Your Local Library

Yes, that is right, your local library, and the librarians that run it,  are a valuable asset to help you research your family’s history.Here are just a few of the many ways they can help:

  1. Inter library loan-Through Inter Library Loan (ILL) you can get many books that tell about the places your ancestors lived.  Things like what events happened in their towns during their lifetimes, town and county histories, and stories that let you know your family history beyond birth, marriage, and death.
  2. Online resources-Often times even the smallest libraries will have access to genealogy websites that are provided by the state.  Most have access to Ancestry (usually must be used in the library), digital newspapers, obituaries, and local history.
  3. Repositories of local history-If you are looking for details of local history, often times the local library is the place that has it.  Things like small town directories, school yearbooks, and other strictly local treasures.
  4. Genealogy classes-Often libraries will offer classes on public interest subjects, such as Family History.


OK, I know this ties in to the last one, but it seems like no one uses worldcat (  Worldcat is an online card catalogue that connects the catalogue of many, if not most, libraries in the United States.  Looking for a hard to find book, want to know who has the newspaper from your grandmothers home town, trying to find information about the conditions at Valley Forge?  A search on worldcat will tell you where it is if it is to be found.  Then you can go to your library and order it through ILL.

Jim’s Research Toolbox

Click Here.  When I go to a new repository or library, I try to record it in my toolbox.  In the toolbox you will find courthouses, libaries, archives, websites, and more.

Thomas Macentee’s Research Toolbox

Same thing as mine, but his is much bigger and more national in scope.  Click here

Cyndi’s List

If you are looking for genealogy on the internet, it will be found here.


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