Genealogical & Historical Room

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 of people 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.



Left: Bust of Sidney Lanier, poet and musician; Ephraim Keyser, sculptor
Right:  Bust of Harry Stillwell Edwards, author; Marshall Daugherty, sculptor


The Genealogical and Historical Collection provides a broad representation of research material, but its most distinctive feature is its collection of records on the thirteen 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.


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.


Family Bible record

The public is invited to visit the Genealogical and Historical Room and to share this lasting collection of our heritage.

Genealogy reference service is not available by telephone.

If you are interested in sending a question to the staff of the Genealogical & 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.  Please send a self-addressed stamped envelope with your request to:

Washington Memorial Library
Genealogical & Historical Room
1180 Washington Avenue
Macon, GA  31201-1790  

You must provide the following information about yourself when sending a request:


  • Full Name
  • Address
  • City                                         
  • State            
  • 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 before we can address your question: 

  • full name of the person you seek
  • 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.)


  • Photocopy charges are 20 cents per page, with a minimum charge of a $2.00
  • Postage is assessed at first class rates  
  • Checks should be made payable to Washington Memorial Library 


  • is checked once a day. 
  • email requests receive the same consideration as regular mail requests 
  • are 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

Send E-mail to:

Genealogy & History Room Hours:
Monday: 9:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Tuesday - Saturday: 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Closed Sunday