Osterhout Free Library
Member of the Luzerne County Library System

Central: 570-823-0156 *  North: 570-822-4660  *  Plains: 570-824-1862  *  South: 570-823-5544

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Genealogy Services

We can search for obituaries in local newspapers only when provided with exact date of death: month, date, and year. Articles can also be researched when provided with the exact month, date, and year the article appeared in the paper.

Requests will be completed in the order they are received, whether by e-mail, mail, or phone. We can allocate a maximum of one hour of research time per request.
There is a minimum fee of $5.00 per obituary or article request which covers copies and other library costs. Prepayment is required for all requests. The library cannot refund money if the requested information is not found.

Please make checks payable to the Osterhout Free Library. 
Address envelope:
                               Osterhout Free Library
                               Information Services
                               Obituary/Research Request
                               71 South Franklin Street
                               Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701

Obituary and Article request form


Resources available at the library

Newspaper Holdings (on microfilm)
    Citizen's Voice: October 9, 1978 - present
                                                    Online Access   9/11/05-present
    Sunday Independent: November 4, 1906 - December 13, 1992
                                                    Online Access   1913-1946                               
    Times Leader: January 2, 1950 - present
                                                    Online Access   1992-present
    Wilkes-Barre Record: January 1, 1891 - June 19, 1972

Luzerne County Census is available on microfilm 
     1790-1930 (with the exception of 1890) and additional PA
     counties on the census reels for 1790-1830
     1790: Berks, Bucks, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware,
     Fayette, Huntington, Lancaster, Mifflin (part), Northampton &
     Westmoreland (part).
     1800: Mercer & Lancaster
     1810: Greene & Indiana
1820: Indiana, Jefferson, & Lebanon
City Directories
Wilkes-Barre (1884-present)
    Hazelton (1937-present; not comprehensive)
    Nanticoke (1887-1924)
    Pittston (1887-1891)
    Plymouth (1887-1891)
    Scranton (1949-present; not comprehensive)
Vertical File Collection
    Files of newspaper clippings on a wide variety of local subjects
    (arranged alphabetically) chronicling local incidents, events,
    and happenings over the years

Local History Collection
    A collection of books that focuses on the rich history of Wilkes-Barre, Wyoming Valley, and Luzerne County. Everything from
    biographical sketches of locally-prominent business, industry,
    and entertainment figures to in-depth historical narratives of
    the founding of our great region, as well as a collection of fiction by local authors.
Wilkes-Barre Record Almanacs
Selected contents of W-B Almanacs from 1885 to 1961 transcribed by volunteers.


Other Resources


Check out our Online Resources page

Local Genealogist
Northeast Pennsylvania Genealogical Society
   689 Main Road
   Hanover Township, PA 18706
    PO Box 1776
    Shavertown PA 18708-0776
Luzerne County Birth/Death Certificates
Records from 1893 - 1905
    Marriage License Clerk
    Luzerne County Courthouse
    Wilkes-Barre, PA
Luzerne County Historical Society
    49 South Franklin Street,
    Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701
Luzerne County Marriage Certificates
    Records from 1885
    Marriage License Clerk
    Luzerne County Courthouse
Luzerne County Property Deeds
   Records from 1800s
    Recorder of deeds
    Luzerne County Courthouse
Pennsylvania Birth/Death Certificates
Division of Vital Statistics
    State Department of Health
    P.O. Box 1528
    101 S. Mercer Street
    New Castle, PA 16101
Pennsylvania Divorce Certificates
    Records from early 1900s
    Actual files from 1960s
    Luzerne County Courthouse

Online Resources

Resources Accessible from Home


 Criticism Online Tests NY Times / Magazines World Book Languages

Live Tutor Pennsylvania Newspapers


Audio Books
Getting Started
 Sunday Independent Health


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