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Local and Family History

270.442.2510 ext 124 | 866.829.7532 ext 124 |

The Local and Family History room is located on the first floor of our library. The collection focuses on Kentucky, the Jackson Purchase region, surrounding counties, and states which relate to Kentucky migration, including Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Southern Illinois.

More than 4,000 books are included in our collection; titles are added continually. You may search for books through our online card catalog.

Other research materials include online database subscriptions, microfilm, microfiche, CDs, periodicals, journals, subject and family files, photographs, and archives. The McCracken County Genealogical-Historical Society collection is housed in our room at the library.

Databases and Research Tools

  • Ancestry Library Edition available at the library only.
  • Heritage Quest

    Comprehensive treasury of American genealogical sources—rich in unique primary sources, local and family histories, and finding aids.

  • Fold3

    Provides convenient access to US military records, including the stories, photos, and personal documents of the men and women who served.

  • Kentucky Sanborn Insurance Maps

    Provides digital access to more than 660,000 large-scale maps of more than 12,000 American towns and cities.

  • World Vital Records

    Search over 5 billion Family History and Genealogy records, and 28 million family trees. Access key collections: U.S. Federal Census images and indexes from 1790 to 1940; military records; 1 billion newspaper articles; unique, exclusive local and world collections.



  • The Digital Collection

    View our collection of digitized images, audio files, and documents.

  • Genealogy Collection

    Includes family histories, periodicals, brith and death indexes, and more.

  • Local History Collection

    Includes the Irvin S Cobb and Mary Wheeler Collections, as well as subject files, city directories, newspapers, biographies, and more.

  • Family History Collection

    Includes public and staff research on various surnames common to the area. Click to view the list of names in our catalog.

  • Census Records

  • Subscriptions to AncestryLibrary, World Vital Records and HeritageQuest

  • Entire U. S. census 1790-1940 on microfilm
  • Kentucky and Southern Illinois Descriptions of enumeration districts
  • All states 1830-1870
  • Kentucky and selected states 1880-1920
  • Kentucky slave schedules 1850 and 1860
  • Index books and microfilm
  • Index books (Search our catalog)
  • Individual states and counties for various years
  • Kentucky tax lists (census substitutes) 1790-1800
  • Kentucky index books 1810-1870
  • Kentucky 1850 census transcribed
  • Kentucky mortality schedules 1850 and 1860
  • Civil War Records

  • The Civil War Collection includes general resources on the history of the civil war, pension lists, official records, photographic histories, reports, and more. The collection also contains personal letters and journals from soldiers in the area. The department also houses the full transcripts and case records of the court marshall proceedings for Brig. Gen. E. A. Paine in 1865. 

  • Related Links: Kentucky Civil War Pensions Online Books 

  • War of the Rebellion Official Records of Union and Confederate Armies 

  • The Confederate Veteran 1893-1932, with index 

  • Kentucky Adjutant General's Report Veterans of Jackson Purchase Counties 

  • 1890 Veterans Census 

  • The Official Military Atlas of the Civil War 

  • Confederate Pensioners of Kentucky 

  • Other Resources:

  • Personal letters and journals 

  • Gen. Lloyd Tilghman resources 

  • Complete case and transcripts of the court marshall case of Brigadeer General E. A. Paine in 1865.


The Digital Collection

Feaures of the Digital Collection:

The Mary Wheeler Collection, Paducah postcards, Oral histories, Images from Paducah's past, and more...

Click here to access The Digital Collection.