Osterhout Free Library, Member of the Luzerne County Library System
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Genealogy Services

Library staff can search for obituaries in our archived local newspapers only when provided with an 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.                      

The fee is $10.00 for each 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
Obituary/Research Request
71 South Franklin Street
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701


> Obituary/Article Request Policy & Form (.pdf)


Resources available at the library

Newspaper Holdings (on microfilm)

Citizen’s Voice: October 9, 1978 - present
Online Access for cardholders:   9/11/05-present

Sunday Independent: November 4, 1906 - December 13, 1992
Online Access   1913-1957

Times Leader: January 2, 1950 - present
Online Access for cardholders:   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 focusing on the rich local 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.

Other Resources

Local Genealogical Society

Northeast Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Inc.
689 Main Road
Hanover Township, PA 18706

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