Genealogy Collection

The focus of the Nancy Carol Roberts Memorial Library's genealogy collection is the City of Brenham and Washington County. This collection includes books, microfilm, journals, local publications, school yearbooks, limited phone directories, church and school records, and local cemetery indexes.

Access to the Collection

The genealogy room is open to the public during Library hours. Library staff is available to provide assistance with using the Pro Scan microfilm equipment or locating specific materials. Feel free to contact the Library at to schedule an appointment or request assistance. Inquiries on genealogy or local history will be answered as time permits and the staff is happy to assist with small requests.

Please be aware of the following policies when using the genealogy room resources:

  • Genealogical and historical materials are to be used on-site only.
  • It is the patron’s responsibility to determine if the intended use violates copyright laws.


Brenham Banner-Press Microfilm Collection

This collection is one of the Library's most useful resources and holds the Brenham Banner-Press from the present back to 1876. A grant from the Ladd and Katherine Hancher Library Foundation in 2019, allowed us to digitize microfilm from November 1, 1923 through December 31, 1936. A 2021 Hancher grant allowed us to digitize years 1937 through 1951.The digitized film is now available through the Texas Digital Newspaper Program via the Portal to Texas History. 

Library Catalog Electronic Resources

  • Access Newspaper Archive  (In Library Use Only)
    The largest historic newspaper source online contains tens of millions of searchable newspaper pages, dating as far back as the 1700s.
  • Ancestry Library Edition (In Library Use Only)
    The library version of the database, one of the largest collections of family history data online. It includes census, vital, military, and immigration records, as well as newspaper articles and city directories.
  • HeritageQuest Online
    U. S. Federal census records and other research materials for tracing family lineages. Accessible through the TexShare Databases with a library card.
  • Texas Digital Sanborn Maps
    Sanborn maps are historical large-scale plans of a city drawn at a scale of 50 feet to an inch. These maps are used to trace the history and development of cities and are also helpful in genealogical and historical research. Accessible through the TexShare Databases with a library card.

Recommended Websites

  • Local Genealogy Society
    Find information about Washington County provided by the Washington County Genealogical Society.
  • Public County Records
    Find public records for Washington County.
  • Winkelmann Photograph Collection
    Provided by the Briscoe Center for American History, this collection consists of photography from Winkelmann’s Studio from 1906-1991. It contains approximately 15,500 glass negatives, 290,000 film negatives, and 25,000 prints.
  • Cemetery Records Online
    Directory of selected names in cemeteries around the United States and other countries.
    Find contact information for every county government in the United States.
  • Family Search
    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saint's links to genealogical resources on the web.
  • Find a Grave
    Search for your ancestors among 121 million grave records. Also includes a Famous Grave Search.
  • Portal to Texas History
    Digital materials from collections covering a gamut of Texas history from prehistory to the present day. Along with all known Republic of Texas Era newspapers, you may discover anything from an ancestor's picture to a rare historical map.
  • Texas Handbook
    A wealth of history and resources managed by the Texas State Historical Association.
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