Pennsylvania birth and death records become public records 105 years after the date of birth or 50 years after the date of death.These free online Pennsylvania birth indices and death indices provide names, dates, and a Pennsylvania State File number, so that you can request a record copy from the Pennsylvania State Archives.The digital Pennsylvania Genealogy Collection online for free from the State Library of Pennsylvania includes the Pennsylvania Necrology Scrapbook of obituaries clipped from Pennsylvania newspapers between 18 (including many Civil War veterans) and the Harrisburg Newspaper Index with marriages and deaths from four Harrisburg area newspapers 1799 to 1827.
The entire series consists of 138 published volumes (in 10 series) of early Pennsylvania government records transcribed and printed by the Commonwealth, including military, tax, land, naturalization, marriage and baptism records, plus ship passenger lists and other items relevant to both genealogy and history in Pennsylvania.
More » Scanned land records, viewable online from the Pennsylvania State Archives include Warrant Registers, Copied Survey Books, Donation Lands, Indexes of Selected Original (Loose) Surveys, Depreciation Land Register and Old Rights (Index) for Philadelphia and Bucks and Chester counties.
Most indexes are alphabetical, but the 1920-1924 deaths and 1930-1951 deaths are listed based on Soundex codes.
Searchable versions of these indexes with links to digitized copies of the certificates are available on with subscription (free if you are a Pennsylvania resident).
The search function for the older Pittsburgh papers is terrible, so don't by any means rely on a surname search to find ancestors.
If you can locate a death date from a tombstone or other death record, then directly browse the papers from the prior few days page by page for your ancestors. census schedules for the city of Pittsburgh and Allegheny City (1850, 1860, 18); over 18,000 historic photographs of people and places; historic Pittsburgh and Allegheny County real estate and survey maps; full text copies of over 1200 books about Pittsburgh published in the 19th and early 20th centuries; and digitized copies of 125 historic Pittsburgh city directories dating from 1815 through the 1940s.
You can often find an index on the first page of each paper with the issue page number for "obituaries" and/or "death notices."More: Google News Archive Tips for Genealogists More » Anyone with ancestors living in Western Pennsylvania should explore this free collection of historical books, documents and other resources relating to the history and genealogy of Western PA. More » Anyone researching Pennsylvania military ancestors should check out ARIAS (Archives Records Information Access System) which has over 1.5 million card images relating to military service available online for free viewing.
Collections include PA National Guard Veteran's Card File (1867-1921), Civil War Veterans' Card File, Revolutionary War Military Abstract Cards, World War I Service Medal Application Cards, Spanish American War Veterans' Card File, Mexican Border Campaign Veterans' Card File and Militia Officer Index Cards.
More » Explore a wide variety of free online city directories, vital records, and more.
Dons List includes resources from across the United States, but with a special focus on Pittsburgh and Allegheny County.
These aren't complete indexes, but the available information is growing rapidly.