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Genealogy, History, Archives

The Genealogy, History & Archives Unit of the Fort Worth Library is located in the lower level of the Central Library. It has a large collection of family history data including federal census, books, periodicals and online databases. The collection focuses on Texas and the South, but also includes a considerable amount of information on the Midwest and the original thirteen states. The unit also collects primary and secondary materials on the history of Fort Worth, its institutions, organizations, and peoples. Moreover, it is the official archives for the City of Fort Worth municipal government.

Contact us by phone at (817) 392-7740 or send us an email to genlhst@fortworthtexas.gov

Digital Archives

The library has been working on digitizing many of its archive collections in order to make them more accessible. Some of the collections currently online include the Shires Photograph Collection, the Gruen and Bartholomew Plans, Texas County Tax Rolls, Texas Spring Palace, Fort Worth Labor News, Fox Photograph Collection, the Federal Writers’ Project, Lake Como Weekly, Hazel Harvey Peace Collection, Tarrant County Original Land Grants, Fort Worth Housing Authority, and the Women’s History Month Collection. New collections are continuously being added.

Genealogy Collection

The Genealogy Collection’s emphasis is on the southern and midwestern states and the thirteen original states, although most of the United States is represented. Limited materials on foreign countries, particularly Great Britain and Western European nations, are also available. The collection includes over 40,000 volumes, 9,500 rolls of microfilm (primarily U. S. Census and City Directories, 180,000 microfiche, 80,000 microcards and several hundred maps.

Genealogy Databases

Access to databases such as Ancestry Library Edition, HistoryGeo and America’s Genealogy Bank can be found in the History/Genealogy section of the library’s Online Databases page.

Local Genealogical Resources

National Archives and Record Administration Southwest Branch contact information, and a list of local volunteer centers devoted to assisting individuals in tracing their family histories.

Local History Collection

The Fort Worth Library has approximately 10,000 items pertaining to the history of Fort Worth and Tarrant County. These items include city and county government documents, newspapers, directories, cemetery association records, maps as well as popular and scholarly books written by local authors or about local subjects. For information about what materials can be requested through the mail or email, please visit this webpage.

  • African American Doctors in Fort Worth, Texas, 1887 – 1925 & Texas Medical Association
    Information on the doctors and their descendants that practiced in Fort Worth between 1887 and 1925.
  • Biography Vertical Files
    A list of persons in the Library’s Biography Vertical Files, along with a brief description of the file contents.
  • Fort Worth Gazette
    The Fort Worth Gazette has been digitized and is now located at the Library of Congress. The years covered are November 1, 1883 to January 1, 1888.
  • Junior Historian
    The Texas State Historical Association was formed in 1897 to preserve the history of the state. In 1939 a junior division of the Association was set up for young historians. It published the historical writings of high school boys and girls. The purpose of the Junior Historian was to foster in young people a love of their own state by developing their knowledge of the state. It encouraged young people to investigate the past of their own community, town, or city. The Fort Worth Library has Volume 1, 1939, through Volume 48, 1988, of the Junior Historian. There was a name change with Volume 31, 1970, when it because simply the Texas Historian. We have indexed the Volumes in the PDF file above to reflect the young adults from Fort Worth and Tarrant County who were published within these volumes. You may find the magazines on our shelves in Genealogy under the call number of 976.4 TEXAS.
  • Local History Photograph Collection
    The Library has hundreds of photographs documenting Fort Worth’s history. Photos are available for reproduction through the Genealogy, History, and Archives Unit. This form will be filled out by library staff and signed by the customer. Please review the blank form and contact the Unit to request copies of the photos in the library’s collection.
  • School and College Yearbooks
    A list of yearbooks from local schools and colleges available at the Library
  • Texas County Tax Lists, 1836 – 1910
    A list of Texas county tax lists available at the Library

Program Videos

Through the work of mostly volunteers, complete videos of some of the programs offered in the library about different topics in genealogy are available to view on the library’s YouTube page and website. A complete listing of available programs (and the videos) can be found here.

Success Stories

Combing through all the genealogical documents available to find just the right information can be a daunting task. The Fort Worth Library Genealogy, History and Archives staff is always available to help patrons with searching family history. Learn about genealogy patrons and their success stories. Who knows, the next one could be you!

Archives Collection

Donating to the Genealogy, History, and Archives Collections

The Fort Worth Library encourages you to donate your papers and other materials relating to Fort Worth history. Learn more about the kinds of materials we’re looking for. This form will be filled out by library staff and signed by the donor. Please review the blank form and contact the Unit to donate materials to the library.

Last updated: July 31, 2015