The Genealogical & Historical Room
Monday 9am – 9pm
Tuesday–Saturday 9am – 6pm
The Genealogical and Historical Room has one of the most outstanding reference collections of its type in the South. It was founded in 1923 by the Mary Hammond Washington Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, who realized the need for the library to provide source material and assistance for people tracing their lineage and searching for facts about their ancestors. They also believed that certain old and irreplaceable records of local and regional history should be preserved for the future and made available for researchers. Starting with a small but valuable collection given by the James Hyde Porter family and housed in part of a small room, the Genealogical and Historical Room has grown to include more than 32,000 volumes and over 24,000 microforms. Located on the ground floor of the Washington Memorial Library, it is considered outstanding by genealogists and historians from all over the United States. Last year, over 13,000 researchers came from 38 states and 5 foreign countries to use the facilities.
The growth of this room is a direct result of the support of enthusiastic and interested people and groups who, living not only in Macon but in many other parts of the country, have generously given money, books, and furnishings. Many of these gifts have been as memorials; the bookplates and the plaques on the equipment and furnishings give some indication as to those persons who have been responsible for the success of this room.
The Genealogical and Historical Collection provides a broad representation of research material, but its most distinctive feature is its collection of records on the 13 colonies. This collection on the original states is recognized as one of the finest in genealogical libraries. Considerable space is devoted to pre-colonial history as well as to colonial history and the Revolutionary War. This includes source material from England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales.
The growth of this room is a direct result of the support of enthusiastic and interested people and groups who, living not only in Macon but in many other parts of the country, have generously given money, books, and furnishings.
General guidance and assistance is furnished by the staff of the Genealogical and Historical Room. Reference service is available in person or by mail. Photocopiers and microfilm/microfiche printers are available for the reproduction of materials. Learn more about submitting a genealogical question.
If you are interested in sending a question to the staff of the Genealogical and Historical Room, please read the following:
The reference service of the Genealogical & Historical Room is designed to address questions that may be answered from available indexed sources in our collection.
- Photocopy charges are 20 cents per page, with a minimum charge of a $2
- Postage is assessed at first class rates
- Checks should be made payable to Washington Memorial Library
You can submit a question in two ways:
- Fully complete the submission form below
- Send a self-addressed, stamped envelope with your request to:
Genealogical & Historical Room
1180 Washington Avenue
Macon, GA 31201-1790
You must provide the following information about yourself when sending a request:
- Your full name
- Address (including city, state, and zip code)
- E-mail address
- Your question
If you are advised that your question requires more extensive research, you may come to the library or engage the services of a professional researcher. With the large number of research requests received and the limited staff time available, we respond to only three specific questions per letter. Please wait until you receive the library’s reply to one letter before submitting another.
You must provide the following information about the person you seek before we can address your question:
- His or her full name
- Race or nationality
- Town or county of residence
- Approximate dates of residence
- Type of document requested (e.g., marriage license, will, census listing)
The type of requests we CAN respond to are:
- Do you have a marriage record for James G. Snipes in Upson County prior to 1850?
- Do you have a Confederate service record or pension for James G. Snipes of Schley County, GA?
The type of requests we CANNOT respond to are:
- Who were the parents of William James born in Burke County about 1794?
- Who were the children of William James of Jones County 1820-1840? (Ask instead for a will or estate records and hope that the children will be named in that record.)
- E-mail requests receive the same consideration as regular mail requests
- Answered in the order in which they are received
- All requests (e-mail or regular mail) are handled in as timely a manner as possible.