|Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research
- Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research
5300 Caroline St.
Houston, TX 77004-6896
Hours: Sunday and Monday Closed ; Tuesday 10am–6pm ; Wednesday 10am–6pm ; Thursday 12pm–8pm ; Friday 10am–5pm ; Saturday 10am–5pm. *While the library building is temporarily closed to visitors, library staff can still answer questions by phone or email.
Directions, map, and public transportation:
Internet sites and databases:
- Clayton Library Internet site collections, research, services, events, FAQs, and history.
- Houston Public Library Online Catalog by title, author, subject, series, call number, ISBN /ISSN, Lexile number, or government document number, and in WorldCat.
- Genealogy databases Includes Ancestry, FamilySearch, Findmypast, HeritageQuest, HistoryGeo, Fold3, MyHeritage, and newspapers.
This branch of the Houston Public Library has one of America's best genealogical collections. With an emphasis on the Gulf Coast region, the library also has an international collection and material for all fifty U.S. states. Collections include Texas and Houston-area death records including funeral home records, censuses, passenger arrival lists, manuscripts, international resources for Europe, Canada, and Mexico, military records, family histories, genealogical periodicals, maps, and family history vertical files. Clayton Library is an Affiliate Library of the Family History Library Affiliate Program. Their special collections includes 25 major genealogical collections, such as the Barbour, Blake, Draper Manuscripts, and Vosburgh collections, Loredo TX Archives 1749-1872, and Nacagdoches TX Archives 1733-1836.
Clayton Library has one of the most extensive collections of published and unpublished family histories in the southern United States. The collection contains over 15,000 cataloged volumes and extensive vertical file materials. To search for cataloged books in Clayton Library's Family History collection, check the Houston Public Library Catalog. For best results, search for your surname as a subject heading phrase (example: "Watkins Family") in the Keyword Search window. A small portion of Clayton Library’s family histories can be found digitized at FamilySearch.org.
Houston and Texas Area Death Records
Clayton Library contains an impressive collection of records for deaths in Texas and the Houston area. First, Clayton Library houses the original records of two Houston funeral homes: the Fogle West Funeral Home (or Fogle West Undertaking Company -- 1921 through 1975), and the Boulevard Funeral Home (or Boulevard Undertaking Company -- 1961 through 1967). Second, Clayton's book collection contains transcripts of City of Houston death certificates from 1874-1894, 1896, and January through August 1900. Third, Clayton Library's microprint collection contains the Harris County register of deaths, volume 1, 1903-1909. These deaths in the City of Houston or Harris County are not included in the statewide collection of Texas death records and index that are available through the State Vital Records Office in Austin, or in the databases of Ancestry and FamilySearch.
Clayton Library has created a searchable index to the Fogle West and Boulevard Funeral Home records database which can be searched here: Clayton's Death Records Database.
- Bring a sweater because it is often chilly.
- Free parking is available for users of the library.
- Lockers are available for a quarter which will be returned when you return the key.
- Bring a flash drive to save book and document scans, as well as documents from internet research. Bring small change to make photocopies.
- Free Wi-Fi is available and you are welcome to bring in your laptop and connect to the Internet.
- Public computers are available with a Houston Public Library MY Link card or with a temporary pass issued by staff.
If you cannot visit or find a source at the Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research, a similar source may be available at one of the following.
- National Archives at Fort Worth letters, photos, maps, settlement history, American Indians, the Civil War, slavery, Chinese exclusion, repatriation, segregation, and World Wars I and II.
- Dallas Public Central Library 111,700 volumes, 64,500 microfilms, 89,000 microfiche, and over 700 maps, marriage, probate, deed, and tax abstracts in book form, or microfilm of originals for some states, and online databases. Outstanding for the South, Mid-Atlantic, and New England.
- Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah, holds 450 computers, 3,400 databases, 3.1 million microforms, 4,500 periodicals, 310,000 books of worldwide family and local histories, civil, church, immigration, ethnic, military, and records of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
- Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne, Indiana, premier periodical collection, genealogies, local histories, databases, military, censuses, directories, passenger lists, ethnic collections, and Canadians.
- Mid-Continent Public Library Midwest Genealogy Center, Independence, MO, national censuses/indexes, 80,000 family histories, 100,000 local histories, 565,000 microfilms, 7,000 maps, and newspapers.
- National Archives I, Washington DC, census, pre-WWI military service and pensions, passenger lists, naturalizations, passports, federal bounty land, homesteads, bankruptcy, ethnic sources, prisons.
- Chaparral Genealogical Society Library over 2,100 books, manuscripts, and microfilms.
- Harris County Archives maps, manuscripts, oral histories, schools, orphan home, J.P. dockets.
- Harris County Clerk births, marriages, deaths, and land deeds.
- Harris County District Clerk civil, criminal, and family court records.
- African American Library at the Gregory School history of African Americans in the Houston area.
- Rice University - Fondren Library, Woodson Research Center Asian Americans, Civil War, slavery, Houston and Texas history, World War II, British Maritime & Naval history, women's history.
- San Jacinto Museum of History Library rare books, manuscripts, and histories about Texas.
- Galveston and Texas History Center ethnic Germans in Texas and Gulf Coast immigrant database.
- Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center earliest Texas settlers.
- Repositories in surrounding counties: Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Liberty, Montgomery, Waller.
- Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Austin, federal censuses, vital statistics indexes, military indexes, county tax rolls, city directories, newspapers, voter registration, convicts.
- Briscoe Center for American History, Univ. of Texas at Austin, rivals the State Library collection.
- Texas Historical Commission, Austin, 5,000 publications of which 3,000 are books, historical sites, cemeteries, oral history, heritage trails, city and county histories, military history and photos.
- Texas DSHS Vital Statistics, Austin, births, deaths, marriages, divorces.
- Texas Heritage Museum, Hill College, Hillsboro, outstanding Civil War collection.
- Southern Methodist University history, biography, newspapers, ethnic studies, government papers.
- Texas Baptist Historical Society histories of local congregations.
- Repositories in other surrounding states: Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and in Mexico: Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas