March 31, 2023, 7:27 pm
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General Information About Pennsylvania Death Records and Laws
Pennsylvania death records are available for most people who have died in the state in the last 100 years. There are other sources for additional records as well. A death record starts when a person dies. The hospital or city will report this information to the county. The county then transfers this data to the state level. It is stored there for the long term and these records are accessible to the public. There are no limitations on who can view the records, however, there are some concerns in terms of finding them. The problem is that Pennsylvania did not require the state reporting of deaths until the 1900's.
If you need Pennsylvania death records for such things as family genealogy reports, these are considered informal or non-immediate needs. As a result, you are able to get this information but it can take some time to do so. Death records do contain important information that can be very important for these types of searches. This information often includes data on a person's age at the time of death, where he or she lived, their next of kin and their cause of death. This information may not be complete, though, in all cases. If this is the type of information you need, then getting it requires determining the right agency that is holding the information.
In Pennsylvania, death records were required to be maintained at the local level and then reported to the state in January of 1906. At that time, the local agencies were reported to gather this data. However, some data from the areas of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Scranton and Erie were managed and housed locally within those cities. These death records are still maintained at the level and individuals will need to seek out those local sources to get a true copy of a death certificate.
At the state level, it is possible to get Pennsylvania death records through the state. You can do this through the Division of Vital Statistics in the state. To obtain these records, you will need to write to or visit the facility at the following location:
State Department of Health
Division of Vital Statistics
 101 South Mercer Street
PO Box 1528
New Castle, Pennsylvania 16103
It is also possible to call the agency by phone to order a copy of a death record. To do so, call 724-656-3100. It can take several weeks for the processing of these records. There may also be a fee for obtaining this information. If you need to use one of the local repositories for this information, the fees and timeline will differ.
Getting the Pennsylvania death records you need is an important step in solving your family tree needs. However, it is quite important for individuals to consider all of the possible sources for this information. This includes local churches and other religious affiliations. You may also find information through cemeteries and township record archives. This is important for those who are looking for very old records of death in the area.
Pennsylvania Death Records
  • Accident Reports

    Crash Reports Unit
    1800 Elmerton Ave
    Harrisburg, PA 17110-9758
    p (717) 783-5516
  • Delaware County Archives

    340 North Middletown Road
    201 West Front Street Media
    Lima, PA 19063
    p (610) 891-5620
  • Historical records available for your research:

    Historical records available for your research: Montgomery County Records Department
    1880 Markley Street (basement)
    Norristown, PA 19401
    p (610) 278-3441
  • Office of Records and Archives Services

    Office of Records and Archives Services Office of Records and Archives Services
    50 N. Duke St
    P.O. Box 83480
    Lancaster, PA 17608-3480
  • Row Officers

    Row Officers Bucks County Courthouse
    55 East Court Street
    3rd Floor, Administration Building
    Doylestown, PA 8901
    p (215) 348-6000
  • t Division of Vital Records office

    t Division of Vital Records office Health and Welfare Building Room 129
    7th and Forster Streets
    Harrisburg, PA 17108
    p (717) 772-3481

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