Genealogy and Local History

NEW! Lake County Register and Star (1857-1938) added to online obituary index

Genealogy at the Library

Griffith Elementary Class 1904

The Lake County Public Library Indiana Room and Genealogy Room (located at the Merrillville branch) include both local history and genealogy resources. The emphasis of the collection is on Lake County, but also includes nearby counties such as Porter and LaPorte.

Reference materials for states from which settlers migrated to Indiana and many general genealogy reference resources are also available. You will find the Genealogy Room on the main level behind the information desk, and the Indiana Room on the upper level.

The Indiana Room hours are:

Griffith Railroad Crossing circa 1900

The Genealogy Room is open during regular library hours. We also offer a variety of genealogy classes throughout the year.

Indiana Magazine of History

The Indiana Magazine of History (IMH) is one of the nation's oldest historical journals, published since 1905. Thanks to a grant, free access to this scholarly journal is available for all but the two most recent years of publication.

Read historic newspapers and other documents in our Genealogy Room

Lake County Marriage Records

Over 200,000 Lake County Courthouse marriage records are available via FamilySearch.org. The entries in this database are photos of the original marriage registrations and are free to print!
Search Lake County marriage records by name.

FamilySearch: Digital Records Access Replacing Microfilm

FamilySearch is the world's largest repository of free genealogical records and manages the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. For many years, FamilySearch provided microfilm distribution to affiliate libraries and our patrons. Now, they are pleased to announce that they are in the process of digitizing their microfilm collection! Once digitized, most microfilm records can be viewed instantly, without any special equipment beyond your web browser. Visit FamilySearch and browse their catalog to see if the film you need has been digitized (or see other ways to access it).

Microfilm distribution officially ends September 7, 2017. For more information on finding and reading microfilm online, see FamilySearch's digital access FAQ.

Ready to research? Get started with our handy FamilySearch tips. If you have any questions, just give us a call or use our Ask a Librarian form.

Newspaper Obituary Page graphic

Online Obituary Index: Post Tribune/Gary Post Tribune Obituary Index (1921-current); Lake County Register and Star (1857 - 1938)

Now you can quickly and easily search local obituaries when tracing your family history! Our obituary search engine lets you search by name, partial name, maiden name, date, city, and age. Once you've found the obituary, we'll be happy to pull a copy for your records! (Note: If you need an obituary that is missing, please use our Ask a Librarian form and we will look it up for you! ) Give it a try.

NWIGS - Local Resources for Lake and Porter County, Indiana

The Northwest Indiana Genealogical Society (NWIGS) is an active historical society dedicated to preserving the history of Lake and Porter Counties. They have made many resources and plenty of information available for free on their website, including historical images, help for beginning researchers, and a surname index.

The library is a proud NWIGS member, and we have many items in book form available from NWIGS. Just visit the Merrillville Branch for assistance.