Pittsburgh and Allegheny County

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The missing image on familysearch.org and the Pennsylvania, Births and Christenings, 1709-1950

The missing image on familysearch.org and the Pennsylvania, Births and Christenings, 1709-1950.

Where is that missing image on familysearch.org? Well, I hope to give a step-by-step details of where to find the missing image on familysearch.org, and how to obtain it.

First, going back to my previous discussion in Saving a Citation & Editing A Source Citation. I am going back to my illustration of Andrew Byerly, "Pennsylvania, Births and Christenings, 1709-1950,".

 Now, where do I get the missing image for this record in Allegheny County. Well for this you can get it at the Carnegie Library in person or by mail.

Please see Allegheny County Birth and Death Records 1870-1905.

Allegheny County Birth and Death Records 1870-1905
In June, 2006, the microfiche for the following Birth and Death Registers* were transferred from the Allegheny County Offices to the Pennsylvania Department of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh:

Birth Registers

  • City of Pittsburgh (1870-1905)
  • Allegheny City (1885-October, 1907)
  • Allegheny County (1893-1905)
  • McKeesport (1892-1905)
  • Sewickley (1896-1905)
  • Wilkinsburg (1899-1905)
*Registers are written entries, not certificates. Birth Certificates are state-issued and are not available for dates prior to 1906.
After 1906 birth certificates are available from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Division of Vital Records in New Castle, PA.

The non-refundable fee for search and copy of a Birth register will be:
One name searched:$5
Additional names:$4 each
Maximum number of names per request including first request:4
($17 total maximum payment)

Checks or Money Orders should be made out to:
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.
Visa or MasterCard may be used for charge payments. Please include card number, expiration date, name on the card and zip code.
Please send a letter with the names and/or birth/death dates to:
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania Department, Records Research
4400 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213
Letters are answered in the order in which they are received. Due to the volume of requests, response time may be 4-6 weeks. SASE is not required.

However for this record, since it is a familysearch.org record, you can get it by using what is called the Photoduplication Service. This is a birth and christening record. How does this differ from what you order from the Carnegie Library? That's a good question for resident expert Suzanne M Johnston. I'm sure she could better elaborate on the difference of these records on familysearch and what you order from the Carnegie Library.

What is the Photoduplication Service?

Read more about it here:
Now you should read the following:
Policy Change for Patrons Requesting Photocopies From the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah


Now with all that read, you should have a better understanding of what you can get and what you cannot.

Now click the above green Photoduplication Request Form button.

If you have a FREE user account at familysearch.org, it will ask you to sign in.

Now sign in with your familysearch account info.

Then you will be directed to a single request duplication form.

As you can see from the above illustration, I have filled in the box, and you would you fill in your own information and email address.

Here is a rendition of how I filled in this form:

However the above is limited to one request at a time.

UPDATE: 14 Aug 2014
"The old Qualtrics form is no longer valid.  All Photoduplication Request must now be submitted on a new form.  The form is located on line:


By using this form it will enable us to process request in a more timely manor. Please be aware that there is a limit of 5 requests submitted in a 30 day period.    

Thank you,   

It is wise to figure out which requests you want to make first, and follow through and do them one a time. I make a short list so, I do not re-duplicate a previous request. You can submit up to and including five requests per month. You don't want to waste one of them.
Now, going back to the record of Andrew Byerly, I fill the information in as follows:


The FHL microfilm number is located here.

The Item Call Number: Indexing Project (Batch) Number: C00659-4 , System Origin: Pennsylvania-ODM , GS Film number: 499270 

Name of Individual: Andrew Byerly

Title of record or book, name of parents, spouse, grantor, grantee author, and so on: "Pennsylvania, Births and Christenings, 1709-1950," index, Philip Byerly, Martha Byerly.

Event Type: Fill in the box with the appropriate abbreviation.
B = Birth
M = Marriage
D = Death
Bu = Burial
C = Christening

Complete Event Date (if applicable): 30 Oct 1877

Complete Event Place: Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania

Parish and Volume Number: For Church and/or England Records

Registration, page number, or item number: Here I use the GS Film number: 499270

Now after careful review, you can clearly see I properly filled out the photoduplication request form that will enable a familysearch.org volunteer find the record I am looking for, and email it to me.

Although, they state 4-6 weeks for delivery, it may only take a few days depending upon the load of requests that they are receiving at any given time.

Now what does Andrew Byerly's missing image look like?

Now for an enlargement.

Now, going back to https://familysearch.org/search

"Pennsylvania, Births and Christenings, 1709-1950,"

I searched the surname Byerly.

Birthplace: Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA

Checking the boxes for an exact match.


I now have the results, and narrowed it down to 12 exact matches.

Going back once again, since I know of transcription errors in the spelling of Byerly.

I try all possible combinations, etc.

I come up with two additional relatives.

Now, I have personally used this for:
*"Pennsylvania, Births and Christenings, 1709-1950" - SUCCESS;

"Pennsylvania, Marriages, 1709-1940" - SUCCESS;

"Illinois, Cook County, Birth Registers 1781-1915" - SUCCESS;

"Illinois, Cook County Birth Certificates, 1878-1938" - SUCCESS;

"England Birth and Christenings, 1538-1975" - SUCCESS;

"England Deaths and Burials, 1538-19912 - SUCCESS;

Michigan, Death Certificates, 1921-1952 - FAILED*;

* I tried this for several Michigan Death Certificates between 1921-1952  on 4 Apr 2014, and all requests failed. They ranged in various dates between 1921 to 1934. Regardless of what another blogger may say, or other online sources talk about. Those are merely rumors. It was a failed attempt! Why waste your time.

New Michigan vital records online 

FamilySearch.org adds online collection of Michigan Death Certificates, 1921-1952.  According to their website, this new addition is a name index and images of death records from the Michigan Department of Community Health, Division for Vital Records and Health Statistics in Lansing.
This valuable addition to Michigan research came online in late April, but for the present, no images are available - only the name index with basic information regarding parents, age and date of death, and location.  Eventually, the death certificate images are due to be added to the site.  Search this collection at : https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1968532


England Births and Christenings, and the England Deaths and Burials should NOT be confused with, nor do they replace the actual England Birth Certificates or England Death Certificates; which are the actual certificates that you locate using the FREE BMD, and order from the GRO.

The General Register Office is part of Her Majesty's Passport Office and oversees civil registration in England and Wales. We maintain the national archive of all births, marriages and deaths dating back to 1837 and further information on our services can be found using the links shown below.
Certificate ordering service

Now, a little further along, Andrew Byerly died in Michigan.

I can search the "Michigan, Death Certificates, 1921-1952"


I search surname Byerly.
Now I have my search results.
Now, I click on Andrew Byerly.

Now, you can clearly see their is no image. Yet, However, you really need to pay particular attention....

Always, read the "About this collection", it will tell you how to obtain an image for any given record collection on familysearch.org. 

In this specific case. The "Michigan, Death Certifcates , 1921-1952" can only be ordered through:

The State of Michigan Vital Records Office 

or through the county where the death occurred.

Since the death occurred in Wayne County, Michigan the records are available from:
Wayne County Clerk's office

Wayne County Michigan Birth Certificates

Wayne County Michigan Death Certificates

You can also read more about it at:
The Detroit Public Library

Resources at the Detroit Public Library:

Research Requests:

For an Obituary or Death Notice search, please download the

One of the features of the Detroit Public Library is the
Wayne County Death Record Index

An index to original records held at the Burton Historical Collection, Detroit Public Library.  These records do not include deaths that occurred within the City of Detroit.  All indexes compiled by Ruth McMahon.
To order a copy of a death record, please complete the form below.  Cost per death record is $15.00, payable by check or money order.  Please allow 1-2 weeks for processing.  For questions, please call (313) 481-1401 or email bhc@detroitpubliclibrary.org

I have had several deaths fall in the "Michigan Death Certificates, 1921-1952" collection. Yet, for the cost per person, and the relationship of the ancestor in my tree, and their relationship to me would be a determining factor as to how much I would be willing to spend for records. 

But a simple email to the library for just the date of death for one person became worthwhile for me, as it helped me connect to another ancestry.com user also researching the same ancestors. Yes, we are now friends and exchange information. We are related to each other by a common person in our trees, but we are not kin so to speak.

For Michigan Deaths 1897-1920 go to
Seeking Michigan

Click on advanced search for 1897-1920 Death Certificates:
You can search the death records by clicking on “Advanced Search” at the top right corner of any page. This button drops down a menu that you can use to search by name, county, death year, etc. If you are having trouble searching the death records please read our guide.
I search surname Byerly. 

And now looking down the list, I find Philip Byerly, Andrew Byerly's father.


Okay, now from his death certificate he is buried at Woodmere Cemetery in Detroit, Michigan.
Which I then proceeded to try to search:
I came up empty. Now after a few phone calls, one to the cemetery that had no record of his burial, and one to the Woodmere Cemetery Research site.
Then I tried a variation of the spelling. Byarly, instead of Byerly. I finally came up with Philip Byerly's info! This site is not forgiving. You have to search both surname, and given name. You cannot leave the first name blank to search only the surname.
Now once again a comparison of marriage record searches.

First I search surname Byerly for both:

"Pennsylvania, Marriages, 1709-1940",


Now for this set I have 19 results, and clearly know my family, so I know which is important, and which is not.

"Pennsylvania, County Marriages, 1885-1950",

What I did was a comparison of what was available in the search of one record collection against the other which may have the image available.

Now for the second record collection I have the results, and narrow it down by going through the 6 pages to decide which I want to look at, which has images, etc.

Then going back to the previous collection. I can determine if any of those are not listed on the first collection, and which ones I would use a one of my requests for the photoduplication service.

Well, I thought I would try add a little more information, as I am going by my experiences, and knowing what actually works and what doesn't. I only write about what I have tried and have gotten results from. I will NOT write about something as I am working on "as a work in progress". That would not be very beneficial for either of us, especially it if was a failed attempt. I want to gain your trust by what I write. I don't want to waste my readers time.

A brief note, and thank you to Jim Catanzaro for giving me insight on this subject. I posted a message and tried to obtain a two copies of two records some time ago on the Chicago Genealogy FB group. I was originally re-directed by another user to a research site called http://www.genlighten.com/. Of course, this was her site, and services.

I almost made the mistake of paying for, the same images that I obtained for free!

One additional thought. Don't ever be so exact on a name in your searches. As you clearly have seen, there are numerous transcriptions and variations of the name Byerly.

If you are going by a date of birth for an individual. Don't ignore the obvious or the improbable of someone going by a different name. My grand uncle changed his name for whatever reason whether it was legal or not. One of my difficulties in finding him when I was originally tracing him the first time around. Think outside the box!

I just saved $15.00 using the photoduplication service!

The photoduplication runs on a 30 day schedule, and does not automatically renew at the beginning of each month. If you make more than the 5 requests using the photoduplication from familysearch, you will get the following message:

"Thank you for your confidence in FamilySearch. As posted in FamilySearch/WIKI, there is a limit of five (5) requests per 30-day period. This request is in excess of that. Thank you, FamilySearch Support Photoduplication".

Please note, that the photoduplication runs on a 30 day period.

Photoduplication does not automatically renew at the beginning of each month!!!!

Make your requests wisely. Suggestion is to make your next request 30 days after submitting your 5th request. (5 images). One image per request. Not five requests for 25 images.

UPDATE: 14 Aug 2014
"The form you used is no longer valid.  All Photoduplication Request must now be submitted on a new form.  The form is located on line:


By using this form it will enable us to process request in a more timely manor. Please be aware that there is a limit of 5 requests submitted in a 30 day period.    

Thank you,   
Until next time,
Sincerely yours,
Allegheny Ancestry & Genealogy Trails

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