Research & Genealogy

The Jefferson County History Center research facility provides an extensive library, public computers with free research programming, genealogy resources, and an extensive searchable archive database relating to the history of Jefferson County. Contract or assisted research is available.

Family History

Tracing family histories creates genealogies, putting a face to a name. Genealogies and family collections with a connection to Jefferson County are a unique addition to our archives and library.  Photos tell a story about the way of life in the past, including housing and architecture, antique tools and farming and industrial machinery.

The county archives holds vintage clothing which may include anything from a Grandfather’s military uniform to Great-Grandma’s wedding dress from the 1800s.  We store the Striver Collection, a reproduction Victorian wardrobe, complete with hats, shoes and accessories. These costumes can be loaned out for Victorian events. We also preserve and store county heirloom handmade quilts from various families and church groups of the 19th century.

Genealogy Research

In-house library use fees:

  • Members – Free
  • Student Research – Free
  • Non-member – $10.00 per hour (self-research in-house)
  • Photocopies – $0.25 each
  • Student Photocopies – First five free
  • Self scanning/document photography – $5.00 per day

Research Library and Archives

Our knowledgeable staff and volunteers are available to assist both members and non-members visiting the center for research.  Available in our file cabinets and bookcases are:

  • Surname and topical files
  • Family histories/genealogies
  • Church and cemetery records
  • Periodicals related to Western Pennsylvania
  • Newspaper microfilms including all available Jeffersonian Democrat, Brookville American, Brookville Republican, Brockway Record, Reynoldsville Star, Punxsutawney Spirit
  • Jefferson County Histories and Atlases 1866/1878
  • Transcriptions of courthouse records that include: deaths, births, marriages, deeds, wills, probates, and naturalization
  • Local newspaper obituaries
  • Jefferson County Census microfilms (1810-1930)
  • U.S. Census microfilms from 1790 through 1940
  • Directories and indexes
  • Histories of most of the 67 counties of Pennsylvania

Topical files are arranged according to the Museum Classification System, such as Architecture, Business and Industry by alphabetical order, Civic Groups, Education (by Schools), Forestry, Jefferson County.

Manuscripts include: Bibles, diaries, scrapbooks, autographs, account books, personal and family papers, maps, surveys, and architectural drawings.

Record Groups include: Civic, fraternal and professional groups, church and cemetery records, business and industry, and schools.

Periodicals include: Publications related to Western Pennsylvania.

Newspaper microfilms including all available Jeffersonian Democrat, Brookville American, Brookville Republican, Brockway Record, Reynoldsville Star, Punxsutawney Spirit.

Assisted Research Fees

  • Quick Look-up — $15.00 per item (Limited to single record of birth, death or marriage)
  • Genealogy Search Fee —$25.00 per hour (1 hour minimum prepaid and balance due before mailing)
  • Gravestone Photograph —$20.00 (additional same cemetery, $10.00)
  • In-house Genealogist Assisted Research —$25.00 per hour
  • Requests that require county courthouse database will be billed additionally at cost

Please note that we may require more time to fulfill a Courthouse request.

Public Computer

Researchers at JCHC have free access using our public computers to online platforms including Ancestry, Pennsylvania Archives, Civil War Database, Fold 3, Family Search,, and My Heritage.

County Records

Under agreement with the Jefferson County Commissioners, the History Center stores and makes available for public use tax assessor books, land sale books, and courthouse records, including court dockets and deeds. These extensive volumes are located in our new Parker Archives Facility at Pickering and Church Streets, Brookville.

Researchers can make an appointment, and do not have to be a member of the JCHS to access these records. There is no fee other than for photocopying.

Questions about accessing these records should be referred to JCHC by phone: (814) 849-0077 or by email [email protected]. Researchers should no longer contact the Tax Assessors office at the Courthouse for access to these records.

Genealogy Request


The Jefferson County Historical Society collects and preserves artifacts, photographs, documents, books, and other items related to the history of the county ranging from prehistoric times to the present.

We also archives the Jefferson County tax records and makes them available to researchers at our Parker Archives Facility building.

Items currently not on display may be researched through our database accessible from the public JCHC computers. Upon request, specific items will be transported from our archives location to the History Center for researchers to use.

A fee schedule exists for photographs that will be utilized in any for-profit publication or endeavor not affiliated with the JCHC and proper acknowledgement of source is required.