Death Certificates


  In the early years of Old~Bedford, records of deaths were maintained primarily by churches. Cemetery records maintained by the churches to which the cemeteries belonged provided a means to record deaths. Death records could also be found in local newspapers. But certificates specifically for the purpose of recording a person’s death did not come into being until the 1890s.

  Between 1893 and 1905 records of deaths were maintained in the local county court houses in the same way that births were. After 1905 records of deaths began to be kept by the Bureau of Vital Statistics at New Castle, Pennsylvania.

  Applications for certified copies of death certificates for people born after 1905 are available at most court house Prothonotary’s Offices. The fee for one death certificate copy is $3. The mailing address for the Bureau of Vital Statistics is PO Box 1528, New Castle, PA 16103. Their telephone number is (724) 656-3100. You will receive a reply more quickly and easily if you note on the application form that you intend to use the information for genealogical purposes. For example, you might state that it is required for application you intend to submit to the DAR or SAR.

Bedford County Pennsylvania Archives, Volume 5
edited by James B. Whisker, 1989 (available from Closson Press)