Some PA birth and death records can now be searched online.  PA birth records from 1906 only and death records from 1906-1961 that are public records can be searched.  Birth records become public after 105 years; death records become public after 50 years.  Records include the PA state file number that is required to apply for a non-certified copy of a birth or death certificate.

Birth Indices 1906 only

Death Indices 1906-1961

The U.S. National Archives has released the 1940 census online where you can view and share 1940 census records for free.  Though the 1940 census is not yet searchable by name, you can use census maps, descriptions and other finding tools to locate your family.    Names as they become indexed can be searched at

U.S. Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System Learn basic facts about serviemen who served on both the Union and Confederate sides during the U.S. Civil War. Search by name or browse by regiment in this site maintained by the U.S. National Parks Service.

U.S. Civil War and Later Veterans Pension Benefits Find a soldier or browse by regiment through index cards for pension applications of veterans who served in the U.S. Army between 1861 and 1900, including wars other than the U.S. Civil War.  Site allows a quick look at a record.  Records also may be purchased.

Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War Grave Database Search for the gravesites of Union veterans by name, regiment, and cemetery location.