Genealogy in Linn County, Oregon


Genealogy is big here in the heart of Oregon’s Willamette Valley, with three local societies devoted to family research, all with extensive library facilities. Whether you are a history buff, digging for your roots or the entire family tree, the libraries, in particular, are the perfect place to begin your search! They are open to visitors, who are welcome to research to their heart’s content.


The Linn Genealogical Society, based in Albany, has approximately 200 members and is committed to “studying, sharing, collecting, and preserving genealogical and historical information” concerning Linn County’s culture and heritage. For over 30 years, the society has encouraged interest in family and regional history through its many projects. The society maintains a Research Room/Library at the Albany Public Library, at 2450 14th Ave., which open whenever volunteers are available during regular city library hours.

The society has many on-line and in-library resources available for research, including: 40 volumes of Donation Land Claim books for the 1,240-plus families who traveled over the Oregon Trail, proved up and settled on land claims in Linn County, Oregon Territory by the end of 1855, the Schwartz Obituary Collection, digitized early Linn County newspapers, digitized images of all death certificates for Linn and Benton counties up to 1960, and much more. The society also hosts a monthly program meeting on the first Saturday of each month (except July and August) in the meeting room of the Albany Public Library. For more on the society, click here.

Sweet Home Genealogical Society and its library are located at 1223 Kalmia St. in downtown Sweet Home. The library houses a vast library of over 3,500 books and almost 80 years worth of the local newspaper on microfilm and bound editions; it also maintains microfilm and microfiche on various subjects including the latest index of Oregon death, marriage, and divorce records. The facility also possesses a computer lab with three terminals to access CDs including Family Tree Maker and, for a nominal fee, several internet research subscription websites.

Sweet Home is one of the few societies that maintain a contemporary facility specific to genealogical research. Their organization provides its members with monthly meetings and a workshop each year (held on the third weekend in March). For more on the society, call (541) 367-5034, e-mail or click here.

Lebanon Genealogical Society meets on the first Friday of the month in the Community Room of the Lebanon Public Library, 55 Academy St. The society has a Genealogy Room at the library in which it offers research resources that can be used on location, including extensive local funeral records, Lebanon High School yearbooks, local newspapers, marriage and divorce indexes and much more. To learn more about the society and what it offers, click here.