20th Century Vital Records

Vital Record from 1906 to the present

In 1906 the state of Pennsylvania took over the the registration of births and marriages.

The Division of Vital Records in New Castle, Pennsylvania holds birth records from 1911-present and death records from 1966-present. The records may be ordered at: Certificates

You must be an immediate family member or an extended family member who can indicate a direct relationship.

In 2011 Senate Bill 361 provided that birth records over 105 years and death records over 50 years are public records accessible to the general public.

Ancestry.com has the Pennsylvania Death Certificates from 1906 through 1965. Ancestry is a paid member site. The easiest and fastest way to search is to use the card catalog, search “Pennsylvania Death” and it will be part of the small list that comes up. You may search using the name of the person or you can use the name of the parents. It is best if you do not use the mother’s maiden name, because in many instances, it is not on the death certificate when it is unknown.

For Pennsylvania residents, it is also free by setting up an Ancestry.com Pennsylvania account using your social security number. See: Ancestry PA Account

You may search the index to deaths in Pennsylvania from 1906 through 1965 at the Pennsylvania Department of Health website.  Pennsylvania Death Index

You may search the index to births in Pennsylvania from 1906-1910: Pennsylvania Birth Index

These must be searched by year. In the early years they are indexed by last name. By 1930 they switched to an index using the Soundex system. Although they offer a detailed description of the use of this system, it is easier to use a soundex converter found on the internet Soundex Converter

When a match is found, an uncertified copy of the birth or death certificate may be ordered for $5 using the form provided at the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission: Vital Records Request Form