Jay County Public Library 
315 N. Ship Street, Portland, IN  47371 
(260) 726-7890 or fax (260) 726-7317
Monday-Friday 8 to 8   Saturday 8 to 5


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Jay County Public Library offers the Indiana Room to its patrons for use in genealogical research. Many print resources are available, including local histories, directories and family history documents. Microfilm of census and local newspapers can be viewed and printed (15 per copy). 

Two computer stations in the Indiana Room provide tools for research, including AncestryLibrary edition, HeritageQuest, limited Internet access to useful genealogy sites, software for creating documents and publications, and access to pdf files of recent local newspapers and an obituary index. This index provides the date in which the deceased person's obituary appeared in the local newspaper The Commercial Review or its predecessors. At this time, the index is incomplete, but progress is being made daily.

Research requests are honored as staff time allows at a fee of $10 per hour, plus 15 per copy (first five copies are free).  Contact the library by phone or email.

               More genealogy links to explore


Genealogy Classes

Introductory classes in genealogy research are offered from time to time.  Learn the basics of using resources available at the library and how to begin to organize the results of your searches. 

Next class offering: to be announced.


Online Databases offered by the library

For use inside the library only.

Ancestry Library Edition is a genealogy research tool created for library users. It gives patrons instant access to a wide range of unique resources for genealogical and historical research. With more than 5 billion names in over 3,400 databases, Ancestry Library Edition includes records from the United States census; military records; court, land, and probate records; vital and church records; directories; passenger lists, and more. Similar information is also available for the United Kingdom, Canada and some European countries.

HeritageQuest Online

For use inside the library and remotely with library card and PIN.

Beginning and professional genealogists can use this powerful online resource to trace family histories and American culture from the convenience of their home or at the library.

Linking you to more genealogy resources

Below are some of the web sites shared in materials from the genealogy class.  They appear in alphabetical order with a brief description. 

Jay County Historical Society

Note this announcement from these two organizations in 2009-2010: 

The Jay County Historical Society, Inc., and the Jay County Genealogy Society have merged. Both groups had like goals of preserving the history of Jay County. This merger will allow us to streamline our collections and eliminate some duplication of efforts. We have moved our genealogy collection to the Jay County Historical Museum at 903 East Main Street, Portland, IN, 47371. Phone: 260-726-7168, fax: 260-726-7178, or email. Our hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. For further information, go to our website.

 INGenWeb Project Page for Jay County, IN Genealogy

Contains many local resources.


Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center - the second largest genealogy collection in the U.S.  Renowned collection contains more than 220,000 printed volumes and 251,000 items of microfilm and microfiche.

Ancestors Home Page - a family history and genealogy television series with links to much more.

Birth Date Calculator - Older tombstones have only the death date and age at death.  To calculate the birth date, visit this site.

Bureau of Land Management - Federal Land Patent Records

Cyndi's List of Genealogy - Over 40,000 links. categorized & cross-referenced, in over 100 subject categories.  A clearinghouse of genealogy links.  Be prepared to spend a lot of time.

Ellis Island Immigration - records from 1898-1924

Family History Library - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, world's largest collection of genealogical holdings.  

Find a Grave - Find those famous and noteworthy graves.  Complete with pictures.

Genealogy Online - Directory, links to web pages

Genealogy SiteFinder - Cooperative effort between Genealogy Toolbox and Family Tree Maker Online.  Identifies over 34,000 categorized and cross-indexed online genealogical sites.

History of the Great Lake States - Free online books, articles and maps for research and reading in genealogy, family history, and local history in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Indiana State Library - Genealogy Collection and database information

Library of Congress National Digital Library - "American Memory" section has historical images from around the country

National Archives and Records Administration - National records of all types.  Census records, American Indian tribe information.  Pre-1850 Marriage Database, Indiana Cemetery Database and much more.
and specifically for genealogists

Roots Web Genealogical Data Cooperative - Surname index and much, much more.

Treasure Maps - A great place to start.  A section on "Getting Started," writing a successful query, a tutorial on deciphering old handwriting, and more.

US Gen Web - Links to state organizations, including state historical societies, and regional genealogical information.  Helpful for out-of-state searching.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall Page

Your Family - Index to surname homepages:  will generate a list of webpages associated with a particular surname.

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Jay County Public Library  Portland, Indiana