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Genealogy at the State Library of Pennsylvania

A guide to resources available to genealogy and family history researchers through the State Library of Pennsylvania.

Birth and Death Certificates

On January 1, 1906, birth and death records began to be recorded at the state level in Pennsylvania. 

By statute, birth and death records were to be recorded and maintained at the various county courthouses from 1893 to 1906. Birth and death registers were to be kept by the Register of Wills in the various county courthouses from 1852 to 1855. Before January 1, 1906, only scattered records exist in the various county courthouses. 

After 1906 the records are kept by the PA Department oh Health. Original birth certificates for 1906-1915 and death certificates for 1906-1970 are available at the PA State Archives. Digital copies of the 1906-1911 birth certificates and the 1906-1967 death certificates may be found on  Pennsylvania residents can access these records free of charge through Pennsylvania. Find out more from the Pennsylvania Historical Museum & Commission.