Library Resources: U.S./Canada Surname Folder Index

This resource provides unprecedented access to an index of over 100,000 unique surnames. The information indexed was originally collected in surname folders at local libraries, historical societies, and genealogical organizations throughout the United States and Canada. Because the surname resources were collected locally, availability of this information has not previously been widespread. When you find a surname listed you can learn the name and address of the facility to contact for access to more information about that surname. The contents of the indexed surname folders range from one-of-a-kind family histories to newspaper obituaries, military records, and even correspondence.

  • Surname: The surname that is the focus of the surname folder found in a library or repository.
  • Repository: The name of the organization or repository you should contact for more information about the surname you are researching. You can either visit the repository listed, or it may be more convenient to simply write for more information. Since this information was compiled over 20 years, some addresses may have changed. You may wish to confirm the address (perhaps at a local library or on the World Wide Web) before visiting or writing the organization or repository.
  • State/Province: The state or province in which you can find the repository or organization that holds information on the surname you are researching.