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Resource Guides


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 is open for self-directed research during the following hours:

Monday through Thursday - 8:00AM to 7:45PM

Friday - 8:00AM to 4:45PM

Saturday - 8:00 AM to 3:45PM


If you anticipate needing staff assistance during your visit, please call or email ahead to confirm availability.


By email:

By phone: 724-287-1715

The Weir Genealogy Room


  • Bring any materials to help guide your search.
  • Bring quarters for microfilm readers and copier.
  • Free parking for library visitors is available in our lot on the north side of our building, corner of McKean and E. Brady Streets.
  • Phone 724-287-1715 or e-mail baplreference if you have further questions.
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What Resources are in the Library and Online?


  • Beginner guides to genealogical research and genealogical dictionaries.

  • 4,500 volumes, including local histories, family histories, 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 2020 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!


Family History Fridays - On-Demand Video Series

Available any time via our Youtube Page

From beginner Ancestry research tips to advanced topics like courthouse record indexes and mapping strategies, our Family History Fridays series is available to watch any time, anywhere.

Full Family History Fridays Playlist

Welcome to the Butler Area Public Library Online Newspaper Database--an index to over 478,000 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


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.


Click the link above or Ancestry logo to start searching.

Temporary at-home Ancestry use ended on December 31, 2021.

HeritageQuest provides access to sources like U.S. census records, Historic books, Estate records, Revolutionary War pension and bounty land applications, and Freedman's Bank depositor records. 

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


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, race, 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 

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


Butler Eagle 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, 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.

Servicemen of Butler County Project

These indexes and reference volumes were created to support research of Butler County servicemen and women during World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War, which are all still under-represented in online genealogy due to privacy laws governing service records.

These indexes are drawn from local news coverage in the Butler Eagle

In-library, researchers can browse binders of the assembled articles, arranged in date publication order. Indexes are also available.

Using these linked indexes, researchers can find articles specific to one person's military service. News coverage can include draft notice, enlistment, training, letters home, photographs, promotions, report of injuries, and announcements of those Killed in Action. 

Click buttons to view or download a name-alphabetized PDF index for each war.

Please note files are large and may take time to download.

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

  • Nancy Brown

  • Linda Muchicko

  • 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

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