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Local & Family History

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The Local History Room will be closed for the foreseeable future. Please speak to Reference Staff for assistance.

About

The Local & Family History room is located on the third floor of the library. This room is open Monday through Saturday. This room will close 15 minutes before the library each day.

We have three microfilm machines and three computers available for use towards genealogical research.

Printing is available from the computers and two of the microfilm machines for 25¢ per page. Copies are also available for 10¢ per page or 50¢ per page for color.

Resources

Ancestry.com Library Edition is available for anyone who is in the building.

Family Search Library offers a wide variety of online family history materials. We're a Family Search Affiliate which means when you're in the library you can log into your account and gain access to more records that may have been closed before.

Heritage Quest Online is a resource you can use from home. You will need a library card to access this resource. Contact the information desk (903)-593-7323 to get the log-in for TexShare.

Newspapers.com Texas Collection is our newest resource that will allow you to search newspapers in Texas. The Tyler Morning Telegraph is currently in development as an option on this site.

Obituary Daily Times Database is an online resource that allows you to search indexed obituaries all around the world. 

Smith County Historical Society (SCHS) Digital Archive provides access to digitized audio files.

SCHS YouTube Channel provides access to digitized historical videos. Check it out for local interviews and other local historical information.

Tyler and Smith County Newspaper Indexes are provided for free online from UT Tyler thanks to Vicki Betts. Indexes are for the Tyler Morning Telegraph (January 1930 - December 1946) and Tyler Daily Courier-Times (January 1915-December 1929). 

Partnerships & Affiliations

East Texas Genealogical Society (ETGS) is a long-standing partner organization. ETGS provides books for the local & family history collection and provides informational programs. All regular membership meetings are held at 2 p.m. on the 2nd Saturday of the month at the Library in the Taylor Auditorium.

Smith County Historical Society (SCHS) is located across the street from the library in the old Carnegie Library building. SCHS helps with research requests, assists with preservation of materials, and maintains a large archive of Smith County materials.

Collections

Highlights and popular items from our Tyler and Smith County, Texas holdings include:

  • Smith County Chronicles & Indexes
  • Cemeteries of Smith County (5 volume set)
  • Smith County Marriages (vol. I: 1846-1899, vol. II: 1900-1926)
  • Abstract District Court Minutes (1847-1857)
  • Obituaries of Tyler, Texas Newspapers (1905-1915)
  • Smith County Probate Records (1846-1880)

Rare Books

Our rare book shelves contain over 600 rare or out-of-print items about Texas, the local area and other subjects. Patrons can view these titles by speaking with staff available at the local history desk.

Some examples of materials available:

  • Biographical Souvenir of the State of Texas
  • Camp Ford
  • Local historical works
  • School annual yearbooks
    • Tyler High School
    • John Tyler High School
    • Robert E. Lee High School
    • Tyler Junior College
  • Tyler city and "Kriss Kross" directories
  • Early city and county maps

Microfilm Materials

Newspapers

The following holdings are available but not indexed:

  • Tyler Morning Telegraph: Sept. 1973, Jan. 1981 – Dec. 2018
  • Tyler Courier-Times: March 1905 - Oct. 1995
  • Early Tyler newspapers (incomplete runs): 1859 - 1935
  • Various county newspapers (Grayson, Hood, Fannin)
  • Troup Banner: Sept. 1903 - Dec. 1977
  • Texas Republican, Marshall, TX: May 1849 - June 1869
  • Lindale News: Jan. 7, 1965 - Dec. 1983

Other Microfilm

  • Federal Decennial Census (various states and years)
  • Index of Compiled Service Records of Texas Confederate Soldiers
  • Texas Almanac (various years)
  • Tax Rolls of Texas Counties (various counties and years)
  • Indices of Texas Birth and Death Records

Contact

Research requests can be made over the phone or through our Research Request form. For additional questions, please use our Ask a Librarian form.