How to Find Pennsylvania Death Records

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== '''Next Step:<br>When did the death occur? '''  ==
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== '''Next Step:<br>When did the death occur?'''  ==
  
 
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:<span style="font-size:120%">Choose a time period:</span><br>
 
:<span style="font-size:120%">Choose a time period:</span><br>
  
:*<span style="font-size:120%">'''[[User:BingamanTD/sandbox2#Deaths_before_1852|Deaths before 1852]]'''</span>  
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:*<span style="font-size:120%">'''[[How to Find Pennsylvania Death Records#Deaths_before_1852|Before 1852]]'''</span>  
:*<span style="font-size:120%">'''[[User:BingamanTD/sandbox2#Deaths_1852-1854|Deaths 1852-1854]]'''</span>  
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:*<span style="font-size:120%">'''[[How to Find Pennsylvania Death Records#Deaths_1852-1854|1852-1854]]'''</span>  
:*<span style="font-size:120%">'''[[User:BingamanTD/sandbox2#Deaths_1855-1892|Deaths 1855-1892]]'''</span>  
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:*<span style="font-size:120%">'''[[How to Find Pennsylvania Death Records#Deaths_1855-1892|1855-1892]]'''</span>  
:*<span style="font-size:120%">'''[[User:BingamanTD/sandbox2#Deaths_1893-1905|Deaths 1893-1905]]'''</span>  
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:*<span style="font-size:120%">'''[[How to Find Pennsylvania Death Records#Deaths_1893-1905|1893-1905]]'''</span>  
:*<span style="font-size:120%">'''[[User:BingamanTD/sandbox2#Deaths_1906-1962|Deaths 1906-1962]]'''</span>  
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:*<span style="font-size:120%">'''[[How to Find Pennsylvania Death Records#Deaths_1906-1962|1906-1962]]'''</span>  
:*<span style="font-size:120%">'''[[User:BingamanTD/sandbox2#Deaths_1963-Present|Deaths 1963-Present]]'''</span>  
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:*<span style="font-size:120%">'''[[How to Find Pennsylvania Death Records#Deaths_1963-Present|1963-Present]]'''</span>  
 
:*<span style="font-size:120%">'''[[How to Estimate United States Death Information|Death year unknown]]'''</span>
 
:*<span style="font-size:120%">'''[[How to Estimate United States Death Information|Death year unknown]]'''</span>
  
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'''1906''' began the period of state wide registration for deaths. Currently death certificates 1906-1962 are available at the State Archives. The certificates may be reviewed in person during public research hours, Wednesday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.  
 
'''1906''' began the period of state wide registration for deaths. Currently death certificates 1906-1962 are available at the State Archives. The certificates may be reviewed in person during public research hours, Wednesday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.  
  
An index is available on the website of the [http://www.portal.health.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/public_records/20686 Division of Vital Records] and at the Pennsylvania Archives. Researchers will be limited to ten certificates per day for records with known file numbers. No telephone or e-mail requests in advance of one's visit to the Archives will be accepted. Researchers should plan to allow a minimum of 20-40 minutes for retrieval of these records.  
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An index is available on the website of the [http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=1085804&mode=2 Division of Vital Records] and at the Pennsylvania Archives. When visiting the Archives, researchers will be limited to ten certificates per day for records with known file numbers. No telephone or e-mail requests in advance of one's visit to the Archives will be accepted. Researchers should plan to allow a minimum of 20-40 minutes for retrieval of these records.  
  
 
Currently records for this time period are being scanned by Ancestry and should appear on their website by the end of 2013.  
 
Currently records for this time period are being scanned by Ancestry and should appear on their website by the end of 2013.  
  
Copies of these birth and death certificates may be requested by mail using the Mail Reference Order Form. If the name of the person and the date of birth or death are known, the fee is $15.00 per name for requests from Pennsylvania residents, $25.00 per name for requests from outside Pennsylvania. The birth or death certificate number also will be useful in research. The research charge is $50.00 per name per hour if only the name is provided.
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Copies of death certificates, 1906-1962, may be requested from the Pennsylvania Archives by mail:<br>
  
Uncertified copies of death certificates, 1906-present, also may be obtained from the Division of Vital Records for a fee of $3.00 per record.  
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:*[http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/gateway/PTARGS_0_2_25699_3144_382943_43/http%3B/pubcontent.state.pa.us/publishedcontent/publish/cop_environment/phmc/communities/extranet/archivalprograms/relayarchivespage/mailrefinstuctucontent/mailreferenceorderform2012a.pdf Pennsylvania State Archives]<br>350 North Street<br>Harrisburg, PA 17120-0090<br>Phone: (717) 783-3281
  
To apply for a certified copy of a death certificate from 1906 to the present there is a $9 fee for each certified copy. 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.
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Death certificates from 1906 to the present can also be obtained from:<br>
  
For certified copies of death certificates, 1906-present, and for death records that have not been transferred to the State Archives, contact:<br><br>Division of Vital Records<br>ATTN: Public Records<br>P.O. Box 1528<br>New Castle, PA 16103<br>Phone: (724) 656-3100.
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:*[http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/death_and_fetal_death_certificates/14122/death_records_-_by_mail/556827 Division of Vital Records]<br>ATTN: Public Records<br>P.O. Box 1528<br>New Castle, PA 16103<br>Phone: (724) 656-3100<br>
  
<br> '''PART B: You don't know the exact date of death'''  
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'''If you do not want to order the death record, you can search [[Substitute Records For United States Death Information|other records with death information]].'''  
  
If you do not know the exact date or place of death:<br> For a fee, the [http://www.wvdhhr.org/bph/hsc/vital/birthcert.asp West Virginia Department of Health office] will do a 3 year search (click on the death certificates tab).<br>  
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'''<center>[[How to Find Pennsylvania Death Records#Next_Step:When_did_the_death_occur.3F|Return to top: Choose another death year]]</center>'''
  
See [[How to Find West Virginia Death Records#Restrictions_for_Obtaining_Death_Records|list of restrictions]] for ordering death records
 
 
If you do not want to order the death record, you can search [[Substitute Records For United States Death Information|other records with death information]].
 
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== '''Deaths 1963-Present'''  ==
 
== '''Deaths 1963-Present'''  ==
  
West Virginia did not exist at this time and was known as the state of Virginia.'''Before 1853, no deaths were recorded by the county or state'''. You must search [[Substitute Records For United States Death Information|substitute records]] to locate your ancestor’s death date and place.  
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Death records for this period are available to the public but there is no online index to search. To determine the death date for an individual in to order a death certificate search [[Substitute Records For United States Death Information|substitute records]].  
  
 
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Death certificates from 1906 to the present can also be obtained from:<br>
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:*[http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/death_and_fetal_death_certificates/14122/death_records_-_by_mail/556827 Division of Vital Records]<br>ATTN: Public Records<br>P.O. Box 1528<br>New Castle, PA 16103<br>Phone: (724) 656-3100<br>
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:*[[United States Marriage Records|United States Marriage Records]]
 
:*[[United States Marriage Records|United States Marriage Records]]
  
[[Category:United_States_Vital_Records]] [[Category:West_Virginia]]
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[[Category:Pennsylvania_Vital_Records]] [[Category:How to articles]]

Revision as of 03:17, 17 June 2013

How to Find United States Deaths Gotoarrow.png Pennsylvania Deaths

Statewide registration for Pennsylvania deaths began in 1906. Prior to the state keeping death records counties kept death records beginning in 1893.

Next Step:
When did the death occur?

Death Records
Choose a time period:

Learn more about U.S. Death Records

Deaths before 1852

Pennsylvania did not record deaths on a state level until 1906. Prior to 1906 some attempts were made to record deaths but these were usually done on the county level and not until about 1893. To determine a date of death for an individual church and cemetery records are the primary records to search. There are also substitute records which can be searched when there is an absence of death records.

  Records that give death information:
Bible Records
Cemetery Records
Church Records
Newspapers
Probate (wills, etc)
Tax Records
Return to top: Choose another death year


Deaths 1852-1854

1852-1854 - grouped by county and record type, then arranged by certificate number, these records of death were kept by the Register of Wills for each county with returns sent to the Department of State. These returns are available for 49 of the 64 counties existing at that time; however, they are not complete for each county. Digital images of the records along with a search capability are available at www.ancestry.com. Film copies of the birth records can also be found at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

If you cannot locate your ancestor in the databases below try searching for death information in other records.

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

Includes Index and Digital Images
Try:
1852-1854, Pennsylvania, Deaths at Ancestry.com $, To obtain a subscription to Ancestry; Ancestry is often available through your local public library for free
1683-1994, Pennsylvania, Probate Records 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.
Can't find your ancestor in the index? Tips for searching indexes
No death record for your ancestor? Other records with death information
Return to top: Choose another death year


Deaths 1855-1892

Prior to 1852 the state of Pennsylvania did not record statewide deaths. Search church, cemetery and probate records in the area where the individual died to determine the death date for an individual. You must search substitute records to locate your ancestor’s death date and place.

  Records that give death information:
Bible Records
Cemetery Records
Church Records
Newspapers
Probate (wills, etc)
Tax Records
Return to top: Choose another death year


Deaths 1893-1905

1893-1905 - Deaths were recorded by the Clerk of Orphans Court at each county courthouse. While the State Archives holds microfilm copies of these records for some counties for use by on-site researchers, inquiries should be directed to the courthouse of the county in which the death occurred. These records are not complete. Microfilm copies of some records can also be found at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

For addresses and phone numbers for Pennsylvania courthouses websites use this link.


Return to top: Choose another death year


Deaths 1906-1962

1906 began the period of state wide registration for deaths. Currently death certificates 1906-1962 are available at the State Archives. The certificates may be reviewed in person during public research hours, Wednesday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

An index is available on the website of the Division of Vital Records and at the Pennsylvania Archives. When visiting the Archives, researchers will be limited to ten certificates per day for records with known file numbers. No telephone or e-mail requests in advance of one's visit to the Archives will be accepted. Researchers should plan to allow a minimum of 20-40 minutes for retrieval of these records.

Currently records for this time period are being scanned by Ancestry and should appear on their website by the end of 2013.

Copies of death certificates, 1906-1962, may be requested from the Pennsylvania Archives by mail:

Death certificates from 1906 to the present can also be obtained from:

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

Return to top: Choose another death year


Deaths 1963-Present

Death records for this period are available to the public but there is no online index to search. To determine the death date for an individual in to order a death certificate search substitute records.

  Records that give death information:
Bible Records
Cemetery Records
Church Records
Land
Newspapers
Probate (wills, etc)
Tax Records

Death certificates from 1906 to the present can also be obtained from:

Return to top: Choose another death year


Who May Request a Death Certificate?

Only certain people can request a death certificate. You must be:

  • Legal representative of decedent's estate
  • Immediate family member
  • Extended family member who indicates a direct relationship to the decedent
  • Power of Attorney (Please note that a Power of Attorney document is no longer valid upon the death of the individual)

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