Works Progress Administration (WPA),
  part 2

by Dae Powell

Now, I'd like to give a more detailed look at the WPA holdings.


Although there are other records and resources, this focus will be on states found under the following topics:

  1. Federal records and archives surveyed
  2. Vital statistics surveyed
  3. Public records and archives surveyed
  4. State records and archives surveyed
  5. Municipal and town records/archives surveyed
  6. County records and archives surveyed
  7. Directories of churches and religious organizations
  8. Church records and archives surveyed
  9. Microfilmed records and archives surveyed
  10. WPA-related web links

This information includes only the 48 continental United States and Washington, DC.  Excluded are the possessions of this country (Alaska, Hawaii, Virgin Islands, etc.)  Please recall that the WPA was terminated during WW2 in 1942.

  1. Federal Records and Archives (ship registers and enrollments)
    • California (Eureka)
    • Louisiana (New Orleans)
    • Maine (Machias)
    • Massachsetts (Barnstable, Boston, Charleston, New Bedford and Plymouth)
    • Oregon (Marshfield and Portland)
    • Pennsylvania (Philadelphia)
    • Rhode Island (Bristol-Warren and Providence)

  2. Vital Statistics
    • Alabama
    • Arizona
    • California
    • Colorado
    • Florida
    • Georgia
    • Idaho
    • Illinois
    • Indiana
    • Iowa
    • Kansas
    • Kentucky
    • Louisiana
    • Massachusetts
    • Michigan
    • Minnesota
    • Mississippi
    • Missouri
    • Montana
    • Nebraska
    • Nevada
    • New Hampshire
    • New Jersey
    • Oklahoma
    • North Carolina
    • North Dakota
    • New York
    • Oregon
    • Rhode Island
    • South Dakota
    • Texas
    • Utah
    • Washington
    • West Virginia
    • Wisconsin
    • Wyoming

  3. Public Records and Archives
    • Mississippi (Adams County)
    • New Jersey (Gloucester County)
    • New York (Staten Island and Newtown)
    • Tennessee (Knox and Shelbt Counties)

  4. State Records and Archives
    • California (Northern - Immigration and Housing)
    • Illinois (State Council of Defense)
    • Maryland (Allegany, Anne Arundel, Carroll, Garrett, Howard, Montgomery, Washington, Wicomico Counties)
    • Michigan (State Police)
    • New Jersey (Naturalization Records)
    • Oklahoma
    • Rhode Island (Legislation Concerning Vital Statistics)
    • Utah (Census of Weber County and State of Deseret)

  5. Municipal and Town Records/Archives
    • Connecticut (Inventories of Fairfield, Hartford, and New Haven Counties)
    • Georgia (Inventories of Cook County)
    • Indiana (Municipal Government in Indiana)
    • Louisiana (Inventories of Municipal Archives for Franklinton and Thibodaux)
    • Massachussetts (Inventories of Berksire, Franklin, Hampden, Middlesex, Norfolk, Suffolk, and Worcester Counties)
    • Michigan (Inventories of Wayne County)
    • New Hampshire (Inventories of Belknap, Hillsboro, Merrimack, and Rockingham Counties)
    • New Jersey (Inventories of Essex, Hudson, Monmouth, and Morris Counties)
    • New York City (Inventories of Bronx and Richmond Boroughs)
    • Ohio (Inventories of Cuyahoga County)
    • Rhode Island (Inventories of Kent and Providence Counties)
    • Texas (Inventory of Brazoria County)
    • Utah (Inventory of Ogden County)
    • Vermont (Inventories of Addison, Chittenden, Franklin, Grand Isle, Lamoille, Orleans, Rutland, Windham, and Windsor Counties)
    • Wisconsin (Inventories of Cudahy, Wauwatosa, and Greendale Counties)

  6. County Records and Archives
    • Alabama (Clay, Colbert, Cinecuh, Cullman, Green, Hale, Lauderdale, Lowndes, Madison, Marengo, Sumpter, Talladega, Wilcox, and Winston Counties)
    • Arizona (Maricopa, Pima, Santa Cruz Counties)
    • Arkansas (Baxter, Benton, Carroll, Cleburne, Cleveland, Cross, Faulkner, Hot Springs, Izard, Jackson, Madison, Monroe, Montgomery, Polk, Saline, Scott, Searcy)
    • California (Alameda, Fresno, Kern, Los Angeles, Marin, Mono, Napa, San Benito, San Bernadino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, and Ventura Counties)
    • Colorado (Alamosa, Arapahoe, Bent, Conejos, Castilla, Fremont, Garfield, Hinsdale, Larimer, Logan, MOrgan, Phillips, Prowers, San Miguel, Washington, and Yuma Counties)
    • Delaware (New Castle County)
    • Florida (Charlotte, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Hardee, Hendry, Leon, Okaloosa, Pinellas, Sarasota, and Wakulla Counties)
    • Georgia (Chatham, Clinch, Cook, Dougherty, Echols, Jefferson, Lee, Muscogee, and Richmond Counties)
    • Idaho (Bingham, Boundary, Clark, Kostenai, Lemhi, Minidoka, Nez Perce, Power, and Teton Counties)
    • Illinois (Adams, Brown, Carroll, Champaign, Clark, Cumberland, Dewitt, Douglas, Effingham, Fayette, Franklin, Jackson, Jo Daviess, Knox, Livingston, Logan, Macopin, Menard, Montgomery, Morgan, Moultrie, Ogle, Peoria, Piatt, Pike, Rock Island, Salina, Sangamon, Scott, Shelby, St. Clair, Stephenson, and Vermilion Counties.
    • Indiana (Allen, Blackford, Boone, Clay, Delaware, Fulton, Greene, Howard, Jay, LaPorte, Marion, Marshall, Monroe, Morgan, Posey, St. Joseph, Shelby, Tippecanoe, Tipton, Vanderburgh, Warrick, and Wells Counties)
    • Iowa (Carroll, Cherokee, Dallas, Dubuque, Ada, Jasper, Montgomery, Polk, Sac, Taylor, and Woodbury Counties)
    • Kansas (Bourbon, Cherokee, Franklin, Gove, Graham, Gray, Greenwood, Johnson, Montgomery, Morris, Osage, Phillips, Seward, and Shawnee Counties)
    • Louisiana (Allen, Assumption, Beauregard, Bossier, Caleasien, Grant, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lafourche, Morehouse, Natchitoches, and Orleans Counties)
    • Massachusetts (Essex County)
    • Michigan (Alger, Alpena, Baraga, Bay, Calhoun, Cheboygan, Genesee, Iosco, Iron, Jackson, Marquette, and Muskegon Counties)
    • Minnesota (Aiken, Anoka, Beltrami, Benton, Big Stone, Blue Earth, Cass, Chippewa, Dakota, Dodge, Douglas, Fairbault, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Grant, Houston, Hubbard, Jackson, Kanabac, Lincoln, Marshall, Martin, Meeker, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Murray, Nicollet, Nobles, Olmsted, Otter Tail, Pipestone, Redwood, Renville, Rice, Rock, Scott, Sherburne, Stearns, Traverse, Wabasha, Washington, Wright, and Yellow Medicine Counties)
    • Mississippi (Amite, Forrest, Grenada, Humphreys, Lamar, Pearl River, Tippah, Tunica, and Walthall Counties)
    • Missouri (Cass, Cole, Dallas, Henry, Johnson, Linn, McDonald, Marion, Jasper, Pettis, Pike, Reynolds, Ripley, and Shelby Counties)
    • Montana (Beverhead, Carbon, Flathead, Gallatin, Lincoln, Madison, Mineral Lake, Missoula, Park, Ravalli, Sanders, Silver Bow, Stillwater, Sweet Grass, and Toole Counties)
    • Nebraska (Gosper, Greeley, Howard, Loup, Merrick, Seward, and Webster Counties)
    • Nevada (Douglas, Elko, Eureka, Mineral, Nye, Ormsby, and Washoe Counties)
    • New Hampshire (Belknap, Carroll, Cheshire, Coos, Grafton, and Merrimack Counties)
    • New Jersey (Bergen, Morris, Ocean, and Passaic Counties)
    • New Mexico (Bernalillo, Colfax, Dona Ana, Eddy, Grant, Hidalgo, Luna, Mora, Otero, Sandoval, San Miguel, Sierra, Torrance, Union, and Valencia Counties)
    • New York City (Bronx, Kings and Richmond Borough and Counties)
    • New York State (Albany, Broome, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, and Ulster Counties)
    • North Carolina (All counties - 3 volumes)
    • North Dakota (Golden Valley, Mercer, and Williams Counties)
    • Ohio (Adams, Allen, Ashland, Athens, Brown, Columbiana, Cuyahoga, Fayette, Franklin, Geauga, Hamilton, Hancock, Jackson, Knox, Lake, Lorain, Lucas, Madison, Montgomery, Pike, Ross, Scioto, Seneca, Stark, Summit, Trunbull, and Washington Counties)
    • Oklahoma (Atoka, Beckham, Cherokee, Cimarron, Haskell, Lincoln, McIntosh, Mayes, Muskogee, Pittsburg, and Pushmataha County)
    • Oregon (Benton, Clatsop, Coos, Hood River, Josephine, Klamath, Linn, Morrow, Multnomah, Tillamook, Umatilla, Wasco, and Washington Counties)
    • Pennsylvania (Adams, Beaver, Berks, Blair, Bradford, Delaware, Erie, Fayette, Forest, Greene, Lancaster, Lawrence, Luzerne, Warren, Washington, Wayne, and Westmoreland Counties)
    • South Carolina (Bennett, Buffalo, Clark, Faulk, Haakon, Jackson, Millette, Miner, and Washabaugh Counties)
    • Tennessee (Anderson, Bedford, Blount, Bradley, Cheatham, Crockett, Hamilton, Haywood, Loudon, Rutherford, Sullivan, Tipton, and Wilson Counties)
    • Texas (Bandera, Bastrop, Brown, Caldwell, Calhoun, Denton, DeWItt, Fayettte, Gillespie, Gregg, Guadalupe, Hays, Hood, Jackson, Marion, Milam, Mills, Orange, Robertson, Rockwall, Sabine, Somervell, Uvalde, and Wilson Counties)
    • Utah (Box Elder, Carbon, Daggett, Emery, Grand, Morgan, Sanpete, Tooele, Uintah, Utah, Wasatch, and Weber Counties)
    • Vermont (Lamoille County)
    • Virginia (Amelia, Brunswick, CHesterfield, Dinwiddie, Isle of Wight, Middlesex, Powhatan, Prince George, and Southampton Counties)
    • Washington (Adams, Asotin, Benton, Chelan, Cowlitz, Garfield, Lewis, Lincoln, Pond Oreille, Skagit, Spokane, Stevens, and Yakima Counties)
    • West Virginia (Gilmer, Grant, Lincoln, Marion, Mineral, MOnroe, Pendleton, Pocahontas, Putnam, Randolph, Ritchie, Roane, and Taylor Counties)
    • Wisconsin (Barron, Buffalo, Chippewa, Clark, Douglas, Dunn, Eau Claire, Grant, Jackson, LaCross, Marathon, Monroe, Oneida, Pepin, and Polk Counties)
    • Wyoming (Goshen, Laramie, Lincoln, Park, Platte, and Sweetwater Counties)

  7. Directories of Churches and Religious Organizations
      Arizona     Iowa     Oregon
      Arkansas Louisiana   Rhode Island
      California Maine   Tennessee
      Delaware Michigan   Utah
      District of Columbia Minnesota   Vermont
      Florida Montana   Wisconsin
      Idaho New Jersey   Wyoming
      Illinois New Mexico
      Indiana Oklahoma

  8. Church Records and Archives
      Alabama     Massachusetts     North Dakota
      Arizona Michigan   Ohio
      Arkansas Minnesota Oklahoma
      California -Northern Mississippi Pennsylvania
      Colorado Missouri Rhode Island
      Connecticut Montana Tennessee
      Delaware Nevada Utah
      District of Columbia Nebraska Vermont
      Florida New Hampshire Washington
      Georgia New Jersey West Virginia
      Illinois New York City Wisconsin
      Louisiana New York State Wyoming
      Maryland North Carolina

  9. Microfilmed Records and Archives
      A = Apprentice Records   M = Marriages
      B = Births S = Slave Registers
      I = Immigration T = Tax Lists
      L = Land or Deeds W = Wills or Probates

      Indiana                Allen County   Rolls 61 - 64 BLMW
        Clark County Rolls 17 - 19, 58   BIW
      Dearborn County Rolls 54 - 57 BLM
      Floyd County Rolls 13 - 16 BM
      Franklin County Rolls 48 - 53 ALMW
      Gibson County Rolls 34 - 37 BMW
      Harrison County Rolls 7 - 12 BMW
      Jefferson County Rolls 20 - 24 BLMTW
      Jennings County Rolls 25 - 27 BLMW
      Knox County Rolls 28 - 33, 65 BLMSW
      Perry County Rolls 59 - 60 LM
      Posey County Rolls 38 - 40 BLMW
      Scott County Rolls 1 & 2 BLMW
      Spencer County Rolls 46 - 47 MW
      Warrick County Rolls 41 - 46 BLMW
      Washington County Rolls 3 - 6 LMW

      Louisiana State     1911 - 1941   B
      New Orleans 1847 - 1901 B

      New Jersey       Feb 1852     I
        1666 - 1786 L
      1851 - 1873 I

Again, this is not a complete list of WPA holdings, but I think the above should give you some areas that are ripe for research.  As you can see, some states have a bonanza of information while others a mere trickle.

In conclusion, I've added some websites where you can find WPA information.

WPA-Related Web Sites

General

    American Life Histories, Manuscripts from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1940

      (American Memory Project, Library of Congress)
      American Memory Project

    NARA: RG 69--Records of the Work Projects Administration  (holdings!)

      National Archives

    WPA Exhibition

      WPA Exhibition

    American Slave Narratives: An Online Anthology University of Virginia (oral histories)

      Slave Narratives

    Slave Narrative database at Ancestry.com  (oral histories)

      (Ancestry subscriber database)
      Ancestry.com


State-by-State listing:

(sorry, not all states were found)

    List by State  (life histories)

      List by State

    Alabama

      WPA Life Histories, Alabama
      Alabama

    Arizona

      Arizona WPA Records, by Jeannie Rogers
      Arizona
      Arizona Territorial Census, 1864 (Ancestry subscriber database)
      Arizona Territorial Census

    Colorado

      WPA Photo Collection at the Colorado State Archives
      Colorado State Archives

    Connecticut

      WPA Life Histories, Connecticut
      Connecticut

    Florida

      WPA Life Histories, Florida
      Florida

    Georgia

      Work Progress Administration (WPA) projects in Georgia
      Georgia

    Illinois

      Illinois Historical Records Survey of the Works Projects Administration Record Group 954.00
      Illinois

    Indiana

      Indiana WPA Indices
      (Tri-State Genealogical Society)
      Tri-State Genealogical Society
      Cass County, Indiana WPA Birth Record Index for 1882-1920
      Cass County

    Lousiana

      New Orleans Public Library, WPA Photograph Collection, Louisiana Division
      New Orleans Public Library

    Maine

      WPA Life Histories, Maine
      Maine

    Massachusetts

      WPA Life Histories, Massachusetts
      Massachusetts

    Missouri

      WPA Guide to the "Show Me" State
      (Publication for sale)
      Missouri

    Montana

      Montana State University Libraries, Merrill G. Burlingame Special Collections WPA records, 1935-1942
      Montana State University Libraries
      WPA Print Collection, University of Montana/Missoula
      University of Montana

    Nebraska

      WPA Life Histories, Nebraska
      Nebraska

    New Hampshire

      Works Project Administration: Historic American Buildings Survey of New Hampshire Papers, 1935-1941 (MC 33), Index of Names of People and Places
      New Hampshire

    New Mexico

      WPA Life Histories, New Mexico
      New Mexico

    New York

      WPA Life Histories, New York
      New York

    North Carolina

      WPA Life Histories, North Carolina
      North Carolina

    Oregon

      WPA Life Histories, Oregon
      Oregon

    Rhode Island

      WPA Life Histories, Rhode Island
      Rhode Island

    South Carolina

      WPA Life Histories, South Carolina
      South Carolina

    Texas

      WPA Life Histories, Texas
      Texas

    Utah

      Works Progress Administration Collection, J. Willard Marriott Library, Univ. of Utah
      Marriott Library
      Inventory of the WPA Collection at the Utah State Historical Society
      Utah State Historical Society

    Vermont

      WPA Life Histories, Vermont
      Vermont

    Virginia

      WPA Life Histories, Virginia
      Virginia
      Petersburg Public Library Newspaper Index
      Newspaper Index

    Washington

      WPA Life Histories, Washington
      Washington

    Wisconsin

      WPA Life Histories, Wisconsin
      Wisconsin

OK, there you have it!   I will be very interested in learning what you discover about your family while researching the records indexed by the WPA.

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