Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Deaths (FamilySearch Historical Records)/Known Issues

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Known Issues

NOTE: There are many instances in this collection where the images are faint and hard to read. They are the best we have. The records are old and ink has faded through the years. The images are often a little more legible on the microfilm and easily read on the microfilm readers that are available at the Family History Library or some FamilySearch Centers.

Question #1: Why do I have to sign in to view the images?
Answer #1: FamilySearch does not own the records and are bound by restrictions created by record custodians. The owners of the original records for Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates in Historical Records have requested that all users register and sign in to view the images online. You may register by clicking the Sign In link in the upper right corner of the screen and completing the registration form. You must respond to the confirmation email to complete the registration.

Question #2: Some records come from images that have a header “Municipal Hospital – Admissions and Discharges.” Were all of these persons discharged (released for the hospital) because they died?
Answer #2: Not all of the death records whose images refer to the “Municipal Hospital – Admissions and Discharges” died. The collection contains a Hospital Admissions/Discharge register (Film 976944, 972953 Item 3) that gives the dates that living people were released from the hospital. The date of discharge (alive) has been erroneously indexed as a death date. Probably 75% of the names in that particular register are names of people who did NOT die at that time, and yet they are indexed as having died on the date they were released from the hospital. Other information not appearing on the original record is added by indexers. You will need to visually check both the image and the indexed record to see what information is valid. You cannot assume that the person has died from this indexed record.

Question #3: Some images are cropped. How can I see the information that is cut-off?
Answer #3: When a record image is cropped, check the next image. If you do not find the whole image, please copy and paste the information found in the record details into an e-mail and send to, requesting that one of our support volunteers try to locate the missing image for you.

Question #4: Some names link to the wrong images. How can the correct image be found?
Answer #4: When viewing the indexed information page, the last item listed is “reference number” followed by the letters “cn” and a number. This is the certificate number. When viewing the image, the certificate number typically is stamped in the upper right corner. Use the arrows to page forward or backward to find the correct image. The images are often only off by one image.
In some cases the record details page may not have a reference number listed, but the correct image can usually be found be scrolling forward or backward by a few images.

If you encounter additional problems with this collection, feel free to report them at Please include the following information:

  • If searching a specific collection: please include the name of the collection; include all search criteria used, including name, event, dates and places. 
  • If browsing this collection: please include the full path you followed to where the problem occurred. The browse path is located above the Image viewer window.   
    For example: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915 > 1003711(004002997) > Image 12 of 478
  • If you are reporting a technical issue: please include your operating system and browser version, such as Windows 7 and Internet Explorer.

Your assistance will help ensure that future revisions will be considered.

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