Compiled by reference specialists at the Library of Congress, this guide identifies key print and online resources for pursuing family history, as well as state, county and municipal historical research, for the state of Wyoming.
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Sheree Budge, Reference Librarian, History and Genealogy Section
Created: May 10, 2023
Last Updated: August 23, 2023
Among the indigenous people who inhabited Wyoming before the Europeans came were the Lakota, the Crow, the Arapaho, and the Shoshone. This area was governed by the Spanish Empire, Mexico, and Alta California. The land was ceded to the United States after the Mexican American War in 1848. It was explored by French trappers, Lewis and Clark, and Jim Bridger. Their early descriptions of Yellowstone were widely considered to be fictitious.
Settlers followed the Oregon Trail across Wyoming on their way to the Pacific Coast, and homesteading encouraged smaller farmers to compete with the big ranchers for land use, leading to the Johnson County War in 1892. Territorial governments awarded women votes early on and elected many early women leaders, thus winning Wyoming the nickname, the Equality State.
This guide offers a selection of resources and strategies for Wyoming local history and genealogy research. These include the print and digital collections of the Library of Congress, as well as external repositories and web sites key to finding forebears in Big Wyoming, the Cowboy State.
About Local History & Genealogy Reference Services
The Library of Congress has one of the world's premier collections of U.S. and foreign genealogical and local historical publications, numbering more than 50,000 compiled family histories and over 100,000 U.S. local histories. The Library's genealogy collection began as early as 1815 with the purchase of Thomas Jefferson's library.