Genealogy & Local History

logo-large Opens in new windowThe Mountaineer Newspaper Online

Access The Mountaineer newspaper online, from anywhere, with the Community History Archive. From 1880-2021, search for people, places, and events, and discover more about Haywood County history. This immense resource was made possible by the Laurence W. Ross Testamentary Trust.

The Canton Enterprise Newspaper Online

The Canton Historical Museum and Western Carolina University partnered to digitize The Canton Enterprise. The 1919 edition and a few other years are available.

Haywood County History Collection

The Haywood County History Collection is a body of photos, documents, and music documenting the history of Haywood County, which began as a contribution to a book marking the 200th birthday of Haywood County. Enjoy this glimpse into our mountain region’s colorful history with:

  • Cemetery, obituary, and veteran records
  • Music heritage
  • Postcards

Haywood Snapshot Project

The Haywood Snapshot Project is an online exhibition showcasing photos, items, and stories submitted by the residents of Haywood County, NC. Users can submit snapshots through the website for review. The Haywood Snapshot Project is an affiliate of the Haywood County Historical & Genealogical Society.


Access additional Haywood County images, memorabilia, and newspapers on DigitalNC. If you have items to submit for consideration, contact Library Director Kathy Vossler at 828-356-2504.

Local Haywood County high school yearbooks are digitized through 1973, and are available to view online through DigitalNC. Physical yearbooks through the current year are available in the NC Room of the Waynesville branch.

Genealogy Gateways

  • Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society Aims to preserve the history of Americans with African ancestry, this site offers free charts, forms, articles, and information about local chapters. There is also a helpful section on oral history, with resources, links, and how-to guides. 
  • Ancestry Library The world’s largest family history resource is available for searching while in library branches. Search vital, census, military, and immigration records, as well as city directories, newspapers, and more. Ancestry will continue to be available from outside the library through December 31, 2021.
  • Atlas of Historical County Boundaries The boundaries of counties within the United States have changed over the centuries. This site shows how and when county boundaries changed to learn the correct place to look for the genealogical records to conduct your research.
  • The Family History Guide Enjoy a step-by-step learning system for FamilySearch, Ancestry, MyHeritage, FindMyPast. Helpful videos and articles are provided for over 60 countries and all U.S. states. Over 200 family history activity ideas are included for families, teens, and children, all free to you.
  • FamilySearch Discover your family’s story through historical records with free family history and genealogical records. Download the Family Tree app to connect with your ancestors, wherever you are. The Haywood County Public Library is a FamilySearch Affiliate, meaning you may access additional images only available to affiliate libraries.
  • Haywood County Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc A nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving information and serving the citizens of Haywood County. Contact President Mike McLean at or 828-275-4057.
  • HeritageQuest Online Search city directories, census records, Revolutionary War records, and more.
  • Linkpendium 10,000,000+ resource directory to everything on the Web about families worldwide and genealogically-relevant information about US states and counties.
  • National Archives and Records Administration The nation’s record keeper, NARA provides public access to government records with a plethora of genealogical resources that are free and available for public use, including Census records, immigration records, ethnic heritage information, land records, and more. In its genealogy section, NARA also offers charts, forms, documents, and videos about how to get started in this kind of research.
  • North Carolina Genealogical Society  Supporting North Carolina family history research since 1974.
  • ThoughtCo Explore your heritage with genealogy tutorials, database recommendations, surname meanings, search strategies, and ancestry charts.
  • US GenWeb Project - Haywood County  The USGenWeb Project is a group of volunteers working together to provide free online genealogy help and information for every U.S. state and county since 1996.

Census Records

1950 Census The National Archive provides full access to the 1950 census images, maps, and descriptions, released April 1, 2022.

1940 Census The National Archive provides full access to the 1940 census images, maps, and descriptions.

The U. S. Census Bureau provides several resources for searching and obtaining census records, including:

Grave Records

BillionGraves The world’s largest resource for searchable GPS cemetery data, and growing bigger and better every day. Help by collecting headstone images from local and other cemeteries, and then transcribe the personal information found on the images.

Find a Grave Search for your ancestors among 170 million grave records. 

Haywood County Historical & Genealogical Society

Located at 112 Virginia Avenue, Waynesville, in the Folkmoot Friendship Center, the offices of the HCHGS house permanent records of the Society along with various artifacts and books of historical significance. Access various services of the Society such as family history and genealogy, review historical documents and photographs, and explore volunteer opportunities with the Society. Visit or call (828) 564-1044 for more information.

Haywood County Register of Deeds

Search the Haywood County Register of Deeds for vital records, real estate records, and much more.

Vital Records

North Carolina National Center for Health Statistics Locate birth, death, marriage, and divorce records.