Genealogy Resources

Collections:  PWPL collects local high school year books, Polk City Directories, cemetery directories and an array of other materials of interest to family historians.

The Marquette County Genealogical Society maintains a collection of genealogy books and other resources on the upper level of Peter White Public Library.  These materials are for in-house use only.  Genealogy volunteers collaborate with the Reference staff to host workshops in April and October of each year.  Watch for publicity on these events.

Obituary Requests:  Remote (online and by phone) Marquette Mining Journal obituary requests are $5.00 per name for up to one hour of research per name. After one hour, the charge  for research requests made remotely is $10.00 per hour.  Payment is due whether the research is successful or not.  To request an obituary email us at or call us at 906/226-4311.

Visitors:  The Reference Desk on the upper level is staffed during all regular library hours.  Staff can direct patrons to resources and get them started on the microfilm machines so they can do their own research.  Microfilm printouts are $.25 and photo-copying is $.15 per page.  Designated research computers allow all visitors access to our research databases.  Cardholders have access to full internet access stations.

Newspaper Archives:  Reference staff is available to help patrons use the microfilm and microfilm reader/printer to search archived issues of Marquette’s local newspapers.  See a complete list of titles in our microfilm collection.

Library Databases:

(online tools provided to library patrons that are not freely available through the world wide web, but can be accessed with your library bar code and PIN.)

My Heritage: New to the Michigan eLibrary in 2018, this database contains

  • More than 6 billion historical ​records from the United States, Europe, Latin America, and other regions
  • The full USA federal census (1790-1940) with images
  • Census of England and Wales (1841-1901) with images​
  • 2 billion exclusive family tree profiles from MyHeritage and Geni
  • 816 million US public records
  • Hundreds of millions of European records
  • More than 100 million gravestone photos
  • More than 80 million historical photographs
  • Military records, immigration records and passenger lists
  • Citizenship & naturalization records
  • Directories, guides, references, biographies and yearbooks
  • Government, land and court records



Sanborn Maps website provides digital access to 1793 large-scale maps of 339 Michigan towns and cities, including Lansing, Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, Traverse City and nine maps of the City of Marquette as it grew between 1884 and 1946.

Database available only within the library:

Ancestry Library Edition has approximately 4,000 databases including key collections such as U.S. Federal Census images and indexes from 1790 to 1930; the Map Center containing more than 1,000 historical maps; American Genealogical Biographical Index (over 200 volumes); Daughters of the American Revolution Lineage (over 150 volumes); The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1630; Social Security Death Index (updated monthly); WWI Draft Registration Cards; Federal Slave Narratives, and a strong Civil War collection.

FamilySearch Affiliate Library:

PWPL recently became a FamilySearch Affiliate Library. As an Affiliate Library we have access to over 2 billion digitized records, including 400 million images that are currently not available to the public outside of a FamilySearch Affiliate Library or history center. This database is the largest collection of free family history, family tree and genealogy records in the world provided by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Find the database here:

Genealogy Websites  The oldest and largest FREE genealogy site

The USGenWeb Project  Free genealogy and family history online

Cyndi’s List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet  Online starting point for genealogy searches

Index of Native American Resources on the Internet  Includes the history of tribes in each section of the country

Directory of Genealogy Libraries in the U.S. Comprehensive collection of genealogy resources by state

Genealogy Archives  List of genealogy websites, research tips, and community forum

America’s First Immigration Center Castle Garden, part of the Battery Conservancy, offers immigration records from 1820 – 1892, before Ellis Island opened

Michigan Memories provides access to collections from cultural institutions throughout the state of Michigan. These collections are created and maintained by archivists, librarians, and curators who are dedicated to the preservation of Michigan’s history and heritage.

Seeking Michigan  Includes family histories, Civil War Service Records, and Library of Michigan death records from 1897-1920

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