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Genealogy Research Policy

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Chatham Community Library maintains a collection of local history and genealogy materials that are available for use by the public on a walk-in basis. We can provide limited research assistance to individuals who are unable to visit the library in person. Genealogy inquiries must relate to Chatham County, North Carolina.

1.  To help the process run smoothly, please ensure that your requests follow these guidelines:

  • Requests should be specific in nature and must be for information from indexed, published sources or for known page numbers from a specific title. Please include only pertinent information that will aid our search.
    • Examples of acceptable requests:
      • Please locate John ALSTON, residing in Hickory Mountain, Chatham County, in the 1900, 1910, and 1920 census. Wife Millie; children Anna, Bertha, and Carrie. John was born about 1875.
      • Can you locate an obituary for Phillip S. SILER, who d. March 8, 1941 in Siler City? (Obituary requests should contain at least an approximate date. We can only search within a two-week window.)
      • Please check for burial information for John H. MEACHUM and wife Sarah J., who both died in 1923 in Chatham County.
    • Examples of unacceptable requests:
      • Do you have any information on the John ALSTON family of Chatham County?
      • I am trying to make the connection between the MEACHUM and SILER families. Can you find any information that would indicate a connection?
      • My grandfather died in Goldston in the 1950s. Can you find his obituary?
  • Requests are limited to no more than three (3) events or tasks at one time. Please refrain from submitting additional requests until we have responded to your previous question(s).
  • Requests should include your name, email address, postal address, and phone number.

2.  Our staff does not conduct general genealogy research. If more in-depth research assistance is needed, we recommend that you consult your local library or genealogy society, or contact a professional genealogist. We will be happy to direct you to a list of local professionals.

3.  We are unable to copy the contents of entire publications or files. We reserve the right to refuse a copying request if there is a concern it might violate copyright law.

4.  Local History & Genealogy collection materials are not available through interlibrary loan.

5.  The library reserves the right to turn down requests from individuals attempting to use our genealogy reference services for monetary gain, or from patrons who use these services excessively.

6.  Requests are answered in the order in which they are received. Please allow up to two weeks for a response.

7.  Fees: Photocopies are ten cents per page and must be paid for by check or money order. If photocopies are made, you will be notified of the charge and asked to send a check or money order for the full amount along with a self-addressed stamped envelope. There is no charge for scanned copies sent via email (this is the preferred method). A donation to Chatham Community Library is always welcome but not required.

Email requests: Submit to reference@chathamlibraries.org.  

Phone requests: Call 919-545-8086. You may be asked to submit your inquiry in writing to ensure the accuracy of the information.

Postal mail requests:
Attn: Genealogy Inquiries
Chatham Community Library
197 NC Hwy 87 N.
Pittsboro, NC 27312