Local History and Genealogy

The Brown County Library’s Local History and Genealogy Department was created when the current Central Library was opened in 1974. Since then, the Local History & Genealogy collection has grown from 300 volumes to over 10,000 volumes, books, atlases, maps and periodicals.  In addition, the microfilm collection includes over 4,400 reels of census, newspapers, county histories, indexes, etc.  Although the library cannot perform census searches for people, staff will do limited research in other areas for questions received.  Any photocopying fees will be billed to you.  Call for further information.


Monday-Tuesday: 1 pm – 5 pm
Wednesday: 1 pm – 8 pm
Thursday-Friday: 1 pm – 5 pm
Saturday: 1 pm – 4 pm

Overview of Collection

Online Resources

Researching Your Irish Ancestors

Join experts Fintan Mullan and Gillian Hunt from the Ulster Historical Foundation in Belfast to learn how to get the most out of Irish resources and records, gain strategies for breaking down brick walls, and grasp important historical context that my fill in gaps in your research. Whether you are just beginning your Irish research or have been at it for years, you won’t want to miss this workshop!


Central Library
Wednesday, March 13, 2019



9:15-10:30 am |Introduction to to Irish and Scots-Irish Family History Research

A broad overview of Scots-Irish and Irish research covering a range of topics including: the 1922 fire and how it affects what can be found in Irish records; the importance of doing your homework on North American sources before starting your Irish research; as well as and exploring some of the major collections of records and how to access them, (such as census records and civil records of births, marriages and deaths).

10:45 am-12 pm | Census Substitutes and Other Useful but Lesser-Known Sources

These and other sources for the early 18th and 19th centuries include Old Age Pensions search forms, agricultural censuses of 1803, the 1796 flaxgrowers’ list, 1775 dissenter
petitions, the convert rolls, the 1766 and other religious ‘census’ returns, the 1740 ‘Protestant Householders’ List and other miscellaneous material which can provide invaluable information on families.

12-12:45 pm | Lunch! A light meal will be available for purchase.

12:45-2:00 pm | The Importance of Irish Land Division: Understanding Townlands

Understanding the importance of our land divisions and sense of place to local people in rural Ireland (irrespective of location) are crucial to success in Irish genealogy. Explore the different administrative divisions: e.g. townland, barony, parish, County, Poor Law Union, etc., their origins, how they relate to each other, and their relevance and usage in the historical records.

2:15-3:15 pm | Irish Church Records for Use in Genealogical Research

Learn about the records available for main religious denominations in Ireland and how their varied histories have affected the types of records which exist. Our focus will be on examining baptismal, marriage and burial registers, where these records are held and how to access them.


Please call 448-5815 to register.

This program is made possible by a grant from the “Miller/Anthes Family Fund” within the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley region.

treeGenealogy 101
Saturdays, January 26 – March 30, 2019

Tracing one’s ancestors is a rewarding opportunity to discover and preserve a family history for generations to come. The Local History Department’s Genealogy 101 series focuses on the best methods of searching a variety of resources that may reveal very interesting or little-known information about a family. These methods apply to genealogical research across the United States.


This series of classes is offered on consecutive Saturdays, January through March from 9:10  – 10:45 a.m. in the Central Library auditorium. Bonus programs are scheduled from 10:45 a.m. – Noon.


Annual Local History Series

Thursdays in October.
6:15 – 7:45 p.m.

515 Pine Street, Downtown Green Bay
Free parking after 6 p.m.


The Local History Series is supported by the Friends of the Brown County Library.

Contact Us


Email: BC.Library.LHG@co.brown.wi.us
Phone: 920-448-5815
Address: 515 Pine Street, Green Bay, WI 54301

Hearing Loop Logo

The Central Library’s lower level auditorium and meeting rooms are now equipped with a hearing loop.  When a hearing aid user selects the “T-coil” setting, the listener receives a clear signal without any background noise resulting in improved speech understanding.

For more information, call 920-448-5815.