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 The entries in this database are photos of the original marriage registrations and are free to print!
Search Lake County marriage records by name.


We are pleased to be a FamilySearch affiliate library! FamilySearch is the world's largest repository of free genealogical records and manages the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Through FamilySearch's affiliate program, patrons of the Lake County Public Library can order microfilms of any historic records FamilySearch holds for a small fee. The records will then be sent to the Merrillville branch, where you can use our microfilm readers to read and make a copy of the record you are looking for. We'll take care of sending it back to FamilySearch when you're done.

Get started with our handy FamilySearch tips. For more details, such as copyright information, ordering information, or for help placing an order, 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! (Please note: Our records for 1989 are incomplete. In addition, year 2006 is missing from this database. 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.