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Finding United States Births Gotoarrow.png Pennsylvania Births


Finding Pennsylvania Birth Records

Pennsylvania was one of the original thirteen colonies. Statewide registration of births began in 1906 in Pennsylvania. Between 1852-1855 Pennsylvania counties were directed to record births within the counties. However, the counties had difficulty compling with the law and there very few recorded records. The counties have copies of these records. 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.

Next Step: When did the birth occur?

Choose a time period to search for your ancestor's birth record:

Learn more about U.S. Birth Records

Births Before 1852

Before 1852, no births were recorded by the county or state. You must search substitute records to locate your ancestor’s birth date and place.

  Records that give birth information:
Death Records
Cemetery Records
Newspapers
Church Records
Census
Military Records
Return to top: Choose another birth year


Births 1852 and 1855

Between 1852 and 1855 the counties of Pennsylvania attempted to record births which occurred in their jurisdiction. However, there were very few births recorded. Currently, the births which were recorded are not available online but can be viewed at the respective county courthouses or the Pennsylvania State Archives. Film copies of the birth records can also be found at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah other records.

For births that exist during the time period, try the following databases.

Includes Index and Digital Images
Try 1st:
West Virginia, Births, 1853-1930 West Virginia Division of Culture and History; free; most counties go to 1930: list of county coverage (right side of the screen); collection also contains delayed birth records
Try 2nd:
West Virginia, Births, 1853-1930 FamilySearch; Free; not all counties are complete to 1930: list of county coverage (right side of the screen); collection also contains delayed birth records; click on "view partner website" to see a copy of the image
Can't find your ancestor in the index? Tips for searching indexes
No birth record for your ancestor? Other records with birth information
Return to top: Choose another birth year


Births Between 1893 and 1905

Between 1893 and 1905 Pennsylvania counties were required to record births within their jurisdiction. These records are not complete but should still be searched. Many of the birth records do not list the first name of the child. In those cases only the names of the parents may help to identify the birth date of the child. Limited births maybe found in the following databases. 

Includes Index No Digital Images

Try 1st:
Pennsylvania, Births and Christenings, 1709-1950
A very incomplete free database at FamilySearch.org. The database includes county records as well as church records.
Try 2nd:
West Virginia, Births, 1853-1930
FamilySearch - Free; not all counties are complete to 1930: list of county coverage (right side of the screen); collection also contains delayed birth records; click on "view partner website" to see a copy of the image
Next try:



Can't find your ancestor in the index? Tips for searching indexes
No birth record for your ancestor? Other records with birth information

Obtain the Certificate

With an exact date (from your records or the index above), you can order a copy of the birth record for a fee from the county of birth or the West Virginia Department of Health office.

If you do not know the exact date or place of birth:
For a fee, the West Virginia Department of Health office will do a 3 year search.


Restrictions for persons born within the last 100 years:
To obtain a copy of the birth certificate for those born within the last 100 years, you must be:

  • The person on the certificate
  • The parents and grandparents of person on the certificate
  • The wife or husband of the person on the certificate
  • The children and grandchildren of the person on the certificate
  • The brothers or sisters of the person on the certificate
  • Anyone who has legal interest in the certificate
NOTE: A copy of the birth record cannot be obtained by anyone except those listed above until 100 years have passed from the date of the birth.

If you do not want to order the birth record, there are other records with birth information you can search.

Return to top: Choose another birth year


Births After 1905

Limited births maybe found in the following databases. Try each link. If you do not find your ancestor's birth or if you want order a copy of the certificate, then contact the West Virginia Vital Registration office.

STEP ONE: Find Birth Information

Includes Index Only

At FamilySearch Centers/libraries:

West Virginia, Births Index, 1853-1969 Ancestry Library edition - free at FamilySearch Centers and Libraries; Find your local FamilySearch Center
Use Your Ancestry Subscription:

West Virginia, Births Index, 1853-1969 Ancestry Subscription version - $, to sign up for a subscription; Obtain a subscription to Ancestry
Can't find your ancestor in the index? Tips for searching indexes
No birth record for your ancestor? Other records with birth information

STEP TWO: Obtain the Certificate

With an exact date (from your records or the index above), you can order a copy of the birth record for a fee from the county of birth or the West Virginia Department of Health office.

If you do not know the exact date or place of birth:
For a fee, the West Virginia Department of Health office will do a 3 year search.


Restrictions for persons born within the last 100 years:
To obtain a copy of the birth certificate for those born within the last 100 years, you must be:

  • The person on the certificate
  • The parents and grandparents of person on the certificate
  • The wife or husband of the person on the certificate
  • The children and grandchildren of the person on the certificate
  • The brothers or sisters of the person on the certificate
  • Anyone who has legal interest in the certificate
NOTE: A copy of the birth record cannot be obtained by anyone except those listed above until 100 years have passed from the date of the birth.

If you do not want to order the birth record, there are other records with birth information you can search.

Return to top: Choose another birth year


Births After 1969

With an exact date (from your records or the index above), you can order a copy of the birth record for a fee from the county of birth or the West Virginia Department of Health office.

If you do not know the exact date or place of birth:
For a fee, the West Virginia Department of Health office will do a 3 year search.

Restrictions for persons born within the last 100 years:
To obtain a copy of the birth certificate for those born within the last 100 years, you must be:

  • The person on the certificate
  • The parents and grandparents of person on the certificate
  • The wife or husband of the person on the certificate
  • The children and grandchildren of the person on the certificate
  • The brothers or sisters of the person on the certificate
  • Anyone who has legal interest in the certificate
NOTE: A copy of the birth record cannot be obtained by anyone except those listed above until 100 years have passed from the date of the birth.

If you do not want to order the birth record, there are other records with birth information you can search.

Return to top: Choose another birth year


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