Death and Birth Records Now available for PA

The house bill has been passed to allow access to death records prior to 1961 and birth records prior to 1906.  This is wonderful, but we have yet to hear how, when or where they will be available.  The records are to go to the Pennsylvania Archives, but what does this mean?  Will they be on microfilm? On computer?  Will or make them available on their websites?  How many birth records will be available since Pennsylvania only began officially recording them in 1906?

This is a lovely start, but we still have a long way to go to make me jump for joy.  We will still have to wait 5 months to receive a death certificate.

Pennsylvania Archives Help

If you are off line and want to research in the Pennsylvania Archives, a good book to keep by your desk is “Guide to the Published Archives of Pennsylvania” by Henry Howard Eddy and Martha L. Simonetti.  It was first written in 1949, but was updated in 1976 by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.  I found used copies on for not too much money.  It gives a good description for the information covered in each Series.  Few names of individuals will be found in this guide, but if you are looking for something specific, it is a good start.

The Pennsylvania Archives series is free on  This is very helpful if you are looking for records to join Lineage Societies or just researching your Pennsylvania ancestors.  I find it rather daunting to locate records at times, so the book has been helpful narrowing my search and pointing me in a more profitable direction.

Do you have any books you are particularly fond of using in your research?