There is no more reasons to keep putting off those Pennsylvania ancestors! They, too, have a story that needs to be unearthed and told.
In December of 2011, Governor Corbett of Pennsylvania, signed in to law Senate Bill 361. This allows for public access to birth and death records; 105 years after a birth and/or 50 years after a death. The Pennsylvania State Archives will maintain birth records of 1906 and death records from 1906-1961. One researcher would have to go to the county level for records before 1906.
Beginning Wednesday, February 15, 2012 the state archives plans to have these records (1906 Birth and 1906-1961 deaths) indexed on their website (Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Collection). This is merely just an index, however can broaden our research to levels once unforeseen!
The costs for these records and searches are noted in the quote taken from the website:
"Copies of these birth and death certificates may be requested by mail using the Mail Reference Order Form. If the name of the person and the date of birth or death are known, the fee is $15.00 per name for requests from Pennsylvania residents, $25.00 per name for requests from outside Pennsylvania. The birth or death certificate number also will be useful in research. The research charge is $50.00 per name per hour if only the name is provided."
The Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania is thinking these indices will be available at some point today, or tomorrow!
Also in December of 2011 and January of 2012, FamilySearch made available the following records:
- Pennsylvania County Marriages, 1885-1950
- Pennsylvania, Eastern District Petitions for Naturalization, 1795-1931
- Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh City Deaths, 1870-1905