Burial & Transit Permits,

Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne Co., PA,

31 Aug 1889-31 Dec 1907

by Patty Thoma Matthews


Sandra Catina Panzitta

 Have you ever wondered what happened to those "other children" from the 1910 census? The report says that a woman had 6-7 children, but only 2-3 were living at the time of the 1910 census. Here's a chance to find those lost relatives from WILKES-BARRE CITY between 1889 and 1907.  Sandra Panzitta and I were fortunate enough, with the help of Wilkes-Barre City Clerk, Jim Ryan, to locate these records. Over the past year, we scanned, renamed, researched and uploaded them onto this web page, so that they could be made free to the public.

Each page has an A-Z index on the bottom. You can just click on a letter and go directly to those surnames. There is also a link on each page to take you back to the home page so you can switch from Burial Permits to Transit Permits. We hope to have a search box in the near future.  GOOD LUCK!

A special thanks to Barbie Shafer and Mike Lizonitz for their help.

A Supplement to the City Ordinance entitled “Health”

This is collection of nearly 16,000 scans of Wilkes-Barre City burial and transit permits dating from August 31, 1889 to December 30, 1907.

Undertakers or those in charge of burials no longer were able to bury the deceased without a death certificate issued by the Clerk of City Council. Hefty fines were levied for not following this new ordinance in a timely manner.

These permits are not limited to Wilkes-Barre residents. A permit was still necessary if a death occurred outside the City, but burial was in a Wilkes-Barre cemetery. Considering several hospitals were located in Wilkes-Barre, many residents of the Wyoming Valley are included in this collection.

In the case of burial outside City limits, a transit burial permit would be issued. The information provided is identical to a standard burial permit.

Around 1892, the Wilkes-Barre Record and the Wilkes-Barre Times began publishing a monthly mortality report based on information gleaned from these certificates. The newspapers’ reports varied from month to month, sometimes including address, place of burial of cause of death. However, the City Clerk’s certificate usually was completely filled out - including name, age, place of death, cause of death, place of burial and in the case of a minor, the parents’ names. To whom the certificate was issued and who certified the death was also included. In the case of stillborn children, usually a parent obtained the certificate.

We acknowledge names are misspelled and the handwriting is difficult to read. Please keep an open mind when searching for your ancestor. In striving for accuracy and ease of use, the permits have been proofed and sources such as city directories, cemetery records, obituaries, newspaper mortality lists and the 1880 census were used to determine the spelling of a name or first name when just initials were provided.

A special thank you to the volunteers at Northeast Pennsylvania Genealogical Society for transcribing the monthly mortality lists as published in the Wilkes-Barre Record, and to members of The_Courthouse_Gang on Yahoo, for transcribing nearly 80 years of the Wilkes-Barre Record Almanacs and the Wilkes-Barre City Cemetery Records, making them freely accessible to the public. These transcriptions greatly aided the proofing process.

To report errors or broken links, please click this CORRECTIONS link, and I will tend to them in a timely manner. Please indicate the type of permit,  "BURIAL" or "TRANSIT" CORRECTION, in the subject line, or the message will be sent to my SPAM folder.

Under NO circumstances may ANY of these permits be uploaded to "FIND A GRAVE".

Burial Permits
Transit Permits

© 2014