Search Pennsylvania Birth Records
Searching for birth records in the state of Pennsylvania
Birth records and birth certificates are a vital piece of personal documentation that every resident of the state of Pennsylvania will need access to throughout their life in various circumstances, from providing proof of their identity to applying for passports and travels visas. Many of the people who ask to search for birth certificates in the US are actually searching for their own in order to get a new copy, either because they have lost the original or because the original does not contain enough information for some modern purposes. These days, birth certificates in Pennsylvania and throughout the US contain a whole heap of personal information; such as the person’s full name, their date of birth, the full names and dates of birth of their parents and often details of their siblings. In order to apply for passports and travel visas these days, you need one of these birth certificates that have all the personal details completed on them. If you think you might need to check your own birth record to see what information is included, the staff at the County Clerk or Registrar Recorder’s office will be able to assist you. These are the two offices responsible for maintaining personal documents like birth records, as well as marriage and death records, in the state of Pennsylvania and throughout the US. In some parts of the country there are other local bodies and organizations that also maintain some of these personal documents, but none have the comprehensive coverage of the County Clerk or Registrar Recorder.
If you are checking into someone’s background or researching your family history, the staff at these offices may also be able to help you with this kind of search too. Some details on birth records are restricted so they can only be seen by family members or lawyers for a certain number of years, but you will still be able to see if a birth record exists for the person you are searching for, as well as the most basic information contained within the record. This is the kind of information you would get by searching on the websites of the state of Pennsylvania’s own websites or in the archives of the County Clerk or Registrar Recorder’s buildings. People who live outside of Pennsylvania can use these websites to search on more recent records, but if you are looking into your family history, older documents may not have been transferred to computer systems yet. The County Clerk office and Registrar Recorder staff may carry out searches for you, though you may have to wait some time for the results and they will charge you a standard fee. Much quicker are the commercial online search sites which have access to their own computerized databases of personal records and information from the state of Pennsylvania and all across the US. This can be useful if you are not sure that the person you are looking for was actually born in Pennsylvania, as you can first search local records and then try nationally. Often these sites will also charge you a fee, but this is refunded in many cases if no records are found or if you do not want to see all the details available but only need a list of the birth records found for a certain name and date.
Local newspapers in the state of Pennsylvania can also be a great source of information on local births, as well as deaths and marriages, as the columns of the personal pages are often filled with such family announcements. The smallest publications have their own websites, these days, which will allow you to search more recent editions for the relevant birth announcements. Older records may still be kept only in paper files, but these will be stored in indexed folders either in the newspaper offices themselves or in local libraries throughout the state of Pennsylvania. Often, information that is actually withheld from the public because of privacy reasons in the official birth records can be printed for anyone to see in the newspaper notices; details like the names of the proud parents and the towns they are from are often included in local articles, while information like this can often be hidden during searches for birth certificates and records.