Local History & Genealogy Collections

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Print and Microfilm Genealogy & Local History area of Chatham Community Library

Local history and genealogy materials may be found at Chatham Community Library in Pittsboro and Wren Memorial Library in Siler City.  These collections include published and unpublished family histories, church and community histories, troop lists, cemetery records, census information, and more.  Microfilm collections include Chatham County records such as court minutes, records of wills, tax scrolls, and newspapers dating back to the 1870s.  Digitized issues of the Chatham Record from 1878 to 1904 are available on the Digital NC site.

Chatham Community Library's family history files and subject files are maintained by the Chatham County Historical Association. Please see the family name index and the subject index to determine if these files might be helpful in your research.

Both branches have equipment to aid you in your research efforts, including microfilm readers, printers, copiers, and scanners.  Chatham Community Library also has two dedicated computers for local history and genealogy research.

Please check our online catalog or call Chatham Community Library at 919-545-8086 or Wren Memorial Library at 919-742-2016 if you have questions about materials in our collections.

Databases

In addition to our physical collections, several online genealogy databases are available to patrons at all Chatham County Public Library branches:

Research Assistance

Volunteer genealogists are available to assist with family history research, whether your ancestors lived in Chatham County, the 50 states, or overseas.  A genealogist is on site at Chatham Community Library in Pittsboro most Thursdays from 9:00 am to noon, and on other days and times by appointment.  Call 919-545-8086 to make an appointment.  Reference staff can also help you locate and use library resources during normal library hours.  Please refer to our genealogy research policy for more information.

Other Resources

  • Chatham County Historical Association – A non-profit organization interested in preserving and communicating the history of Chatham County.  Visitors may post research inquiries on their site.
  • Chatham History & Genealogy – Information specific to Chatham County, including family trees and links to other helpful resources.
  • Digital NC – Digital versions of primary sources from cultural heritage institutions around North Carolina.
  • FamilySearch – Free records and resources for researching family history.
  • NC ECHO (North Carolina Exploring Cultural Heritage Online) – A doorway to special collections in North Carolina’s libraries, archives, museums, historic sites, and other cultural institutions.
  • North Carolina Newspapers – Over 3 million pages of selected North Carolina newspapers have been microfilmed.  Please check the site to see what is available.
  • State Library of North Carolina – The Government & Heritage Library includes an extensive genealogy collection.