Search for Death Records in Pennsylvania

Free Pennsylvania Death Records Lookup

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When searching for death records in the state of Pennsylvania, our comprehensive database of death records will not only assist you in locating death records, but it will also provide you with vital information about the deceased and the life they led before passing away.

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Death Records in Pennsylvania -
The Ultimate Guide 2024

Pennsylvania Death Databases

In the year 1906, Pennsylvanian state established a statewide death registration system that is still in use today. Before the state began keeping death records in 1893, counties began keeping death records in the same year, according to the National Archives and Records Administration.

Pennsylvania Death Databases

Before 1852

When Pennsylvania began keeping death records on a state-wide scale in 1906, it was considered a pioneering step. There were sporadic attempts to record fatalities prior to 1906, but they were usually done on a county level and not until approximately 1893 that they became a national phenomenon. When seeking to determine the date of death of an individual, the most important data to look for are church and cemetery records, among others. Alternatively, if no death records are available, alternative records may be checked in an attempt to locate the person who passed away.

1852 to 1854

For the first time, Pennsylvania has maintained track of all of its residents’ deaths on a statewide basis. Prior to 1906, there were sporadic attempts to keep track of fatalities, but they were mainly done at the county level and did not begin until about 1893. If you’re trying to figure out when someone died, church and cemetery records are usually the most dependable sources to consult. Additional records can be searched to fill in the gaps in information if a death record is not readily available.

1855 to 1892

Before the year 1852, Pennsylvania did not exactly keep account of all of the fatalities that occurred among its residents. Look up a person’s details in the local church, cemetery, and probate records in the area where they died to find out when they died and how they died. In order to determine the date and location of your ancestor’s death, you must look into alternative sources of documentation.

1893 to 1905

At each county courthouse, which served as a centralized site, the Clerk of Orphans Court entered death records for the deceased. While the State Archives maintains microfilm copies of these data for a few counties that can be examined by on-site researchers, inquiries should be directed to the county courthouse in the county where the death occurred, not the State Archives, to ensure that the records are accurate. The information contained in these entries is not comprehensive. Microfilm copies of some of the records you require can be obtained at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, as well as other locations.

1906 to 1966

1906 heralded the beginning of the era of state-wide death registration, which lasted until the present day. A collection of death certificates from 1906 to 1966 is now on display at the State Archives of California in Sacramento. Public research hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m on Wednesdays through Fridays, and the certificates can be seen in person during that time period. Alternatively, a searchable index to these documents can be found on the Division of Vital Records’ website and at the Pennsylvania Archives. The Archives will allow researchers to obtain a total of 10 certificates for records with known file numbers per day when they come to the premises to conduct research in person. The Archives will not accept requests made by phone or email in advance of a visit. Researchers should expect to spend at least 20-40 minutes obtaining these materials, if not more, in order to complete the task successfully.

1964 to Present

Although public access to death data for this time period is available, there is no searchable web index available for this time period. The date of death of an individual must be determined by alternative records before a death certificate can be ordered for that individual.

Death Certificates in Pennsylvania

Below is a list of people who are eligible to request for a death certificate:

Death Certificates in Pennsylvania

How to Find Pennsylvania Death Records

The most dependable means of obtaining Pennsylvania death records to do so through You will have complete access to the death data for the state of Pennsylvania as soon as you log into the platform after completing your registration for an account. To get you started, here are a few easy actions you may take:

Step 1: Go to and sign in using your email address and password.

How to Find Death Records Step 1

Step 2: Use the buttons at the very top of the user page to navigate through the options. When you click on the “Search” button, the Pennsylvania state death records page is loaded.

How to Find Death Records Step 2

Step 3: Check the box next to “Vital Records,” then click on the “Death” button just below it. Thus, the site eliminates all other records and only displays death records, which you can then download.

How to Find Death Records Step 3

Step 4: Key in as much information about the deceased as you can remember about them.

How to Find Death Records Step 4

Step 5: The state of Pennsylvania should be entered in the ‘Location’ box. As soon as you begin typing, you will notice that the website will provide a match for you.

Step 6: You will be presented with a list of records; you will need to scroll through the list until you find the person whose records you are interested in viewing.

Alternative Sources for Pennsylvania Death Information

Pennsylvania Death Records FAQs

What is an Official Death Certificate?

An official death certificate refers to a death certificate that is issued directly by the Pennsylvania state government or any similar organization. This document contains information such as the individual’s name, physical address, date of birth, and date of death. 

Are Pennsylvania Death Records Open to the Public?

Vital life records are available to all eligible parties with a direct relationship to the person named on the record.

What Information Do I Need to Search for Pennsylvania Death Records Online?

Requesters who wish to get a hold of a death record must be well acquainted with basic facts associated with it including:


The state of Pennsylvania is extremely particular about the accuracy of its tax and voting records, and this is reflected in its state records. As a result, they strive to keep a comprehensive death record up to date. Following the death of a person, tax collectors contact family members or next of kin to collect any unpaid state taxes that may be owed to the state. In the event of a probate proceeding, these death records will be extremely useful because your family members or next of kin will not have any difficulties in obtaining any legal information. With our comprehensive guide to Pennsylvania death record searches, you’ll be able to locate any type of record that you might require in a matter of minutes.

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