This week was a popular week for online vital records to be released to the public for both Pennsylvania and Michigan. The State of Michigan Archives has copies of Michigan death certificates from 1897 to 1939 online for free at www.SeekingMichigan.org, having just this week added 1921 to 1939.
The big news in Pennsylvania research is that the Pennsylvania birth certificates from 1906 (the beginning of state records) to 1908 (privacy law of 105 years) are now available online. Each year a new year will be added to online access but this is the release of the first batch.
Quoting from the state website, for Birth Certificates, 1906-1909 and Death Certificates, 1906-1964, it says:
“Original birth certificates for 1906-1909 and death certificates for 1906-1964 are available at the State Archives. Digital copies of the 1906-1964 death certificates may be found on www.ancestry.com. Pennsylvania residents can access these records free of charge through Ancestry.com Pennsylvania.” We can now add that digital copies of the 1906-1909 birth certificates may be found through the same portals.
For Pennsylvania birth records from 1909 to current, you still have to get them from the state of Pennsylvania, be one of the eligible requestors, and send $20 per certified certificate. Note that these records do not fall under the “Right to Know” law requests.
Pennsylvania death records were released last year in grouped batches through the same portals and now cover the maximum allowed by law–from 1906 through 1964. Copies of other years ( 1965 to current) can be requested for $9.
Now that an access system for both birth and death certificates has been established, look for new records to be added online each year as the privacy period (50 years for deaths and 105 years for births) moves with each new year.
Learn more about how find and use genealogical records through one of the courses offered at GRIP this summer!