Skip to Main Content

Genealogy at the State Library of Pennsylvania

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

Cemetery Records and Obituaries

If no official church or courthouse record can be found, an ancestor's tombstone or obituary can provide a wealth of information.  The tombstone may give important dates and possibly the names of parents or spouses. Often family members will be buried near each other or in the same cemetery, thus providing clues to other branches of a family tree.

Obituaries can also provide family information as well as details of what profession or skill the ancestor may have had.

However, the researcher must keep in mind that family members, stone masons, and typesetters could have made mistakes in dates and name spellings.  Cemeteries may also have changed names just as churches formed and reformed under different names.

State Library of Pennsylvania Digital Genealogy Collection

The State Library of Pennsylvania Digital Genealogy Collection includes:

  • Harrisburg Newspaper Index
    • An index file of announcements of deaths published in Harrisburg newspapers from 1799 to 1827. The index includes entries for:
      • Dauphin Guardian
      • Oracle of Dauphin
      • Harrisburg Chronicle
      • Harrisburg Republican
  • Necrology Scrapbooks
    • A scrapbook of obituaries clipped from Pennsylvania Newspapers from 16 October 1891 to 3 March 1904.
Pennsylvania Cemeteries
Other Useful Sites