Access Western Maryland's History Online and In-Person
We offer local history and genealogy resources online and in person. Our materials come from the John Clinton Frye Western Maryland Room (WMR), located at the Hagerstown branch, from Western Maryland's Historical Library (WHILBR), and from databases like Ancestry Library Edition, available inside the library with your library card. Browse our resources below, and learn how to visit the WMR and attend the McCauley Lecture Series.
WCFL is home to many Western Maryland and local genealogy (family history) resources. Do you need help getting started with your genealogy or local history research? Contact us with your questions and we can help you navigate our resources, get started with your research, and more!
Get Started with Featured Resources
Visit the Western Maryland Room
The John Clinton Frye Western Maryland Room is home to archival collections, a local history lecture series, monthly genealogy meetings, and more.
Genealogy Get Started Guide
Not sure where to start researching your family history? Check out this guide with answers to all of your questions.
Historic Newspaper Indexing Project, 1790-1890
The Historic Newspaper Indexing Project began in 1980 as an aid to patrons researching Washington County history and genealogy.
Western Maryland's Historical Library (WHILBR)
View images from the collections of Allegany, Garrett and Washington counties historical societies and individuals of the three counties.
From the Western Maryland Room
Western Maryland Room Vertical Files
Our vertical file is a large local history subject file collection. View these resources to learn about a variety of topics.
Find processed archival collections in the Western Maryland Room catalogued in the Library catalog. Search the Catalog and click on All Items and choose W. Md. Room Items. Search collection, and you will find a number of them listed.
New Books at the Western Maryland Room
Find the newest materials added to the Western Maryland Room in the catalog.
Records from local churches. Additional church records and original documents are available for viewing in the Western Maryland Room.
Marriage Records Index
Index to Washington County Maryland, Marriage Licenses, 1861-1919, 1927-1949
Available online and in person at the Western Maryland Room.
Cemetery and Death Records
Cemetery and Death Records compiled by local churches. Additional records for some of the local cemeteries are available for viewing in the Western Maryland Room.
Hagerstown phone service started in 1883. The Western Maryland Room have several directories available,. There are a few directories available online from Western Maryland's Historical Library (WHILBR).
County and Regional Histories
View ledgers and letters complied by local families of Washington County Maryland online. Additional resources like this can be viewed in the Western Maryland Room.
School Records for Washington County and some surrounding counties. Some information on school records is available online. Area school yearbooks and other research material is available to patrons in the Western Maryland Room.
Digital Collections (online only)
Use this database to search an index of the obituaries from the Hagerstown, MD, Morning Herald and Daily Mail, published between 1790 - and the current year.
Land Records resources
Land patents of Washington County, Maryland (1730-1830) are available on the Western Maryland's Historical Library (WHILBR) website.
Land records for Washington County 1776-present are available on the Maryland State Archives website. Start with applying for a password at MDLandRec.Net.
Please note that you will need to remember the alphabetical range to use from the following list:
Land Certificates, Patented
- 1-99 A-Ag
- 100-199 Al-Ch
- 200-299 Ch-Fa
- 300-399 Fa-Gr
- 400-499 Gr-Ke
- 500-599 Ki-Mo
- 600-699 Mo-Pi
- 700-799 Pi-Resurvey
- 800-899 Resurvey-Sm
- 900-999 Sm-Vi
- 1000-1099 Vi-Z
Land Certificates, Unpatented
- 1-99 A-Fa
- 100-199 Fa-Lo
- 200-299 Lo-Resurvey
- 300-399 Resurvey-Wa
- 400-499 Wa-Yo
This collection contains many resources for counties surrounding Washington County. Available from Western Maryland Historical Library and Maryland State Archives.
City Directory 1893-1894
Hagerstown City Directory published in 1893 available from Digital Maryland.
Court Records resources
In Cooperation with the Maryland State Archives and the Washington County Free Library, the Following Historic Records of the Washington County Clerk of Circuit Court are Available Online:
- C & O Canal - Consolidated 1889 to 1945 Through Maryland State Archives
Equity Cases 4191 & 4198
- Coronor's Inquests 1853 to 1939 Through Maryland State Archives
- Court Dockets & Minutes * 1778 to 1800 Through Maryland State Archives
- Court Dockets & Minutes * 1801 to 1850 Through Maryland State Archives
- Court Dockets & Minutes * 1851 to 1953 Through Maryland State Archives
- Judgment Record 1782 to 1849 Through Maryland State Archives
- Marriage Record Index (Searchable) 1861 - 1919 Through Washington County Free Library and 1941 to 1949
* Note: Court Dockets available here do not include Chancery (Equity) cases, as those cases were maintained in a separate series. The index to the Court Dockets appears at the beginning of each Docket. If there is no index included for a particular Docket, the index is no longer available due to fire, theft, or other unknown circumstance.
Historic Records of the Washington County Clerk of Circuit Court.
1877 Illustrated Atlas
Hagerstown phone service started in 1883. Listing is a published directory from 1907, available from the Western Maryland Historical Library (WHILBR) and Western Maryland Room.
Sanborn Maps (Library of Congress)
Digital Sanborn Maps Library of Congress edition, 1867-1970 provides access to more that 660,000 large-scale maps for more than 12,000 American towns and cities.
Premium Digital Resources
Ancestry Library Edition
Access Ancestry.com and learn about your family history. This resource offers genealogical and local history information.
This resource is available inside library only.