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Williamson County Public Library
WCPLtn: Discover Learn Succeed

Genealogy, Local History, Local Authors

Upcoming Classes

Friday, December 18 at 10:00 AM Introduction to Ancestry.com

(Recurs monthly) Ancestry.com is one of the most powerful and user friendly genealogy tools available, and patrons can access Ancestry free with a WCPL card within the library!  This introduction will cover the basics of using Ancestry.com to search through census records, death certificates, family trees, and more to find your ancestors; as well as a few tips and tricks to help get more accurate results from your searches!

Digital Resources

Williamson County Genealogy and Local History Database
Includes searchable Williamson County obituaries, local African-American Genealogy, Local History news database, and information on Williamson County births, marriages, veterans, and family histories.

Ancestry Library Access only provided while visiting the library. All the power of Ancestry.com for finding census data, family histories, vital records, and more - free with your WCPL card.

Fold3: History and Genealogy Archives Access with your library card from home or in the library. Military records, Civil War records, Revolutionary War records, Native American genealogy, African American Genealogy, and more.

HeritageQuest Online Access with your library card from home or in the library. Census records, family history books, Revolutionary War records, slave schedules, Freedman's bank records and more.

The Tennessean Access with your library card from home or in the library. Historical papers 1812 to 1922 and November 7, 2002 to date.

TSLAAncestry.com: Tennessee State Library and Archives Genealogy Records A collection of Tennessee vital records, court documents, land and tax records, and more, provided free to Tennessee residents.

WILLIAMSON COUNTY ARCHIVES ONLINE Free access provided by the Williamson County Archives. Searchable Williamson County Court Cases, Deeds, Marriages, Wills, and more. Click here to learn more about the Williamson County Archives and Museum.

About the Collection

Items in the Special Collections Department are not available for checkout. Patrons may only access materials during department hours. No food or drink allowed in the Special Collections Department.

The WILLIAMSON ROOM houses the local author collection and rare book collecion, and is available as a meeting space for small groups. Contact the Special Collections Librarian to make a reservation.

BOOKS, MICROFILM, and MORE - The Special Collections Department has a large collection of books, microfilm, maps, and electronic resources available for research.

CIVIL WAR RESEARCH The department has the complete War of the Rebellion series, as well as a large amount of material related to the Battle of Franklin. In addition, the Williamson Room houses a large collection of historic books related to the Civil War.

THELMA BATTLE WILLIAMSON COUNTY AFRICAN AMERICAN COLLECTION Local grass-roots historian and genealogist Thelma Battle has spent years compiling information on local African-American families. This information is available for research in the Special Collections Department as well as through our online database.
In addition, Ms. Battle has combed the communities of Williamson County and surrounding counties to gather thousands of photographs for an annual exhibit documenting local African American history. a partial index of which is available through our online database, while the photographs are available to view in the department.
Ms. Battle has also gathered over 2000 individual funeral programs of local African-Americans. Currently, these are available for viewing in the department.

RICHARD CARLTON FULCHER's AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORICAL COLLECTION contains excerpts gleaned from County Court Records and documents persons of African descent in Williamson County from its founding in 1799 until emancipation.

EDITH RUCKER WHITLEY MANUSCRIPT COLLECTION consists of over 2,300 notebooks of genealogical research compiled by Mrs. Whitley during her lifetime, organized by surname. An index can be found on our online database.. Please note the use of this manuscript material is limited to three boxes at a time.

The Molly Bateman Reigard Collection of Childress Research and Related Families was donated in 2004, as a gift of the Childers/Childress Family Association, and includes family histories and miscellaneous data.

BRACKEN GENEALOGY COLLECTION is comprised of 3 boxes genealogy materials related to the Bracken family of Nashville and related families.

PIONEER FAMILIES The library proudly offers a commemorative Pioneer Families of Williamson County, Tennessee Certificate to eligible persons. Anyone directly descended from a pre-1850 pioneer of the county is welcome to apply for this permanent remembrance of his/her family history.
The collection consists of booklets with documents to support the certificate holder's lineage for each Pioneer Families ancestor. Call to learn more.

LOCAL AUTHOR The Local Authors Collection consists of books published by Williamson County residents, past and present. Access the bibliography now to learn more about the collection and how to submit items for the collection.

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  • Hours
    • Monday - Saturday*
      9:00 am - 5:30 pm
      9:00 am - 8:00 pm
      Sunday Closed

  • Contact Us
    • Phone:
      (615) 595-1246 ext.1

      Special Collections
      Williamson County
      Public Library
      1314 Columbia Ave.
      Franklin, TN 37064

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