For additional information concerning obtaining a birth certificate see the Department of Health website.

Mail your request to:
Division of Vital Records
ATTN: Public Records
P.O. Box 1528
New Castle, PA 16103

Restrictions for persons born within the last 105 years:
Only certain people can request a birth certificate. You must be:

  • Person named on the birth certificate, who is 18 years of age or older (if under 18, immediate family member must apply)
  • Legal representative
  • Husband / wife
  • Parent / step-parent*
  • Brother / sister / half-brother / half-sister
  • Son / daughter / stepson* / stepdaughter*
  • Grandparent / great grandparent (specify maternal or paternal)
  • Grandchild / great grandchild
  • Power of Attorney (for person named on birth certificate or immediate family member listed above)

If the person named on the birth certificate is deceased, a family member who is not an immediate family member must submit a copy of the death certificate to be eligible to receive a certified copy of the birth certificate.

  • A step-parent or step-child is required to submit parents' marriage record supporting their relationship.

If you do not want to order the birth record, there are other records with birth information you can search.

Return to Top: Finding Pennsylvania Birth Records


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