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"There's a world of wisdom in our personal stories. Your life is a legacy, a gift that only you can give. Why waste something so precious?"

― Dolly Berthelot

What Resources are in the Library and Online?

 

  • Beginner guides to genealogical research and genealogical dictionaries.

  • 4,500 volumes, maps and gazetteers.

  • 1000 rolls of census, newspaper and probate microfilm.

  • State of the art microfilm and microfiche readers and copiers

  • An online obituary and newspaper index dating from 1818 to the present with over 476,000 names.

  • 1000 family files and more than 1,600 topical vertical files available with staff assistance.

 

Most resources are searchable in our Online Catalog!

 

In 1987, the Edgar Weir family provided for the creation of a resource room where family and local history could be researched. Located on the second floor of the Butler Area Public Library, the room is available by elevator or stairs. Here you will find the largest genealogical collection in Butler County. The Weir Room follows the same schedule as the Butler Area Public Library. If you desire a genealogist's guidance during your visit, please call (724) 287-1715 to verify an appointment. The reference librarians are also available to assist you. You may also E-mail the genealogist at baplgenealogy@bcfls.org. Please include your complete mailing address.

The Weir Genealogy Room
During the 1980s and 1990s, the Butler Eagle would periodically weed their photo files and donate them to the Butler Area Public Library. These files contained a variety of materials--photographs, contact photos, and clippings. Some items had been cropped, so that only part of a group photo was included. Publication dates were not always known. When we could retrieve that information, it was added to the index. Publication dates for the 1,788 entries ranged from 1935 to 1992, with the bulk of the records dating from the 1950s through the 1970s. Most of the entries are of a social, civic, or professional nature--anniversaries, retirements, awards, etc.

Newspaper Photo Index

In order to search the Newspaper Photo Index, simply click on the first letter of the person's surname, i.e., "A" for "Abott." After you find the desired name on the list, follow the entry to the right and you will see additional information. To order copies of items in the Photo Index, please print and complete the request form.
These files require the use of Adobe Reader. (Free download)

 

HeritageQuest is a source for finding out more about your family's history, the history of a local region, and genealogy research. It provides access to U.S. census records, books, periodicals, Revolutionary War service records, and Freedman's Bank depositor records. 

For remote patron access to Heritage Quest from home, enter Butler County library barcode number when prompted.

Volunteer Area

Data EntryProof ReaderEditor Editor Index

Welcome to the Butler Area Public Library Online Newspaper Database--an index to over 476,000 newspaper articles published in Butler County newspapers from 1818-2019. This collection is primarily obituaries and death notices, but you will also find citations for marriage license, divorces, accidents, court notices, and more.

 

Please note: the obit and newspaper index site link is temporarily in-library only while we perform site improvements.

It can still be used on computers at Butler County library branches. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Staff is happy to assist with searches until the public site is operational. Please contact the genealogy department at baplgenealogy@bcfls.org or 724-287-1715 for research assistance.

 

Ancestry Library Edition is a research tool offering a wide range of international genealogical information available online, with more than 5 billion names in thousands of collections. Ancestry Library Edition is available for in-library use at the Butler Area Public Library.

Introduction

The Butler County Poor House, also known as the County Home or Poor Farm, was opened on 25 Oct 1900 to accept the homeless and infirm who were unable to provide for themselves. It was reorganized in 1963 as Sunnyview Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. The Stewards (superintendents) maintained various records, which were aptly called “Steward’s Register of the Names of Paupers Admitted to the Butler County Poor House”. The admission records commenced in 1900, with the opening of the Poor House, and end in 1963. Additionally, every three months a Census of residents was entered into the Register. Consequently, residents were recorded at the time of admission and in each quarterly Census during their stay. While most people were from Butler County, neighboring counties also placed residents at the Poor House.
Butler County Poor Farm
(Butler County Home)
RECORDS INDEX 1900-1963

Kinds of Information

Information recorded includes: name of resident, age, sex, color, date of admission, date of discharge or death, by whom committed, residence, place of birth, port of entry (if immigrant), marital status, drinking habits, “Moral Condition”, number of times admitted, physical condition, “Classification” (sanity, idiotic, blind, deaf, vagrant), disease, cause of pauperism, and remarks.

How to Search

For Births and Burials, click on the link for the desired type of record.
For Census and Deaths, select the link that contains the first letter of the person's last name. Scroll down to the desired name.

Census

Deaths

ADMISSIONS /CENSUS partially completed

BIRTHS completed

BURIALS in the County Home plot

(reconstructed and periodically updated)

DEATHS completed (not all births occurred at Poor Home)

How to Obtain a Photocopy of a Complete Entry

To order copies of items in the Poor Farm Index, please print and complete the request form and mail, with payment, to:

Butler Area Public Library

Genealogy Department

218 N. McKean St.Butler, PA 16001

 

Other Useful Genealogy Websites

Visiting? You Should Bring:

  • Any materials to help guide your search and assist the genealogist in mapping a research strategy.
  • Basic supplies of pencil, paper, paper clips or stapler.
  • Quarters for microfilm readers and copier.

Research Policies

  • Please be as specific as possible when requesting research, especially concerning names, dates, and research already conducted.
  • Research requests are done on a first come, first served basis and may take several weeks.
  • You can submit your requests by
Butler Area Public Library
attn: Genealogy
218 N. McKean St.
Butler, PA 16001.
  • You may phone or e-mail our Special Collections Librarian if you have further questions.

Genealogical Society

The Butler County Genealogical Society meets at 6:15 p.m. the second Tuesday of every month except July and December at the Butler Area Public Library. The group has programs of genealogical interest such as local resources, finding maiden names of female ancestors, DNA, etc. More information available on their website.

Acknowledgements and Thanks

Slippery Rock University

The following individuals from The Computer Science Department designed, coded, and tested the software programs to bring the Obituary Index to Butler Area Public Library’s Website.

 

  • Dr. Deborah Whitfield

  • Stephan Browarny

  • Kurt Loverde

  • Andrew Beers

  • Dominic DePasquale

  • Jonathan McAnulty

Butler Area Public Library Volunteers

From the 1980s to the present, the following people contributed in one or more ways by extracting information, designing the database, photocopying information, entering data into the computer, proof-reading entries, or testing the search software.

  • Pat Collins

  • Joyce Emmel

  • John Long

  • Gary Anderson

  • Bea Parker

  • Nancy McKain

  • Sara Cotellese

  • Collette Bowser

  • Anita Bonner

  • Mary Ann Macri

  • George Fetters

  • Audrey Fetters

  • Donald & Diana Hall

  • Carol McEvoy

  • Donna Livengood

  • Veronica Rozic

  • Karen Grelling

  • Kristen Kwiatkowski

  • Cathy Mahoney

  • Scott Emmel

  • Kim Pfenningwerth

  • Rhonda Douthett

  • Karen Monday

  • Carol Fair

  • Sandy Hutchins

  • Jagruti Desai

  • Dixie Reimold

  • Duane Wible

  • Connie McClelland

  • Helen Cook

  • Margaret Tiberi

  • Patricia Shanor

  • Carole Hall

  • Nancy Novosel

  • Jillian Stern

  • Linda Shingleton

  • Ray Hoffman

  • Janice Nulph

  • Kathy Oesterling

  • Bill Cooper

  • Lou Heitlinger

  • Denise Seilhammer

  • Pam Snyder

  • Ron McKinney

  • Colleen Collins

  • Melitta Garbuny

  • Luanne Eisler

  • Brystal Gilliland

  • Jean Karls

  • Barbara Cress

LOOKING BACK

218 N. McKean Street • Butler, PA 16001 • Phone: 724-287-1715 • Fax: 724-285-5090