Whether you’re doing research for yourself or surprising a family member with their backstory, Ancestry is one of the best online sources for genealogy.
“Ancestry is great because it’s made up of thousands of collections of genealogical records that can be searched simultaneously or individually,” said Local History and Reference Librarian Amber Ensign. “It’s very user friendly, with various ways to search. For example, you can search by special collections if you aren’t sure where an ancestor was living.”
To search all collections at once, use the boxes at the top of the Search Page and enter as much information as you can. In this search, Ancestry looks at all of Ancestry’s collections at once. In order to get the best results add all known information to the search, even dates that are approximate! This search allows you to set a range of years you would like Ancestry to search for on either side of a date.
Explore by Location
If the area an ancestor was living is known, use Explore by Location to find out what records are available. For research within the United States, choose a state to see all related collections. After choosing a state, you then have the option choose a county to get even more specific.
Ancestry Library also includes some international records. Choose a continent to see the countries available.
Search Special Collections
Unsure where an ancestor was living? If you are looking for a specific record, try the special collections column on the right side of the search page. Choose a category heading to access search boxes tailored to searching the specific topic.
For more information or help using Ancestry Library, contact the Library’s Reference department at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 847-825-3123 or reach us via Live Chat on our website.