Local History and Genealogy

Researching a local historic building? Searching for your Grant County ancestors? We may be able to help. The physical collection at the Silver City Public Library includes the following:

  • Newspapers on microfilm including the Silver City Enterprise, Silver City Independent, and Silver City Daily Press. To see the full list of available newspapers on microfilm, download the newspapers finding aid here: Newspapers Finding Aid (PDF, 331KB)
  • U.S. Census, Territorial Census, and other government documents/records on microfilm
  • Biographical indexes of local citizens (articles taken from local newspapers)
  • Obituary notices 1900-1911, 1986 to the present (database—ask for library staff assistance)
  • Some death, funeral, and cemetery records
  • Oral histories
  • Southwest history files and vertical files
  • Some early photographs

Please be aware that many of the resources are rare or fragile, so researchers will need to need to check in at the library information desk to use the items. Library staff can also show you helpful indexes to the resources. In some cases, our volunteer history researchers can help find specific information.

Other local organizations:

  • WNMU Miller Library, top floors of the Student Memorial Building at 1000 W. College Avenue, 575-538-6359, voyager.wnmu.edu/php/histsrc.php
  • Grant County Clerk’s Office, 1400 Highway 180 East, 575-574-0042
  • Family History Center, 3755 North Swan Street, 575-388-1068
  • Silver City Museum, 312 W. Broadway, 575-538-5921, info@silvercitymuseum.org
  • WNMU Museum, Fleming Hall at 1000 W. College Avenue, 575-538-6386, info@wnmumuseum.org
  • Sixth Judicial District Court, Grant County Courthouse, first floor 201 N. Cooper Street, 575-538-3250 Extension 2. Clerk’s office is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.  Open during the lunch hour.
  • Fort Bayard Historic Preservation Society, contact information at fortbayard.org/contactus

Online resources:

Grant County RootsWeb: rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nma/grant/
Information for genealogists compiled by knowledgeable local volunteers, including cemetery maps and indexes for births, marriages, deaths, and obituaries. The data are not completely comprehensive, but this site is a fantastic place to start your search. The RootsWeb page for New Mexico as a whole: www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nmahgp/index.htm

New Mexico Digital Collections: econtent.unm.edu 
View a large selection of digital images including photographs, documents, maps, sound recordings, and more from 18 library and museum collections statewide, including the Silver City Museum (www.silvercitymuseum.org).

Rocky Mountain Online Archive: rmoa.unm.edu
From their site: “The Rocky Mountain Online Archive is your source of information about archival collections in Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming. Specialized guides, called finding aids, give detailed descriptions of primary source materials located at twenty-seven different repositories. Search the finding aids to discover what historical materials are available for study and where those collections are located.” List of participating institutions: rmoa.unm.edu/institutions.php

FamilySearch: familysearch.org
Free site for searching censuses and other vital records, building family trees, and connecting with other genealogists.

Forebears: forebears.io
This portal includes a directory of genealogy sources and a dictionary of surname meanings, organized geographically.