Local History & Genealogy

The Friench Simpson Memorial Library is the repository of the most extensive collection of material on the history and inhabitants of Lavaca County, Texas, which was established in 1846.  

Local History & Genealogy Services

The Historic Photography Collection


 is comprised of over 2000 photographs of people, places and events in Lavaca County  history. 

 The collection also includes  the largest collection of photographs by the late H.J. Braunig and his partner Pius Fey.  

Together and separately, Fey and Braunig used their camera lens to capture the history of Hallettsville and Lavaca County for over 50 years.  

Also available are rural school  photographs  and historic postcards.  

Family & Community Histories


Our extensive vertical file collection includes  family surname files, church and fraternal records, obituaries, cemetery  records and funeral notices, scrapbooks and miscellaneous materials.



Historic maps are also available.  The map collection includes appraisal maps,  Sanborn Fire maps on microfilm, topography maps, and copies of historic Lavaca County  maps from the collection of the Texas General Land office in Austin, Texas.

Microfilm Collection


​The microfilm collection includes census records,  Lavaca County records, military records, church records and the mainstay of the  collection our historic newspaper microfilm including English and foreign  language newspapers.

Here is a link to our Microfilm Holdings

After Hours


The After Hours Genealogy is two hours each month where genealogists, historians and researchers can visit the library and have all of the resources in our collection available to them including individualized assistance from our local history staff.  

While public access computers can be used, wifi is available so participants are
encouraged to bring their laptops, tablets or any other electronic devices.  

Visitors have access to all of the materials in the local history/genealogy department as well as popular electronic databases. This program has proven to be an excellent opportunity for networking and problem solving.

For more information on this program, please call 361-798-3243 ext. 200, email us at fsmlib.director@gmail.com or visit the library during regular business hours.