Death Certificate Requests

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After yesterday’s blog, I started rethinking what information I had on the individuals. I had been focused on finding the passenger lists for them and had completely over looked the death certificate information.


Logging on I searched for McKean County’s death certificates and found that I could purchase them through Vital Check. Vital Check allows you to request copies of death, birth, marriage and other records. This seemed like a good idea until I entered information and landed on the fees page. I knew there was a reason I hadn’t obtained death information this way before. The 9 dollar county fee was expanded to 41 dollars by the time extra fees and charges were added.


If you do a search for the county that a person dies in you can usually find information on purchasing copies of the death records. With a stamped self addressed envelope and a form or 2 and a copy of your driver’s license or formal ID you can save a lot of money with a little effort.


From 1906 on death certificates were no longer kept at the local county seats. You will be able to order other types of records in this same manner, including birth and marriage records. The cheapest way to get them is by going to the appropriate courthouse and requesting, although logistically this isn’t always possible. The death certificates after 1906 for McKean County in Pennsylvania are now at New Castle, Pennsylvania. All of the ones that I will be requesting are dated after 1939.


Hopefully the person filling out the death certificates had better knowledge of the individual than the person that wrote the family history. I should be able to get birth dates for both of my great grandparents, something that I do not have. I am curious to see where they have stated that my grandfather was born, I have Tourning, France which from google searches, doesn’t exist. For 27 dollars I can have 3 individual death records and still save money over Vital Check.



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