2 Replies Latest reply on Sep 10, 2020 10:29 AM by Kathy Hale

    Seeking death certificate from Pennsylvania

    Lisa Pietrzak Newbie

      I am trying to obtain a death certificate from Pennsylvania prior to 1906. Any suggestions?

        • Re: Seeking death certificate from Pennsylvania
          Susannah Brooks Scout

          Pennsylvania did not keep death records at the state level prior to 1906.  Some counties and large cities did keep records earlier (I have found some in Philadelphia in the 1890's and very early 1900's) and they would be among court records in the county.  Earlier substitute records would be church burial records, probate records, guardianship records (for deceased male with surviving minor children), and tombstones.

          • Re: Seeking death certificate from Pennsylvania
            Kathy Hale Newbie

            Susannah is correct in that the Commonwealth did not collect the actual records prior to 1906. The best place to go is the county courthouse for the county where the death occurred. Remember the Pennsylvania started with Philadelphia and grew out with counties such as Bucks, Chester and Lancaster. Also counties have borrowed from other counties to create new counties. So depending on the date of death you are looking for might determine the county you are searching. Please contact the State Library of PA at ra-reflib@pa.gov and we might be able to assist you. You can also search our online catalog at www.statelibrary.pa.gov

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