BIRTHS 1 JULY 1860 - 30 JUNE 1915
Records from 1860-1904 include child's name, sex and race, date and place of birth, full name of father and mother's first name, father's occupation, name and address of doctor or midwife making report. Records from 1904-1915 add mother's maiden name and occupation, age and place of birth of both parents, and birth number of the child.
DEATHS 1803 - 30 JUNE 1915
Records from 1803-30 June 1860 (known as "Cemetery Returns") contain name and age of decedent, date and cause of death, and doctor's name. These are arranged by cemetery. Records from 1 July 1860-1905 adds marital status and race, place of birth and occupation, name of cemetery and date of interment, and parents' names for minor children only. Records from 1906-1915 adds date of birth of decedent, parents' names and parents' places of birth.
MARRIAGES 1 JULY 1860 - 30 DECEMBER 1885
Records give date of marriage, names of bride and groom, ages and race, generic places of residence and birth, minister's name and address, and denomination of marriage performed.
Note: The City Archives also has microfilm of marriage licenses issued by the Marriage License Bureau from 1 October 1885 - 30 December 1915. These records contain more detailed information.
NATURALIZATIONS 1794 - 1930
Information might include generic place of origin, approximate age at time of declaration, name of voucher, port and year of entry. Some records are more detailed than others. Records are scattered through seven different city and county courts. The petitions between 1794 and 1880 for all courts except the Quarter Session Court are indexed as part of the general W.P.A. Index of Naturalizations, republished as Philadelphia Naturalization Records. There is a separate index of Quarter Session Court petitions available at the City Archives. There are no petitions filed in any city or county court between 1906 and 1914.
DEEDS 1683 - 1863
Deeds often connect family members in their recitals, especially in matters of partition of estates, family members selling amongst one another, or in the settlement of an estate.
CITY DIRECTORIES 1785 - 1930, 1935
City Directories are an alphabetical listing of residents giving name, residence and occupation. These are generally published annually about the beginning of each year. The information is current as of October of the preceding year.
The following offices in the City of Philadelphia have established new
: Philadelphia City Archives
Vital Records: Birth and death certificates, $9.00 per certificate and/or for each three-month period searched; marriage registration, $9.00 and/or for each three-month period searched; Naturalization certificates, $5.00; cemetery returns, $5.00. They have also set a minimum search fee of $32.00 per hour with an $8.00 charge for each additional 15-minute block for non-vital record research. Records may be searched in person by any individual wishing to do so.
Register of Wills
A fee of $3.00 per will or administration record has been set to view a document or file. If the will or administration record being viewed is for the searcher's own family research (or if the searcher is a lawyer), three wills or administration records may be viewed without charge. Copies of documents cost $2.00 per page.
Clerk of Orphans' Court
Indexes may be searched in person for free. A person may also view three marriage applications and licenses at no charge. After the third application and license is seen, it costs $5.00 to view each additional record. Copies of application and license (combined) are $10.00. This information is current as of 1 October 1993.
Subj: Organizing information
Dear fellow researchers,
Many of you probably share the problem of having numerous gaps of information on your key relatives. This gap can slow down or even halt research on the particular family. I have recently been working on my master notebook of "unfound" information. Here I have used dividers to separate each branch of the family in question. I have a family page in each section which lists all known emigration info such as date of arrival, ship on, point of departure,etc. I use this info to establish patterns, especially in points of departure.
Due to the lack of a ship passenger list for NYC prior to 1897, I have
found it essential to try and use naturalization information from later
arrivals by children and/ or siblings to determine pre 1897 dates. This
is a hit or miss proposition, but it helps to narrow down your search via
I have used my unfound notebook to establish which relatives would have
been old enough to register for the WWI draft. I have also scoured my
notebook for missing death certificates. Those are fairly easy as you can
refer to your poloroid photo of the tombstone for the date of death, if its
inscribed on the stone.
Thus, it is helpful to go through your family tree notes per each
individual. I happen to have all "found" information in separate family
binders. As you leaf through it, you can say to yourself, o.k. here is
great aunt tillie, female so forget the draft, do I have a social security
# for her. If so, did I get her social security application yet? You can
find great uncle Harry and say,o.k. I have his age unverified and he could
have been eligable for WWI draft registration, so I'll jot that down. I
have his death certificate which lists his social security # but I forgot
to send away for his social security application. I'll jot that down too.
As we accumulate more information on relatives, it can become a
daunting task to efficiently assimilate, sort and analyze all the
information. Not to mention scanning to see where the information can be
cross referenced to help with a problem sibling. It can be beneficial to
periodically just sit back and go over what you DO have, to determine what
you don't have. Happy hunting.
James Gross e-mail:LARKLANE@JUNO.COM
Date: Tue, 31 Jan 1995
Subject: PHILA VOTER REGISTRATION
This is a public reply to a recent inquiry. As the info can help everyone, I am posting it... For those seeking info on relatives who were living til about 1989, you can try to get a copy of their voter registration record. I understand that the records are supposed to be thrown out when they are 5 years old. But I was also told that the Phila office hasn't actually gotten around to throwing out the 1989 records. Thus, records exist for 1989-present.
I suggest people send an inquiry even if their relative was around til 1987. You should send the letter to:
Attn: Records Dept
520 North Delaware Ave
Include a SASE and your relatives name , date of birth, and last known address. If a record exists, they will tell you. You then need to send $6.00 to get a copy of it.
I've personally had mixed results with this office.
James Gross, LARKLANE@JUNO.COM
Historical Society of Pennsylvania: Date: Fri, 15 Mar 1996
Subject: Historical Soc of Penna:
Dear Jewishgenners, This post is of primary interest to those in the greater Phila/South Jersey area. At a recent JGS of Phila meeting, a speaker from the Historical Society of Penna gave a brief lecture on its holdings. I have used this facility several times in the past and have found useful Phila area cemetary films, as well as older Phila area newspapers on film.
But, I was astonished to learn that they also possess a copy of immigrant arrival cards for Phila. I just came from the facility and I want you to know that these films, the immigrant arrival cards, can be very helpful for research. They are listed alphabetically by surname. The first name seems to be the persons hebrew name. Most important, the persons shtetyl of origin is listed. I was able to round up a previously unknown STEINBERG this way. My Steinberg is from Panevezys,Lith which is close to Slobodka,Lith. I also found a Neubauer for my colleague Selma Neubauer.
I spent 3 hours there and was only able to get to about 3 surnames as I deliberately went thru the films very slowly. Next time I will take my Bausch & Lomb magnifier as the names are hard to read. I recommend that anyone in the Phila area check out these films! If possible, come armed with your relatives Hebrew/Yiddish first names.
Historical Society of Penna 1300 Locust St Phila,Pa Tue,Thurs,Fri 9-5 Wed 1-9
Public transportation: High speed line via Patco at 12-13th street exit.
Shared by James Gross