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Pennsylvania Research Tips and Strategies

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Purpose of Research Tips and Strategies Wiki Page

The Pennsylvania Research Tips and Strategies page consists of links to specific research strategies for Pennsylvania. It also contains general tips and other resources for finding your ancestors in this locality.

Pennsylvania Research Strategies[edit | edit source]

Below are links to different research strategy pages to help you locate your ancestors in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Research Tips[edit | edit source]

These tips will help you as you research your ancestors in Pennsylvania.

  • Birth information: Between 1852-1855 Pennsylvania counties were directed to record births within their jurisdiction. However few counties complied. In 1893 counties were again required to record births within their jurisdiction. This law had a better response and remained in effect until 1906 when the state of Pennsylvania began to record births on a statewide level. A helpful substitute record to find birth information is a death record. However, date and place of birth on a death record is considered secondary information, as it was not recorded at the time of the birth event. The birth information should be corroborated with other substitute records to improve accuracy.
  • Finding Parents: Statewide registration for Pennsylvania deaths began in 1906. Prior to the state keeping death records counties kept death records beginning in 1893. They often will list the parents of the deceased and their birth information. Search Pennsylvania death records
  • Look in all censuses: Always look for your ancestor in every possible census. There are clues regarding immigration, naturalization, and occupation that can lead to other records. Sometimes parents can be found living with their children later in life. Search U.S. Censuses.

Pennsylvania Record Finder[edit | edit source]

This brief Record Finder is designed to help you determine the best record to search for the type of information you are looking for. It is most helpful for post-1850 research. For a more complete Record Finder, covering additional research needs, see Pennsylvania Record Finder.

1. What you are looking for: 2. Try these records first: 3. Other useful records

Birth information

Marriage information
Death information

Maiden name

Immigration date


Physical description

Further Pennsylvania Research[edit | edit source]