Research Services During COVID-19 Limited Hours

Visits to the Genealogy Department are currently available by appointment only.

Appointment Hours:

10-4 Mondays, 10-6 Thursdays, and 9-12 on Genealogy Saturdays (Sept. 12, Oct. 10, Nov. 14).

Please call 724-287-1715 to reserve your 1 hour session. 

Used research materials will be quarantined for 72 hours, and work stations will be disinfected between use.  

Staff is still available Monday-Friday for research assistance!

Please get in touch by email, phone, or mail with your requests or questions. 


By email: baplgenealogy@bcfls.org

By phone: 724-287-1715 

By mail:

Butler Area Public Library

attn: Genealogy

218 N. McKean St.

Butler, PA 16001


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 hours 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. 

You may also E-mail the Special Collections Librarian at baplgenealogy@bcfls.org.

The Weir Genealogy Room

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.

  • More than 1,000 family files and 1,600 topical vertical files available with staff assistance.


Most resources are searchable in our Online Catalog!

Genealogy Saturdays

Staff will be available 9am-12pm one Saturday each month for in-person genealogy research help. ​ 

Upcoming Dates:

September 12

October 10

November 14

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.

Volunteer Area

Data EntryProof ReaderEditor Editor Index


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.


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.

At-home use of Ancestry Library Edition is available through the end of 2020!


Please email your name and Butler County library card number to baplreference@bcfls.org to get the password.

Click the button to the right and type the provided password for access.


Watch a video explanation of the sign-in process here.


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)

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.



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


Newspaper Photo Index

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.
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.

Other Useful Genealogy Websites

Visiting? You Should Bring:

  • Any materials to help guide your search and assist the genealogist in mapping a research strategy.
  • 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

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