Documentation from PA

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matei
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Documentation from PA

Postby matei » 05 May 2011, 15:21

Hi all,

I've got almost all the dates I need in order to start gathering docs from various sources to start my claim via JS, however I have hit a bureaucratic wall. Not insurmountable, but just annoying... and it isn't even with the Italian authorities, rather the Pennsylvanian ones!

The state of Pennsylvania apparently has some rather restrictive rules regarding to whom they'll release birth and death certificates. Does anyone here have any experience dealing with them?

In my case, I need to request death records for my GGF and GGM, who passed away in Pennsylvania some time in the '40s or '50s. I attempted to order them myself, but some jobsworth office drone informed me that I can't, at the most I can be an extended family member with a direct relation. Apparently great-grandchild is too extended.

I asked if my grandmother, who would've been their daughter-in-law, could request them - and they said no, as she isn't directly related... but her son, who would've been their grandchild, could.

Is that true?!?!

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johnnyonthespot
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Re: Documentation from PA

Postby johnnyonthespot » 05 May 2011, 15:36

Tell them to look at their own website:

http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/se ... ates/14121

Who May Request a Birth Certificate?

Only certain people can request a birth certificate. You must be:

    Person named on the birth certificate, who is 18 years of age or older (if under 18, immediate family member must apply)

    Legal representative

    Husband / wife

    Parent / step-parent*

    Brother / sister / half-brother / half-sister
    Son / daughter / stepson* / stepdaughter*

    Grandparent / great grandparent (specify maternal or paternal)

    Grandchild / great grandchild

    Power of Attorney (for person named on birth certificate or immediate family member listed above)



http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/se ... ates/14122

Who May Request a Death Certificate?

Only certain people can request a death certificate. You must be:

    Legal representative of decedent's estate

    Immediate family member

    Extended family member who indicates a direct relationship to the decedent

    Power of Attorney (Please note that a Power of Attorney document is no longer valid upon the death of the individual)

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Re: Documentation from PA

Postby johnnyonthespot » 05 May 2011, 16:19

Well, upon further review, it does appear that Pennsylvania limits availability of death certificates to only the 3rd generation - grandchildren.

You may have no choice but to seek a court order to compel release. Before taking that approach however, contact Pennsylvania vital records again and ask to speak with a supervisor. Tell him/her why you need the document (believe me, at this point everyone is aware of people seeking dual citizenship) and ask what would be necessary to get the documents you need.

As bad as this may be, consider that it is even worse in New York State where death certificates can be obtained only by the spouse, parent, or child of the deceased.
Carmine

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matei
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Re: Documentation from PA

Postby matei » 05 May 2011, 18:40

Thanks for the helpful replies.

I'll see if I can get in touch with them, explain the situation and perhaps they'll allow my grandmother (the deceased daughter-in-law) to obtain said documents.

I live in England... so I don't know how I would be able to arrange a court order from over here, but it is worth keeping in mind I guess.

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Re: Documentation from PA

Postby zsnyder » 05 May 2011, 20:18

I had no problems ordering a copy of my great grandfather's death certificate from PA.

I used http://www.vitalchek.com/ rather than mailing a request form.

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Re: Documentation from PA

Postby johnnyonthespot » 05 May 2011, 20:39

zsnyder wrote:I had no problems ordering a copy of my great grandfather's death certificate from PA.

I used http://www.vitalchek.com/ rather than mailing a request form.


Did you cheat? I tried creating an order at Vitalchek choosing a random city and date of birth (I tried one in 1909 - more than 100 years back - and another in 1950). Eventually you reach this:

Who Can Order?
To order certified copies of Pennsylvania death certificates, the eligible applicant must be the legal representative of the decedent's estate, a member of the decedent's immediate family (spouse, parent, sibling, child, grandparent or grandchild), or an extended family member who can establish a direct relationship to the decedent.


and on the next screen, the drop down relationship selector does not include Great-grandchild as an option.

Of course, the original poster is in England. Are they going to chase after him if he mistakenly claims to be a grandchild of the deceased? :wink:
Carmine

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Re: Documentation from PA

Postby zsnyder » 05 May 2011, 20:57

I don't recall cheating when ordering the form.

I do recall an agent calling a week or so after I had placed the order as she couldn't find him in the system (I only had the year of death and location). We discussed the issue for a bit and she still couldn't find him. However the certificate arrived in the mail three days later.

johnnyonthespot wrote:Of course, the original poster is in England. Are they going to chase after him if he mistakenly claims to be a grandchild of the deceased? :wink:


:wink:

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Re: Documentation from PA

Postby johnnyonthespot » 05 May 2011, 21:05

I have to say, I do find this wording curious:

To order certified copies of Pennsylvania death certificates, the eligible applicant must be the legal representative of the decedent's estate, a member of the decedent's immediate family (spouse, parent, sibling, child, grandparent or grandchild), or an extended family member who can establish a direct relationship to the decedent.


Doesn't this effectively include everyone down to great-great-great-great-great-great-...-grandchildren?
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