Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Philadelphia has recorded deaths since 1803.   
 
Philadelphia has recorded deaths since 1803.   
 
=== Citation for This Collection  ===
 
 
The following citation refers to the original source of the data and images published on FamilySearch.org Historical Records. It may include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.
 
 
{{Collection citation | text= "Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915." Index and Images. <i>FamilySearch</i>. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing Department of Records.}}
 
 
*Philadelphia (Pennsylvania). Department of Public Health. Burial records, 1807–1840 (Archival nos. Ph29A:1-26). Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. <br>
 
 
*Philadelphia (Pennsylvania). Department of Public Health. Death records, 1834–1860. Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. <br>
 
 
*Philadelphia (Pennsylvania). Board of Health. Death registers, 1860–1903 (Archival no. 76.21). Philadelphia City Archives, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. <br>
 
 
*Philadelphia General Hospital (Pennsylvania). Death records, 1866–1902 (Archival nos. 35.158, 65.60, 65.61). Philadelphia City Archives, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. <br>
 
 
*Philadelphia (Pennsylvania). Inspectors of the jail and penitentiary house. Death register, 1819–1914 (Archival no. 38.74). Philadelphia City Archives, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. <br>
 
 
*City Hospital (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania). City Hospital Register, 1840-1896 (Archival nos. 37.17, 76.29). Philadelphia City Archives, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
 
 
[[Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Deaths (FamilySearch Historical Records)#Citation_Example_for_a_Record_Found_in_This_Collection|Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.]]
 
  
 
== Record Content  ==
 
== Record Content  ==
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== Related Web Sites  ==
 
== Related Web Sites  ==
  
[http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/death_certificates/14122 Pennsylvania Death Certificates] - $
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*[http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/death_certificates/14122 Pennsylvania Death Certificates]  
 
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*[http://www.deathindexes.com/pennsylvania/index.html Online Pennsylvania Death Records, Indexes &amp; Obituaries]
[http://www.deathindexes.com/pennsylvania/index.html Online Pennsylvania Death Records, Indexes &amp; Obituaries]  
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== Related Wiki Articles  ==
 
== Related Wiki Articles  ==
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== Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections  ==
 
== Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections  ==
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Citations for individual image records are available for this collection. Browse through images in this collection and click on the "Show Citation" box: [https://familysearch.org/search/image/index#uri=https://familysearch.org/records/collection/1320976/waypointsPennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915]
  
 
When you copy information from a record, you should also list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.  
 
When you copy information from a record, you should also list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.  
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A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article [[Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections]].  
 
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article [[Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections]].  
  
=== Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection  ===
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=== Citation for This Collection  ===
  
"Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915." &nbsp;database and digital images, ''FamilySearch'' ([https://www.familysearch.org https://.familysearch.org]: accessed 1 April 20110. Ruth Brown, died 21 February 1904; citing Death Records, FHL microfilm 4,001,153; Philadelphia City Archives, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.<br>
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The following citation refers to the original source of the data and images published on FamilySearch.org Historical Records. It may include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.  
  
[[Category:Philadelphia,_Pennsylvania]]
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{{Collection citation | text= "Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915." Index and Images. <i>FamilySearch</i>. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing Department of Records.}}
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*Philadelphia (Pennsylvania). Department of Public Health. Burial records, 1807–1840 (Archival nos. Ph29A:1-26). Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. <br>
 +
 
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*Philadelphia (Pennsylvania). Department of Public Health. Death records, 1834–1860. Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. <br>
 +
 
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*Philadelphia (Pennsylvania). Board of Health. Death registers, 1860–1903 (Archival no. 76.21). Philadelphia City Archives, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. <br>
 +
 
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*Philadelphia General Hospital (Pennsylvania). Death records, 1866–1902 (Archival nos. 35.158, 65.60, 65.61). Philadelphia City Archives, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. <br>
 +
 
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*Philadelphia (Pennsylvania). Inspectors of the jail and penitentiary house. Death register, 1819–1914 (Archival no. 38.74). Philadelphia City Archives, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. <br>
 +
 
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*City Hospital (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania). City Hospital Register, 1840-1896 (Archival nos. 37.17, 76.29). Philadelphia City Archives, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Revision as of 23:11, 20 December 2013

FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.


Contents

Record Description

The format of the records varies:

  • Registration of deaths, Board of Health, 1803–1915, exist in four formats: 1) Cemetery returns, 1803–1860, filed alphabetically by cemetery for each year (1803–1824), for each quarter (1825–1847), and for each week (1848–1860); 2) Death returns, 1860–June 30, 1890, filed alphabetically by cemetery name for each week; 3) Death certificates, July 1890–1903, filed by certificate number; 4) Death certificates, arranged by year and then by certificate number within each year.
  • Death registers, Board of Health, 1860–1903, are bound volumes with preprinted pages. The entries are filed chronologically.
  • Death records, Department of Public Health, 1834–1860, are bound volumes. The entries are filed by year and then by month.
  • Burial records, Department of Public Health, 1807–1840, are loose papers filed by death date.
  • Death records, General Hospital, 1866–1902, are bound volumes of preprinted forms and bound volumes of certificates, four to a page. The entries are filed chronologically.
  • Death registers, City Hospital, 1840-1896, are bound volumes with entries filed chronologically.
  • Death registers, Inspectors of the Jail and Penitentiary House, 1819–1914, are bound volumes.

Be aware that not every name in this collection is the name of someone who died. Some of the hospital registers provide date of discharge of living patients and those names are mingled in with the names of those who died.

By Act of April 1, 1803, Philadelphia established its Board of Health, which began to record deaths and burials. In 1860 the city passed a law requiring that all births, marriages, and deaths within the city be recorded in a systematic way. The board became the Bureau of Health in 1899 and was placed under the Department of Public Health in 1903. In accordance with a new state law, the bureau began sending copies of death records to the state in 1906. The various collections cover those buried in the city of Philadelphia, including some out-of-city deaths. The same individual may be found in more than one collection. 

Original images for the Philadelphia City Death Certificates are available on Historical Records (free) and also through the Philadelphia City Archives (fee). 

Photocopies of Philadelphia death records 1803-1915, are available by writing to:

Philadelphia City Archives, 3101 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19104 

Enclose $10.00 payment, check or money order, payable to CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, for each death record photocopy requested. 

With your request include this information, found on the FamilySearch.org web pages for “Philadelphia City Civil Death and Burial Records.” 

If the death occurred:

1803-June 1860 - Name of Deceased and date of death 

July 1860-June 30, 1890 - Name of Deceased, date of death and cemetery name, if known

July 1890–1915 – Name of deceased, date of death, and certificate number (cn number)

You can access Pennsylvania death records, if available, prior to 1906 through the courthouse in the county where the person died. A list of courthouses is available on the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Vital Records Web site. Cemetery and church records are more likely sources to be available for 18th and 19th century deaths and burials.

For a list of film numbers currently published in this collection, select the Browse.

Deaths were recorded to better serve public health needs. They were also used in connection with the probate of wills and the administration of estates.

Deaths were recorded to better serve public health needs. They were also used in connection with the probate of wills and the administration of estates.

Philadelphia has recorded deaths since 1803. 

Record Content

The information varies by record. You may find any of the following:

  • Full name and age of deceased
  • Age, gender, race and marital status of deceased
  • Date of death
  • Cause of death

An Undertaker's Certificate attached to the Physician's Return added the following information:

  • Occupation of deceased
  • Place of birth
  • Birthplace of father
  • Birthplace of mother
  • Place of death
  • Date and place of burial
  • Name and address of undertaker

Death certificates, Bureau of Health, 1904–1915

  • Date and place of burial
  • Name, age and gender of deceased
  • Occupation of deceased
  • Place of birth
  • Place of death
  • Parents' place of birth
  • Attending physician, and undertaker
  • Ethnic group
  • Former residence of the deceased

Death registers, Board of Health, 1860–1903

  • Death and burial dates
  • Place of death,
  • Place of burial,
  • Name and age of deceased
  • Name of parents if the deceased was a minor
  • Former residence
  • Race
  • Cause of death

Death records, Department of Public Health, 1834–1860

  • Death date
  • Death place
  • Name and age of deceased and attending physician


Registration of deaths, Board of Health, 1803–1903

  • Death and burial dates
  • Name and age of deceased and attending physician
  • Age, gender and race of deceased
  • Names of parents if deceased was a minor
  • Place of death and burial
  • Place of birth
  • Residence of deceased
  • Cause of death

Burial Records, Department of Public Health, 1807–1840

  • Death date
  • Burial place
  • Name and age of deceased

Death records, general hospital, 1866–1902, death registers

  • Name and age of deceased
  • Death date
  • Color (W for White and B for Black)
  • Country of birth
  • Cause of death

Death records, general hospital, 1866–1902, death certificates

  • Name of deceased
  • Age, gender and marital status of deceased
  • Color (White or Black)
  • Death date
  • Cause of death

Death registers, prison, 1819–1914

  • Name and age of deceased
  • Death date
  • Prison where died
  • Cause of death

How to Use the Record

Begin your search by finding your ancestors in the index. Name indexes to deaths make it possible to access a specific record quickly. Remember that these indexes may contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.

Search the Collection

Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the ancestors in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination.
Keep in mind:

  • There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
  • Your ancestor may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life.

For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line video at FamilySearch Search Tips.

When searching the index it is helpful to know the following:

  • The place where the death occurred.
  • The name of the person at the time of death.
  • The approximate death date.

Use the locator information found in the index (such as page, entry, or certificate number) to locate your ancestor in the death records. Compare the information in the death record to what you already know about your ancestor to determine if this is the correct person. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination.

When you have located your ancestor’s death record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family. For example:

  • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find or verify their birth records and parents' names.
  • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find the family in census records.
  • Use the residence and names of the parents (if the deceased is a child) to locate church and land records.
  • Occupations listed can lead you to employment records or other types of records such as military records.
  • Use the parent’s birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.
  • The name of the officiator is a clue to their religion or area of residence in the county.
  • The name of the undertaker or mortuary could lead you to funeral and cemetery records which often include the names and residences of other family members.
  • Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname, this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
  • Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives of the deceased who may have died or been buried in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.

If you are unable to find the ancestors you are looking for, try the following:

  • Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
  • Check for a different index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.

Keep in mind:

  • The information in these records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
  • Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1800s.
  • There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another record.

For a summary of this information see the wiki article: United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records)


Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

Related Web Sites

Related Wiki Articles

Contributions to This Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. Guidelines are available to help you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide. If you would like to get more involved join the WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

Citations for individual image records are available for this collection. Browse through images in this collection and click on the "Show Citation" box: Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915

When you copy information from a record, you should also list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.

A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.

Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the data and images published on FamilySearch.org Historical Records. It may include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.

"Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915." Index and Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing Department of Records.
  • Philadelphia (Pennsylvania). Department of Public Health. Burial records, 1807–1840 (Archival nos. Ph29A:1-26). Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • Philadelphia (Pennsylvania). Department of Public Health. Death records, 1834–1860. Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • Philadelphia (Pennsylvania). Board of Health. Death registers, 1860–1903 (Archival no. 76.21). Philadelphia City Archives, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • Philadelphia General Hospital (Pennsylvania). Death records, 1866–1902 (Archival nos. 35.158, 65.60, 65.61). Philadelphia City Archives, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • Philadelphia (Pennsylvania). Inspectors of the jail and penitentiary house. Death register, 1819–1914 (Archival no. 38.74). Philadelphia City Archives, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • City Hospital (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania). City Hospital Register, 1840-1896 (Archival nos. 37.17, 76.29). Philadelphia City Archives, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.