Search for your ancestors using this interactive directory of the best free genealogy search engines. Search top world-wide & specialized genealogy databases from one genealogy search site! The Ancestor Search site also has unique custom genealogy search engines found no where else.
Getting started searching for a Pennsylvania Ancestor:
Begin by recording what you know about your family tree. Start with yourself, and enter as much information as you know. You can
build a FREE Family Tree Online You can also find free genealogy software and printable family trees at
Genealogy Freebies to help record your information.
Vital records — birth, marriage and divorce, and death — are the foundations of genealogical research.
Genealogy records at Ancestry.com will also provide additional clues.
Division of Vital Records
State Department of Health
101 South Mercer Street
P.O. Box 1528
New Castle, PA 16103
Birth (since 1906) $4.00; Death (since 1906) $3.00
Marriage: Marriage License Clerks, County Court House, in county where license was issued. Cost varies
Divorce: Prothonotary, Court House, in county seat of county where divorce was granted. Cost varies.
Ancestor Search directory of hundreds of searchable genealogy databases that can help fill in the blanks on your family tree. Be aware that not all genealogy information is available online. If your names are not found in an online database, you may have to do some research offline. Try the
Pennsylvania State Archives
Harrisburg, PA 17108-1026
If you do not know much about an ancestor, you may need to do additional research on his or her children first. For example:
If you do not know when your ancestor was married, the birth date of the first child may give you the approximate time frame needed to search for the marriage records.
If you do not know where your ancestor lived, finding the birthplace of the children may provide a clue.
Collaborate with other genealogists researching the same families. You can search for them at the Pennsylvania
Surname List database.
Military records are an often overlooked source to obtain vital records. Learn how to send away to the National Archives for military service and pension records at
Send to NARA for military records.
For additional help and detailed instructions for tracing ancestors, go to