Local and Family History

Contact Us:

McCracken County Public Library
Local and Family History
555 Washington St.
Paducah, KY 42001


270.442.2510 ext. 139 
866.829.7532 ext. 139 (Toll Free)




  • 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.

Digital Collections

Explore digitized images, documents, oral histories, videos, and more.  Featured collections include The Mary Wheeler Collection, Paducah postcards, and newspapers and documents from area schools.

Access the Digital Collections.


Search the library's closed archives for descriptions of items and collections, as well as information about accessing these materials.

Search the archives.

Local and Family History Blog

Read curious stories from the interesting history of Paducah and the Jackson Purchase.

Read it here.

Genealogy Collection

Includes family histories, periodicals, birth 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.

African-American History

Explore biographies famous African-American people and landmarks in Paducah's history, as well as the history of the 8th of August Emancipation Celebration.

Learn more here.

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.