Click to search the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library Skip Navigation

All NYPL locations will close at 3 PM on December 31, 2014 and will be closed on January 1,  2015.

Your Library Needs You!

Selected Internet Resources in Genealogy

Share

Selected Internet Resources Genealogy  is a list of free websites useful when conducting genealogical research. It includes links to genealogical, and historical societies, archives and libraries; search engines, catalogs, and databases; guides to all aspects of genealogical research; blogs and newsletters; data portals, and records, digitized and transcribed. For more information about this list, please contact the Milstein Division at history@nypl.org.

Libraries and Archives

Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center
“The ACPL Genealogy Center is a unique and valuable resource for the Northeastern Indiana community and the entire genealogical community at large.  […] one of the largest research collections available, incorporating records from around the world. “


Brooklyn Historical Society
The Brooklyn Historical Society Othmer Library is a treasure trove of materials useful to anyone conducting research in Brooklyn, and Long Island. The collections include maps, family histories, city directories, scrapbooks, indexes, newspapers, and archive and manuscript materials pertaining to genealogy.


Brooklyn Public Library Brooklyn Collection
“The Brooklyn Collection is Brooklyn Public Library's local history division, providing a range of information and services about anything and everything Brooklyn. Our rich assortment of research materials and archival documents includes maps, historic Brooklyn photographs, ephemera, prints and the full run of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.” This collection also includes local histories, Brooklyn city directories, and vertical files.


Center for Jewish History: Ackman & Ziff Family Genealogy Institute
“The Ackman & Ziff Family Genealogy Institute provides an enormous wealth of genealogical resources through the partners' collections and a variety of fact sheets ranging from "how to" guides for the beginner to advanced research guides for the seasoned researcher.”


Collections Canada: Genealogy and Family History
Genealogy and family history research Library and Archives Canada. This sit includes information about researching numerous Canadian records, including vital records, censuses, immigration and citizenship records, military records, property deeds, and employment records.


Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Library
“Since its founding in 1896, the DAR Library has grown into a specialized collection of American genealogical and historical manuscripts and publications, as well as powerful on-site databases. The DAR Library collection contains over 225,000 books, 10,000 research files, thousands of manuscript items, and special collections of African American, Native American, and women’s history, genealogy and culture. Nearly 40,000 family histories and genealogies comprise a major portion

Typical Study Room
A typical reading room

of the book collection, many of which are unique or available in only a few libraries in the country. The library is free and open to the public.”


Family History Library
The largest microfilm genealogy library in the world, the Family History Library’s collections include “over 2.4 million rolls of microfilmed genealogical records; 727,000 microfiche; 356,000 books, serials, and other formats; over 4,500 periodicals and 3,725 electronic resources. Records available are from the United States, Canada, the British Isles, Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Africa.”


USA.GOV: Family History and Genealogy
Find Census, immigration, and military records, and record-finding aids for genealogists and family historians. See also USA.gov:  Genealogy Resources, by State,  an A-Z list of states' genealogy resources.. 


National Archives:  Archives Library Information Center (ALIC): Genealogy
The National Archives “Archives Library Information Center” (ALIC) is a research hub that presents a selection of links for how to conduct genealogical research, genealogy resources around the world, and searchable databases. In addition you can search for online books, articles, and ask for reference assistance on a number of subjects stemming from the National Archives’ collections.


Library of Congress, Local History & Genealogy 
The Library of Congress has one of the world's premier collections of U.S. and foreign genealogical and local historical publications. The Library's genealogy collection began as early as 1815 with the purchase of Thomas Jefferson's library. The LoC genealogy page features search tips, links to collections, other internet sources, and reference question options. 

National Archives [United Kingdom]: Genealogy
The National Archives of the United Kingdom has two detailed guides useful for researching genealogy in the United Kingdom: “Looking for a Person” and “Medieval and early modern family history.”


National Archives of Ireland: Genealogy
The genealogy page at the National Archives of Ireland website includes collection descriptions, links to free records (the 1901 and 1911 Irish censuses, for instance), a guide to getting started, a list of Irish genealogy researchers, genealogy web sites,  genealogy centers nationwide, and a bibliography of  genealogical publications.


National Records of Scotland: Family History
The National Records of Scotland Family History page offers a number of research guides pertaining to researching Scottish ancestry. “This brief guide covers:  the main records for tracing Scottish ancestors; where and how you can access them; and our guides and services to aid your family history research.”


New York State Military Museum and Veterans Research Center
“The mission of the museum and research center is to preserve, interpret and disseminate the story, history and records of New York State’s military forces and veterans. The collection is divided into the museum and the library/archives holdings.” Includes the New York National Guardsman magazine; Adjutant General Reports; Civil War Burial Cards; New York State Awards, Decorations, And Medals; and Charts Showing Lineage of New York Units.


New York City Municipal Archives
“With records dating back to the earliest days of European colonial settlement in the seventeenth century, up to the present mayoral administration, the Municipal Archives houses 150,000 cubic feet of historical government records, including manuscripts, official correspondence, vital records, ledgers, several thousand feet of moving images, over one million photographs, sound recordings, maps, and architectural plans.’ The Archives’ genealogical collections include records of births reported in the 5 Boroughs (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens & Staten Island), prior to 1910; deaths reported prior to 1949, and marriages reported prior to 1930.


New York State Archives: Genealogy Resources
Genealogy Resources at New York State Archives describes and provides access points to the archives’ genealogy pertinent collections. This includes guides to New York State vital records, military service records, state censuses, real estate records, court records, naturalization records, probate records, and more. Various digital search tools are provided, as are links to free records held in the State Archives Digital Collection, and at the genealogy databases Ancestry.com, and Family Search.

Italian immigrants at Ellis Island, 1905
Italian imigrants at Ellis Island


New-York Historical Society: Museum and Library
The New-York Historical Society, one of America’s pre-eminent cultural institutions, is dedicated to fostering research, presenting history and art exhibitions, and public programs that reveal the dynamism of history and its influence on the world of today. Founded in 1804, New-York Historical is the oldest museum in New York City. New-York Historical has a mission to explore the richly layered political, cultural and social history of New York City and State and the nation, and to serve as a national forum for the discussion of issues surrounding the making and meaning of history.”


Newberry Library (Chicago): Genealogy and Local History
“The Newberry has been collecting genealogy and local history materials since 1887. Staff at the Genealogy and Local History desk can help you explore the Newberry’s rich collections of family histories; local histories; censuses, probate, deed, court, tax, and cemetery records; military rosters; periodicals; genealogical guides; and reference works.”


The Archives at Queens Library
“Since 1912, the Archives at Queens Library has collected, preserved, and made available a myriad of resources that document the social, economic, and political history of the four counties on Long Island - Kings (Brooklyn), Queens, Nassau, and Suffolk. […] The Archives has one of the largest collections of primary and secondary resources documenting Long Island.  It consists of approximately 36,000 books and volumes of serials, approximately 2,500 cubic feet of manuscripts, 4,500 maps and broadsides, 105,000 photographs, 422 feet of vertical files, and 9,000 reels of microfilm. The Archives has subscriptions to 49 journals and 28 newspapers.”


Westchester County Archives: Genealogical resources
Westchester County Archives is the official repository of historical public records of Westchester County. The archive holds records from 1680 to the present, many of interest to genealogists, including property, naturalization, will and probate records.

[Rivington Street] Miss Goertz with young reader
[Rivington Street] Miss Goertz with young reader

Genealogical Societies and Groups

JewishGen
The JewishGen genealogy group’s website features thousands of databases, research tools, and other resources to help those with Jewish ancestry research and find family members. This site includes a guide for getting started.


AfriGeneas
AfriGeneas is a site devoted to African American genealogy, to researching African Ancestry in the Americas in particular and to genealogical research and resources in general.


Online U.S. State and Local Historical & Genealogical Societies
This web site is an index of online state and local historical and genealogical societies in the United States.


Italian Genealogical Group
The website of the Italian Genealogy Group includes numerous free databases essential to New York City and Italian genealogical research, including: the New York City Death Index (1891-1948), the New York City Grooms Index (1864-1936), the New York City Brides Index (1866?-1937), and the New York City Naturalization Index.


Jewish Genealogical Society
The website of the Jewish Genealogical Society, features information about programs and events, and includes a database of Burial Societies, and lists of Jewish Cemeteries in the New York Metropolitan area.


National Genealogical Society
The website of the National Genealogical Society includes tutorials, standards and guidelines, and helpful articles for genealogist.


New England Historic Genealogical Society
American Ancestors is the web site of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, and includes some free databases, news, articles, and the online catalog of the NEHGS Library, in Boston. The subscription databases of this website are available in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building


New York Genealogical & Biographical Society
The NYG&B is the most authoritative source for research on New York families and families with New York connections. Founded in 1869, it is the largest genealogical society in New York and the only one that is state-wide.


The German Genealogy Group
The website of the German Genealogy Group includes numerous free databases essential to New York City and German genealogical research, including: German Bavarian Emigrants, the GGG Surname Database, the Fresh Pond Crematory and U. S. Columbarium Interment Index, the New York City Death Index (1891-1948), the New York City Grooms Index (1864-1936), the New York City Brides Index (1866?-1937), and the New York City Naturalization Index.


The Hispanic Genealogical Society of New York
The website of the  Hispanic Genealogical Society of New York,  “a non-profit public service and educational organization, headquartered in New York City, where our volunteer staff organizes meetings, plan projects, provide instructional forums and host seminars.” This site includes lists of resources for anyone interested in researching their Hispanic heritage.

Trinity Churchyard
Trinity Churchyard


Ontario Genealogical Society
The website of the Ontario Genealogical Society includes guides, cemetery and name indexes, and information about numerous genealogy projects taking place in the Canadian province of Ontario.


Association of Professional Genealogists
Search for professional genealogists by name, location, research specialty, and geographical specialty.


Board for Certification of Genealogists
Use the BCG “Find a Genealogist” search facility to locate a professional genealogist.

Records, Indices and Data


Arkivverket Digialarkivet
Arkivverket Digialarkivet is the digital archive of the National and Regional State Archives of Norway. Collections available online include digitized and transcribed censuses, parish records, emigrant registers, probate and property records, accounts and tax lists, legal records, and genealogy collections.


British History Online
“British History Online is the digital library containing some of the core printed primary and secondary sources for the medieval and modern history of the British Isles. Created by the Institute of Historical Research and the History of Parliament Trust, it aims to support academic and personal users around the world in their learning, teaching and research.” This web site includes Ordnance Survey Maps, journals for the House of Lords, and the House of Commons, information about the counties of England, and numerous digitized or transcribed historical print materials.


Castle Garden Immigration Center, 1820-1892
“CastleGarden.org is an educational project of The Battery Conservancy. This free site offers access to an extraordinary database of information on 11 million immigrants from 1820 through 1892, the year Ellis Island opened. More than 100 million Americans can trace their ancestors to this early immigration period.”


Crime in New York 1850-1950
“The Crime in New York 1850-1950 digital collection includes the rich criminal history of New York City. This collection offers access to primary materials documenting nearly a century of investigation, arrest, judgment and incarceration of many famous and unknown criminals in New York City. Materials have been gathered from the Lloyd Sealy Library's Special Collections and are available through this web-resource.” This collection consists of images, and trial transcripts.


EllisIsland.org
The web site of the Statue of Liberty - Ellis Island Foundation includes a passenger record search of “over 51 million passenger records.”

Norwegian Immigrants At Castle Garden.
Norwegian immigrants at Castle Garden.


Family Search
Produced by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), this site searches genealogical records worldwide including Ancestral Files, International Genealogical Index, and census and other vital statistics sources. Search records by name or location.


Federal Land Patent Records Site
The Bureau of Land Management(BLM), General Land Office (GLO) Records Automation web site provides live access to Federal land conveyance records for the Public Land States. The database includes images of more than five million Federal land title records issued between 1820 and the present, and images related to survey plats and field notes, dating back to 1810.


Genealogy Trails
Free crowd sourced genealogical data, organized by state, from around the United States.


National Archives: Resources for Genealogists
The genealogy page of the National Archives includes: guides to getting started in family history research; articles about various genealogy themed subjects and collections; topic browsing; news about genealogy events, workshops, and programs, and database access, online and at National Archives facilities.


New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene holds birth certificates (1910-present), and death certificates (1949-present) issued in New York City during those years.


Search for Missing Friends: Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot
“From October 1831 through October 1921, the Boston Pilot newspaper printed a “Missing Friends” column with advertisements from people looking for “lost” friends and relatives who had emigrated from Ireland to the United States. This extraordinary collection of 41,249 records is available here as a searchable online database, which contains a text record for each ad that appeared in the Pilot.” This collection is one of the key sources for locating Irish places of origin.


United States Federal Census Enumeration Forms
This resource contains facsimile copies of the enumeration forms used in the decennial census of the United States from 1860 through 2000, and the 2000-2006 American Community Survey. The forms convey the physical layout of the documents used to enumerate the population, and are useful when original census form questions are difficult to read. Included are the census questions, and enumerator instructions, useful for interpreting different sections of the census form.


Manifest Markings: A Guide to Interpreting Passenger List Annotations
“Passenger Lists or manifests. Every genealogist and his sister wants to find one. But after years of searching, many find a document that raises as many questions as it answers. This is especially true of passenger lists dating after 1892, which are frequently found to have a variety of markings, codes, and annotations squeezed into the margins and small blank spaces above and behind information written in the list form's columns. These web pages are intended to provide a comprehensive reference guide to interpreting the markings, or annotations, found on immigration passenger lists.” Authored by Marian L. Smith, Historian, U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.

Bartholdi's statue [the Statue of Liberty].
Bartholdi's statue [the Statue of Liberty].

Search engines and web portals

Ahnenforschung.net

Ahnenforschung.net is a German genealogy web portal. This website includes links to German genealogy resources, guides, and forums. 

ArchiveGrid
“ArchiveGrid includes over three million records describing archival materials, bringing together information about historical documents, personal papers, family histories, and more. With over 1,000 different archival institutions represented, ArchiveGrid helps researchers looking for primary source materials held in archives, libraries, museums and historical societies.”

Census Finder

A directory of free and subscription censuses: domestic and international. 

Cyndi's List

Regularly updated, Cyndi's List is a categorized and cross-referenced list of links for genealogical research, with over 300,000 links for genealogical research in more than 200 categories. The site includes guides to the different aspects of genealogical research, including getting started. http://www.cyndislist.com/beginners/

Family tree.
Family tree.

Death Indexes

This website is a directory of links to websites with online death indexes, listed by state and county. Included are death records, death certificate indexes, death notices and registers, obituaries, probate indexes, and cemetery and burial records.

ePodunk

ePodunk is an online gazetteer, with information on cities, counties, towns, and communities in the United States.


Internet Archive Digital Library
The Text Archive enables you to search and view the full-text of scanned books via the Web. The Internet Archive is an invaluable source of older digitized books, including genealogy resources and family histories. 

Stephen Morse
“This site contains tools for finding immigration records, census records, vital records, and for dealing with calendars, maps, foreign alphabets, and numerous other applications. Some of these tools fetch data from other websites but do so in more versatile ways than the search tools provided on those websites.”


WorldCat
“WorldCat is the world's largest network of library content and services. WorldCat libraries are dedicated to providing access to their resources on the Web, where most people start their search for information.” WorldCat is a union catalog, a search engine that allows you to search 72,000 online library catalogs at the same time.

Newspapers


Brooklyn Newsstand
“Brooklyn Newsstand is a newspaper digitization initiative between Brooklyn Public Library's local history division -- the Brooklyn Collection -- and Newspapers.com.  This partnership gives the public free access to the full run of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle newspaper, which was published from 1841 to 1955.”


Chronicling America
“Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1836-1922 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present.”


Fulton History: Old New York State Historical Newspapers
A searchable repository of old newspapers, tens of millions of pages published in New York State, between 1795 and 2007. This web site includes Old Fulton NY Postcards, a collection of digitized images recording the history of Fulton, NY.

Cemeteries


BillionGraves.com
A site dedicated to recording records found in cemeteries throughout the world, by capturing images of tombstones, transcribing the information, and making it available online.


Commonwealth War Graves
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission website includes a database that  lists the names and place of commemoration of the 1.7 million men and women of the Commonwealth forces who died during the two world wars. It also records details of the 67,000 Commonwealth civilians who died "as a result of enemy action" in the Second World War.


Find a Grave
Find a Grave is an online database of tombstones and burial records.


Green-Wood Cemetery (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
The website of Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York, includes “Burial Search,” a database of those interred at Green-Wood.

Hart Island burial records

The Department of Correction is responsible for operating and maintaining New York City's public burial ground, which is located on Hart Island, in the Long Island Sound.  The department has created a database of Hart Island burial records to help you determine whether someone has been interred on Hart Island, using basic information, such as name, date or location.


Interment
Interment publishes cemetery transcriptions from thousands of cemeteries across the world, for historical and genealogy research.


Mount Carmel Cemetery (Queens, NY)
Mount Carmel Cemetery’s Interment search allows for a comprehensive search of 85,000 individuals buried at the cemetery.


Mount Hebron Cemetery (Queens, NY)
Mount Hebron’s Cemetery’s Interment search allows for a comprehensive search of 217,000 individuals buried at the cemetery.


Mount Zion Cemetery (Queens, NY)
Mount Zion’s Cemetery’s Interment search allows for a comprehensive search of 210,000 individuals buried at the cemetery.


Nationwide Gravesite Recorder (veterans and their families)
Search for burial locations of veterans and their family members in VA National Cemeteries, state veterans cemeteries, various other military and Department of Interior cemeteries, and for veterans buried in private cemeteries when the grave is marked with a government grave marker.

New York Cemetery Project

Anthropologist Mary French's blog The New York City Cemetery Project "documents the history of the city’s graveyards.  Hundreds of cemeteries—including small family burial grounds and churchyards, as well as larger cemeteries containing hundreds, thousands, even millions of bodies—have existed throughout the five boroughs since the 17th century.  Study of these cemeteries, whether they have been lost in time or are still in existence, provides much regarding the history of this ever-evolving city and its people, and offers some intriguing answers to the question: What does the city do with its dead?" Includes histories of NYC cemeteries, and links to cemetery web sites.


Trinity Church (New York, N.Y.)
Search online for records of baptisms, marriages and burials at Trinity Church, in Manhattan.

Air view of Ellis Island
Air view of Ellis Island

Other reference sources


Genealogy.About.com
Genealogy.About.com is an online reference resource providing access to articles about genealogy. It includes guides to getting started, free pedigree charts, and news. This internet-based network of content is part of the larger About.com site


Access Genealogy
Access Genealogy is a free genealogy database strong in African American and Native American resources. This database includes transcribed local census records, slave narratives, information about the Indian Tribes of North America, US Indian Census Rolls, as well as articles about DNA testing, military records, and accessing vital records. Useful when used in conjunction with records at Fold3.

Some popular blogs


Canada’s  Anglo-Celtic  Connections
This Canadian genealogy blog focuses on family history resources and developments in the field of genealogy.


Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter
News and developments in the field of genealogy.


Genea-Musings
Genea-Musings features genealogy research tips and techniques, genealogy news items and commentary.


Geneabloggers
GeneaBloggers is a site dedicated to gathering together the best genealogy blog posts on the internet.


Genealogy Blog
A daily online magazine dedicated to genealogy, with news, links, and research tips.