Ready to dive into genealogy? Our Library has one of the nation's strongest and oldest collections!
Beginning, intermediate, and advanced classes are offered at the Main Library and branches. See our program calendar or contact the Genealogy and Local History Department for details. Tours of the Department take place the first Saturday of every month at 10:00 a.m.
You’ll need your library card number and PINto access these resources from home. Ancestry Library Edition is only available in library agencies.
- Ancestry Libary Edition. U.S. federal census records, military records, passenger lists and selected records from other countries.
- Biography and Genealogy Master Index. Good starting point for research about people.
- Fold3 History & Genealogy Archives. Historical documents; census records from 1860 and 1930; documents relating to the Revolutionary War, Civil War, WWI, WWII, and U.S. Presidents; naturalization records; city directories; etc.
- HeritageQuest. Federal census records, military records, African American resources and thousands of family and local history books.
- ProQuest Obituaries. Over 10 million obituaries and death notices in full-image format from national newspapers.
Websites & Blogs
You'll find more genealogy-related websites in Sites by Subject, a directory of websites maintained by library staff.
Recommended Reading & Viewing
Bookmark the Genealogy New Arrivals list to keep up the latest additions to our collection. And keep these search tips in mind when searching the catalog:
- Avoid the word “genealogy” in searches. When paired with another word, it often eliminates relevant results and if used alone, produces too many results. For better results, focus genealogy searches on specific geographical locations or family names.
- Conduct geographic searches for places in the United States by using county names, such as “Auglaize.” For foreign countries, search under the name of the region, state, and/or country, for example, “Baden, Germany.”
- For family lineages, enter the family name and the word “family” in a subject search. For example, “Marsh family.”
- Use the Advanced Search and enter the family name next to box labeled “family surname” to find books on related families.
A growing number of digitized Cincinnati city directories (a good source of information about local ancestors) are in our Virtual Library.
- Greater Cincinnati Genealogical Resources. This brochure contains a complete list of local repositories and their holdings, websites, contact information, locations, and hours of operation.
- The Hamilton County Genealogical Society supports the pursuit of family history, donates materials and partners with the Library on programs and special projects.
- The Hamilton County Probate Court. Access to local records dating back to 1791.
- Newsdex, the Library's index to local newspaper articles also contains citations for obituaries.
- Spring Grove Cemetery, established in 1844, is Cincinnati’s largest cemetery. Records provide date of birth, death, cemetery location and names of parents.
You’ll find more local resources in Cincinnati and the Tristate, a directory of websites maintained by library staff.
Still Need Help?
The librarians in the Genealogy and Local History Department are family history specialists. Contact them in person, by telephone (513-369-6905) or email for assistance or to set up a research appointment.