Genealogy Information

Local and State Resources

Archives of Appalachia

Located at East Tennessee State University, the Archives of Appalachia contains collections of local history papers, photographs, and other materials. Browse or search their collection holdings or contact the Archives for more information about accessing their materials.

Digital Library of Appalachia

“The Digital Library of Appalachia provides online access to archival and historical materials related to the culture of the southern and central Appalachian region. The contents of the DLA are drawn from special collections of Appalachian College Association member libraries” (from their website 12/11/2014).

East Tennessee Historical Society

The East Tennessee Historical Society is interested in preserving the history of all of East Tennessee, from Chattanooga to Bristol.

Johnson City Public Library Tennessee Room

In the Johnson City Public Library’s Tennessee Room, find local history and genealogy resources. For help locating resources in the Tennessee Room, contact the Johnson City Public Library staff.

Johnson’s Depot

Find articles and images on the local history of Johnson City, TN, including links to other local history websites and resources.

Tennessee State Archives Directory

Click on your county of interest on the map of Tennessee and this website will display contact information, hours of service, on-site resources, and a brief description of holdings for official Tennessee county archives.

Tennessee State Library and Archives

“The Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA), collects and preserves books and records of historical, documentary and reference value, and promotes library and archival development throughout the state” (from the TSLA site, 12/11/2014).

Washington County TNGenWeb

The US GenWeb Project is a substantial nation-wide genealogy project maintained and updated by dedicated volunteers. The Washington County, TN branch of GenWeb provides access to useful local genealogy sources, including a database of cemetery transcriptions. If you have ancestors from Carter County, you may find useful information at Carter County TNGenWeb.

Watauga Association of Genealogists (WAGS)

WAGS is the Northeast Tennessee genealogy association. Their website links to many local genealogy resources. WAGS volunteers are available to assist anyone with genealogy research on the second Tuesday of each month from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the Tennessee Room at the Johnson City Public Library.

National and International Resources

American Last Names

If you are curious about what your last name means, or how many people in the US share it, this is a site you need to check out.

The Johnson City Public Library subscribes to the Library Edition of, one of the largest online genealogy research tools available. To access through our subscription, you must be on-site at the Johnson City Public Library.

CDC Where to Write for Vital Records

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) may not be the first place you would think of looking for genealogy research. But if you are looking for birth, death or marriage records from a certain state, this site will tell you who to contact.

Cemetery Records Online

This website has listings and pictures of many final resting spots, both nationally and internationally.

Cyndi’s List

Cyndi’s List is a genealogy link aggregator site. It contains links to state and local genealogy pages as well as many other useful resources. If you think you reached a dead-end, try here and it might shake something loose.

Ellis Island

The Ellis Island site includes information on the island and its history and also specific details about people that immigrated through there. The genealogy resources offer free forms and charts, family histories, and helpful links and tips for genealogists. Use the Passenger Search if your ancestor arrived in America through Ellis Island (the search also shows close matches, in case your ancestor’s name was changed or recorded incorrectly).


FamilySearch is the newest online genealogy resource available at the Johnson City Public Library and the world’s largest repository of free genealogical records. FamilySearch manages the well-known Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah and has amassed billions of birth, marriage, death, census, land, and court records of genealogical significance from over 130 countries. As an affiliate library, the Johnson City Public Library is able to allow patrons greater access to these genealogical resources. Interested patrons can search the online catalog to find out what resources FamilySearch can offer them. *Note: A fee of $7.50 is required to cover the order of a microfilm. If you have questions about using FamilySearch, contact library staff.*

Don’t know if that person is your second cousin twice removed or a third cousin? This website will help you parse those details. The Learning Center is a very useful reference for dealing with complicated family trees.


The GenWeb project allows you access to state and, sometimes, county genealogical research. Thanks to its dedicated volunteers, GenWeb resources can be accessed without cost. Because the site is maintained by local volunteers, the depth of resource coverage varies across counties.

Heritage Quest

Through the Tennessee Electronic Library, all Tennesseans have access to Heritage Quest. Heritage Quest is another extensive genealogy resource that provides access to research tools such as census records, Freedman’s Bank, and Revolutionary War pension files. The new Learning Center also provides genealogists with instructional resources to guide them through various research methods.

Heritage Quest also gives genealogists a place to look for census military service records. Heritage Quest can also provide powerful primary sources that showcase the history of our nation, including:

  • slave schedules from either the 1850 or 1860 US Census, which included counts of the number of enslaved people by state, listed by county and owner.
  • Freedman’s Bank records, where former slaves were able to open bank accounts. There were 2 in Tennessee: Memphis and Nashville.
  • Historic records of Congress. Search by location or topic.

Click here for a tutorial about using slave schedules.

National Archives

The United States National Archives provides access to important records for historians, students and teachers of American history, and genealogists. Check the Resources for Genealogists page for tools to help you start your genealogy research and for tips to searching the National Archives.

United States Veterans Grave Locator

If your ancestor was a veteran of the U.S. military, searching this database (provided by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs) might help you locate their gravesite.


Return to the Online Information Desk to find more online resources. If you need additional assistance finding information, contact the Johnson City Public Library Information Desk at (423) 434-4454.