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.)

HeritageQuestOnline (use this link from home)  or HeritageQuestOnline (in the Library)
This database includes all of the images and extensive indexing from the 1790 – 1930 U.S. federal censuses.  It offers more than 22,000 digitized book titles, including early family histories and local histories.  Additionally, there are more than 250 primary source documents such as tax lists, city directories, probate records and more.  It also includes Periodical Source Index (PERSI), Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Application Files, the Freedman’s Bank Records, and the U.S. Serial Set Private Relief Actions, Memorials and Petitions.  HeritageQuestOnline is provided by the statewide Michigan e-Library (MeL).  Free access is available via both home and library internet connections.  Log-on from home using either your library card or Michigan drivers license.

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.

Databases 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.

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  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

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

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