Fifty Five+ · Genealogy Resources

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Ready to dive into genealogy? Our Library has one of the nation's strongest and oldest collections!

Getting Started

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 PIN to access these resources from home. Ancestry Library Edition is only available in library agencies.

  • Ancestry Library Edition. U.S. federal census records, military records, passenger lists and selected records from other countries.
  • 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 Historical documents; census records from 1860 and 1930; documents relating to the Revolutionary War, Civil War, WWI, WWII, and U.S. Presidents; naturalization records; city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.

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.

Digital Collections

A growing number of digitized Cincinnati city directories (a good source of information about local ancestors) are in our Virtual Library.

Around Town

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.

Genealogy researchers hard at work Browsing the shelves at the Main Library. Researching at the Northside Branch Library Reading at the Main Library Assisting a customer at the Main Library Planning programs to help small businesses Busy Friends of the Public Library book sale