Research and explore your Pennsylvania genealogy and family history online with these online Pennsylvania genealogy databases, indexes and digitized records collections - many of them free!
Since September 30, 1885, marriages in Pennsylvania have been recorded by the county Clerk of the Orphans Court or the Marriage License Clerk in each PA county. For the years 1885 through 1891, the state's Department of Internal Affairs also maintained a Record of Marriages, with semi-alphabetically arranged entries for both brides and grooms. Images of these records through the year 1889 are available for free online viewing in PDF format from the Pennsylvania State Archives.
Digitized images of the pages in the Published Pennsylvania Archives series are online for free browsing and searching at Fold3.com (no subscription required for this particular collection). The entire series consists of 138 published volumes (in 10 series) of early Pennsylvania government records transcribed and printed by the Commonwealth, including military, tax, land, naturalization, marriage and baptism records, plus ship passenger lists and other items relevant to both genealogy and history in Pennsylvania.
Scanned land records, viewable online from the Pennsylvania State Archives include Warrant Registers, Copied Survey Books, Donation Lands, Indexes of Selected Original (Loose) Surveys, Depreciation Land Register and Old Rights (Index) for Philadelphia and Bucks and Chester counties.
The digital Pennsylvania Genealogy Collection online for free from the State Library of Pennsylvania includes the Pennsylvania Necrology Scrapbook of obituaries clipped from Pennsylvania newspapers between 1891 and 1904 (including many Civil War veterans) and the Harrisburg Newspaper Index with marriages and deaths from four Harrisburg area newspapers 1799 to 1827. Other free online Pennsylvania genealogy databases from the PA State Library include PA Civil War Regimental Histories and a number of digitized PA historical newspapers
Over 1.5 million Philadelphia death certificates have been indexed and made available online for free by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and thousands of volunteers. Digital images of most certificates are also online for free viewing and download, although you may have to register/login to view them.
FamilySearch has over 1.8 million names in its free online collection of Philadelphia marriage indexes. The transcribed information includes the name of the brides and grooms, along with the year of the marriage and the license number. With the license number you can obtain a copy of the original marriage licenses - marriages from 1885-1915 are available on microfilm at the Family History Library and Family History Centers, while marriages from 1916 forward can be obtained from the Philadelphia City Hall.
The Pittsburgh Press and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette are just two of the major Pennsylvania newspapers available online for free in digitized format from Google News Archive. The search function for the older Pittsburgh papers is terrible, so don't by any means rely on a surname search to find ancestors. If you can locate a death date from a tombstone or other death record, then directly browse the papers from the prior few days page by page for your ancestors. You can often find an index on the first page of each paper with the issue page number for "obituaries" and/or "death notices."
More: Google News Archive Tips for Genealogists