Genealogy & Historical Room

The JCPL Historical Room is located at our Franklin Branch. Historical Room resources can be accessed during library hours. You can reserve time in the Historical Room/Study Room on our online calendar. Visitors are asked to sign in at the Adult Reference Desk before entering.

The primary focus of our collection is Johnson County history and genealogy, but we also have numerous resources for other Indiana counties, Indiana in general, and other states.

The Johnson County Public Library staff will provide limited research assistance for specific questions from materials in the Historical Room. Dates, location, names (with variant spellings) should be specific and legibly written. Library staff is not able to do extensive research. Submit research requests via our Contact form. Please include as much information as possible about your research needs. Please consult the Research Guidelines before submitting your question.

Online Resources for Genealogical Research
These resources can be accessed either at the library or from your home computer using your library card.

Ancestry Library Edition (only available inside the library) - Discover your family history by searching census records from 1790 to 1940, birth, marriage and death records from around the world, voter registrations, military records, immigration paperwork, and much more. New to genealogy? Get started with the helpful tutorials and downloadable forms. Accessible only at Johnson County Public Library branches.

Become an Ancestry Search Expert with this free video course from Ancestry Academy. Topics covered include census searching, birth, marriage and death records, and immigration & military documents. Requires a free Ancestry Academy account.

HeritageQuest Online - Available within the library or online from your home computer with a library card number and pin number. All U.S. census records from 1790-1930, more than 25,000 local histories and family genealogies, the Genealogical Periodical Source Index (PERSI), and Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Application Files, all fully indexed and searchable.

Indiana Digital Archives - Search over one million digitized records from throughout Indiana's history. Includes photographs, military records, naturalization records and court documents.

Indianapolis Star/News Archives (only available inside the library) - Search and browse digitized copies of the Indianapolis Star (1862-Current) and the Indianapolis News (1869-present). Accessible only at Johnson County Public Library branches; to be logged in, ask at the Reference Desk. 

Johnson County Newspapers
- Scanned copies of historic Indiana newspapers, browsable by date and searchable by keyword, brought to you by AIM Media and Includes the Franklin Evening Star (1912-1963) and the Daily Journal (1963-present). Only available at Johnson County Public Library locations; ask for login at the reference desk.

Johnson County Historical Resources Available Online
These historical publications have been scanned and made available by the HathiTrust Digital Library. Click the titles to access a full-text edition.

A historical sketch of Johnson County, Indiana / by D. D. Banta (1881)

Making a Neighborhood: Delivered at the Shiloh Reunion, May 26, 1887 / by D.D. Banta (1887)

History of Johnson County, Indiana / by Elba L. Branigin (1913)

The people's guide, a business, political and religious directory of Johnson Co., Ind. together with a collection of very important documents and statistics connected with our moral, political and scientific history; also, a historical sketch of Johnson County and a brief history of each township / by Cline & McHaffie (1874)

The First Presbyterian Church of Franklin, Indiana: One Hundred and Twenty Years, 1824-1944 / by Herriott C. Palmer (1946)

Atlas of Johnson County, Indiana, 1820-1900: featuring maps, pictures, text, and statistics from county atlases (1866, 1881, 1900), county histories (1881, 1888, 1913), and many other sources. Accessible via Indiana Memory at:

Local History Blog - Are you working on your family genealogy? Are you interested in Indiana’s Bicentennial? Ever wonder about the old buildings around town? Check out our Local History blog