Welcome to the online home of Marshall Public Library's Genealogy Department. Here you will find information about our on-site resources, our web-based resources, and other free websites that offer information on local history and genealogy. Feel free to contact us for more information or to submit a request.
For more information about Marshall Public Library, visit our homepage at
begin your research at our Digital Archive featuring the library's collection of historic newspapers.

News and Updates

Clark County One-Room Schoolhouses

The library has recently added a wonderful resource to our Clark County resources page - a compilation of information including photos and rosters of information about one room schoolhouses in the county. The material was provided to the library by a patron who received it after it was loaned to his father many years ago. The original researcher is unknown; if you know who might have compiled this great collection, please let us know so we can give them the credit they deserve for their hard work.

Learn how to Research Your Family Tree

Head Librarian Jamie Poorman and Head Clerk Edie Breneman will share tips and tricks on how to research Clark County ancestry Thursday, January 19th at 6:30 PM in the library’s Dale McConchie meeting room.  The program will highlight  free resources available in every community and where to obtain those resources. The program is geared to help both the novice and seasoned genealogy researcher. Highlighted resources will include:

¨ Townships

¨ Courthouses

¨ Cemeteries

¨ Newspaper archives

¨ Genealogy libraries

¨ Historical societies

 To regsister for this free program, please call the library or use the online registration form.

January 12, 2017

Oral History Project
The Friends of Marshall Public Library have been conducting oral history interviews with area residents since 1994. Interviews have been collected in conjunction with Smithsonian exhibits, local history projects, 4-H projects, and more. The Marshall High School class of 1999 contributed many interviews as a part of their local history projects; several interviews, concerning World War II, were conducted by Dan Crews. The project has been revived in recent months, led by Friends of the Library volunteers Damian Macey and Maury Miller who are now actively interviewing area residents on a regular basis.

These interviews are an invaluable community treasure; they have been uploaded to YouTube and many have also been transcribed.  Each interview has a link to the actual audio recording (via YouTube) and a link to the transcript (will open as PDF) if available. Assistance is still needed to transcribe many of the interviews. If interested, please contact the library.
 May 19, 2015

Family Tree Magazine's List of Top Genealogy Websites
Family Tree Magazine's list of the top 101 websites is a great place to go for your family research. Perhaps you're already using some of the sites they recommend, but it's still worth taking a look at. They break the list down into several smaller categories including  Best Big Genealogy Websites, Best US Genealogy Websites, Best Military Genealogy Websites, Best Social Media Websites for Genealogy, Best Mapping Websites for Genealogy, Best Genealogy News Websites, Best Tech Tools for Genealogy, Best Canadian Genealogy Websites, Best Historic Newspapers Websites, Best Websites for Vital Records, Best African-American Genealogy Websites, Best State Genealogy Websites, Best Websites for Immigrant Research, Best UK & Irish Websites and
  • Best Continental European Genealogy Websites.
  • September 9, 2014

    Newspaper Digitization Project - the Friend of Marshall Public Library need YOUR support!
    The Friends of the Library have been funding the digitization of the library's microfilm collection. Newspapers dating back to the Civil War have been sent off for processing, scanned, indexed, and made available for searching online. Since September of 2012, 52 reels have been sent to the Advantage Companies in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The cost of this project so far has been $4,080 and is just 25% complete! They are unable to continue with this project because, quite simply, they are out of funds.
    Any donation, large or small, would be greatly appreciated. For $90, you can sponsor an entire reel of microfilm. Your gift would be tax deductible. For more information, please call the library at
    217-826-2535. July 30, 2014

    World Vital Records Subscription Added @ Marshall Public Library! 
    The Friends of the Library have done it again . . . made a generous contribution to enhance our collection! The group voted in April to provide a one year subscription to World Vital Records. This is a growing genealogical website that ha...s more than 5 billion records!! Our subscription can be accessed in the library by simply clicking on the link from our homepage. BUT . . . the site also offers REMOTE ACCESS! Click on the link from our homepage (www.marshallilllibrary.com) and then input your library barcode for access at home!      May 29, 2014

    Digital Archive Recently Updated Again!

    The company that processes our microfilm has recently returned several batches to us and those issues are now available online at the library's digital archives!  Our entire collection of the Herald and Democrat are now online and span the years from 1871 to 1975. There are a few gaps in coverage that will be partially filled in as we process the rest of our collection over the upcoming months.  This project is generously funded by the Friends of Marshall Public Library and has proven an invaluable asset to our library.  Not only are the newspapers helpful for family history researchers, but also for a variety of other reasons.  Issues have been printed and used as decorations at local events, used to research library displays, and answered many additional questions.  If you would like to support the ongoing project, donations may be addressed to "Friends of Marshall Public Library, 612 Archer Avenue, Marshall, IL 62441"                           April 4, 2014


    Wabash Valley Reads selection has Marshall connections

    The 2014 Wabash Valley Big Read book selection is one that you may not recognize, but was penned by an author whom you may remember – Booth Tarkington. This year’s selection is The Magnificent Ambersons, a 1918 novel which won the 1919 Pulitzer Prize. In 1942, Orson Welles wrote and directed an ac-claimed film adaptation of the book

    Marshall Public Library is participating in the Wabash Valley Big Read, which is a Vigo County Public Library grant program. VCPL has generously invited Marshall and other area libraries to partici-pate in their grant program so this book can be enjoyed by many people all over the Wabash Valley.

    Stop in Marshall Public Library during the month of

    March to pick up a free copy of The Magnificent Ambersons while supplies last. Be sure to register to attend one of our book discussions and to view the film, and stop in to see our Booth Tarkington display!

    Two book discussions will take place in the library at our regular discussion group meetings. Enjoy coffee, tea, and conversation at "Book Friends", which meets on Wednesday, March 19, at 10:30 AM, in the library’s McConchie Meeting Room. Our evening group, "Literally Speaking" meets on Monday, March 24, 6:30 PM in the Dale McConchie Meeting Room, and you are invited to attend. Old National Bank sponsors light refreshments for this informal discussion group.

    Tarkington has some quite interesting Marshall connections, which will be detailed in a display in the library during the month of March. Penrod and Sam, Tarkington’s best known novel, featured prototypes of two local children. Find out who they were and more interesting tidbits, such as whose home in Marshall Tarkington visited as a child and what local family later vacationed at Tarkington’s guest house in Kennebunkport, Maine. Read the author’s message published in the 1935 Mar-shall Herald.

    On Thursday, March 6, at 6:30 PM, you may view the film directed by Orson Welles. This is a brilliant, moving portrayal of an aristocratic American family in what many critics con-sider a masterpiece equal to Citizen Kane.

    Call or email the library for more information or to register for the programs                                                                               March 1, 2014

    Jayne Harlan Bartlett Kerr

    A few months ago, we gave a presentation to the Walter Burdick Chapter of the DAR about Jayne Harlan Bartlett Kerr. Jayne was a fascinating woman - a charter member of their DAR chapter and an instrumental force behind the founding of Marshall Public Library.  Her photo album was purchased at an antique store several years ago and was featured in a music video produced by Bruce Janu of Chicago.  Bruce contacted us while doing his research for the video and our interest grew from there. Over the last year, we have learned so much about Jayne and her family.  If you would like to learn more about Jayne, please view our  DAR Presentation.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 December 30, 2013

    Clark County Newspaper Archive - Updated!

    The next batch of microfilm has returned from processing. This is exciting news as it means our entire microfilm collection of the Clark County Herald is now online and available to search!  There are also a few recent years of the Marshall Advocate as well.  Good luck searching!  Please let us know if you find a helpful tidbit of family history - we would love to share some success stories with our Friends of the Library group and let them know how much their generous funding of this project is helping people find their family roots!
                                                                                                                                 December 8, 2013

    New Records and Indexes Added

    Thanks to the generosity of Cindy Cornwell McCachern we have recently added a series of documents to our Clark County Resources page.  These include indexes the the 1892 and 1947 plat books, tax lists, supervisor's minutes, and more.                                                                                                                                                         September 25, 2013

    Local History and Genealogy Shelves

    The Local History and Genealogy resources shelving areas in the library have recently undergone a big change! We have cleaned up the area, discarded out of date materials and re-organized the area to make it more user friendly.  Resources are now much easier to locate and are clearly labeled depending on subject including family histories, county resources, Handy Writers' Colony, National Road, and many more.  Come check it out and see who or what you might discover!           September 19,2013                                                                                                         

    Clark County Newspaper Archive - Online!

    Visit Marshall Public Library's Digital Archives to view local and county newspapers. Thanks to the generosity of the Friends of the Library, our newspapers are being digitized and indexed, making them searchable online from any computer or device with internet access! Our current microfilm holdings in the library include several newspapers from the Clark County and Marshall area, from the late 1800s to the current year. The digitization process is somewhat slow and costly, so please bear with us as we work towards getting our collection online. We will upload new content as it arrives from the processing company so check back for updates!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         July 3, 2013