Vital records, as their name suggests, are connected with central life events: birth, marriage, and death. Maintained by civil authorities, they are prime sources of genealogical information; but, unfortunately, official vital records are available only for relatively recent periods. These records, despite their recent creation in the United States, are critically important in genealogical research, often supplying details on family members well back into the nineteenth century. The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy, by Loretto Szucs and Sandra Luebking.

Ancestry.com Pennsylvania Databases
A large collection of databases of births, deaths, marriages, census, obituaries, directories, estate records, and service records. Get 14 Days Free Access!!!

Births

Marriages

  • American Marriages Before 1699 – Original 1926 book version
    Researched and compiled by William M Clemens in the 1920’s, this volume of marriage records contains over ten thousand entries. Although primarily listing Massachusetts marriages, there are thousands of entries from other states, including New York and Pennsylvania.

    • Search Ancestry’s Online Index of this manuscript $
    • A later version of this manuscript was published in 1977 by Clearfield Publishing Company. This version included a supplement to this manuscript published in the Genealogy Magazine: A Journal of American and British Ancestry, vol. XIV, No. 4 (July 1929) – Vol. XV, No. 3 (July 1930). This information is not available in the original manuscript, nor the Ancestry version.
  • Pennsylvania Civil Marriages, 1677-1950 — index and images
    Index and images of marriage records from Allegheny, Bucks, Lancaster, Lehigh, Luzerne, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties in Pennsylvania.
  • Pennsylvania, Marriage Records, 1700-1821 $
    This database contains marriage information from volumes 2, 8, and 9 from the Second Series and volume 6 from the Sixth Series. The marriages recorded date prior to 1810 and include details extracted from both civil and church records. Some collections are statewide, while others are confined to a specific county, city, or congregation.
  • Pennsylvania, Marriages, 1709-1940
    Name index to marriage records from the state of Pennsylvania. Microfilm copies of these records are available at the Family History Library and Family History Centers. Due to privacy laws, recent records may not be displayed. The year range represents most of the records. A few records may be earlier or later.
  • Record of Pennsylvania Marriages Prior to 1810
  • Pennsylvania, Marriages, 1852-1854 $
    This database contains copies of indexes and marriage records for 49 counties in Pennsylvania for the years 1852-1854. According to the Pennsylvania State Archives, these records are duplicate copies “sent by the Registers of Wills from many of the county seats to the Department of State.” They include records from the following counties: Adams, Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Berks, Bradford, Bucks, Butler, Cambria, Carbon, Centre, Chester, Clearfield, Columbia, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Elk, Franklin, Greene, Huntingdon, Indiana, Juniata, Lancaster, Lawrence, Lehigh, Luzerne, Lycoming, McKean, Mercer, Mifflin, Monroe, Montgomery, Montour, Northampton, Northumberland, Perry, Schuylkill, Somerset, Susquehanna, Tioga, Union, Venango, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Westmoreland, York
  • U.S., Hochheimer Marriage Records, 1850-1900 (Jewish) $
    This collection contains a listing of over 900 marriages performed by Dr. Henry Hochheimer from 1850-1900. Hochheimer was a rabbi of the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation from 1849-1859 and Oheb Israel Synagogue (Eden Street Congregation), 1859-92, emeritus, 1893-98. 850 of the marriages were performed in Baltimore, with others in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C.
  • Pennsylvania, County Marriages, 1885 – 1950 Index and Images.
    This collection includes civil marriage records created in Pennsylvania counties. The records include registers, affidavits and marriage licenses. In some instances, divorce records are recorded with marriages.
  • Pennsylvania, Records of Marriages, 1885-1889 $
    This database contains registers of marriages recorded in Pennsylvania from October 1885 through the end of December 1889. The marriages are recorded in duplicate, once in a pair of volumes organized by the groom’s surname and a second time in volumes organized by the bride’s surname
  • Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania, Marriage Indexes and Licenses, index/images

Deaths

Births, Marriages, and Deaths

Pennsylvania Marriages to 1790

Pennsylvania Marriages to 1810
Originally published in volume VIII of the second series of the Pennsylvania Archives, this wonderful collection contains almost 35,000 marriage records from the following: (Requires Ancestry.com Membership) Get 14 Days Free Access!!!

  • Christ Church, Philadelphia 1709-1806
  • First Baptist Church, Philadelphia, 1761-1803
  • First Presbyterian Church, Carlisle, 1785-1812
  • German Reformed Church, Philadelphia, 1748-1802
  • Lutheran Church, New Hannover (Montgomery Co.), 1745-1809
  • Marriages Recorded by the Registrar General of the Province, 1658-1689
  • Paxtang and Derry Churches, 1741-1810
  • Reformed Church, Falkner Swamp (Montgomery Co.), 1748-1800
  • St. Paul’s Episcopal, Chester, 1704-1733
  • Swedes’ Church, Philadelphia, 1750-1810

Pennsylvania, Lutheran Baptisms and Marriages
Settled in large part by German immigrants, Pennsylvania has been home to hundreds of Lutheran congregations since its formation in the seventeenth century. This database is a collection of Lutheran Church baptism and marriage records from southeastern Pennsylvania between 1730 and 1779. The records were kept largely by Rev. John Casper Stoever. Baptism records, in addition to providing the location and date, include the child’s name, parents’ names, birth date, and names of sponsors. Marriage records include the names of both spouses, and marriage location. It contains the names of over 6,000 people. (Requires Ancestry.com Membership) Get 14 Days Free Access!!!

Reading, Pennsylvania Marriage Records, 1876-84
This database indexes 9,700 marriages recorded in the City of Reading only. After 1884, all Berks County marriage licenses were recorded by the County of Berks. When requesting a copy of a record from the Berks County Register of Wills, indicate the name, year, and file number found in the index. (Requires Ancestry.com Membership) Get 14 Days Free Access!!!

State Department of Health
Division of Vital Records
Central Building
101 South Mercer Street
PO Box 1528
New Castle, PA 16103

The Division of Vital Records began collecting birth and death certificates in 1906. Contact the appropriate Pennsylvania County Courthouse for births and deaths that occurred prior to 1906.

Check or money order should be made payable to Division of Vital Records. Personal checks are accepted. To verify current fees, the telephone number is (412)656-3100 .

Births $20.00
Download Application Form

Persons born in Pittsburgh or in Allegheny City, now part of Pittsburgh, from 1882 to 1905
Registrar of Wills
City-County Building
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

For events occurring in City of Philadelphia write to:

Vital Statistics
Philadelphia Department of Public Health
401 North Broad Street, Room 942
Philadelphia, PA 19108
State office has records beginning January 1906. For earlier records, write to Register of Wills, Orphans Court, in county seat of county where event occurred.

Deaths $9.00
Download Application Form

Divorces Fees Vary

Marriages Fees Vary

State office has records beginning January 1906. For earlier records, write to Register of Wills, Orphans Court, in county seat of county where event occurred.