Discover Your Family History

This is a good time to take a deep dive into your family history. Perhaps you’ve been putting this off due to time constraints but now with the shelter-in-place order you might be able to finally make the time to research a distant relative or your great-great-grandparents.

A good place to start is with Ancestry Library Edition. This resource is normally only accessible from within the library using our public computer stations, or the library’s WiFi network. However, while libraries remain closed, we were able to receive permissions to make this resource temporary available for remote access from the comfort of your own home.

Ancestry Library offers the following key resources:

  • U.S. Federal Census Records from 1790-1940
  • Military Records such as draft records, service records, pension records, bounty land records, claim records, and military histories.
  • Birth, Marriage, and Death Records
  • Immigration & Travel Records, including passenger arrival records, naturalization records, border crossings, emigration records, passports, and convict transportation records.
  • City directories
  • Newspaper obituaries
  • Schools, Directories, and Church Histories, including church records, alumni lists, yearbooks, professional directories, and phone books.
  • Public Member Trees

Another great resource that Ancestry Library offers are the message boards. You can utilize this online community to connect with other members who might be searching for the same ancestors. You can also search through the over 25 million posts to see if the information you’re looking for already has been posted by another member.

To get started, review this helpful video tutorial, then access Ancestry Library Edition with your library card number and PIN.

For the advanced researcher we want to highlight the Passenger & Immigration Lists Index (PILI). This resource is best known as a directory in print that’s often found in libraries with a large genealogy collections. This resource is now available to all SCCLD users online. You can search through 5 million+ records and see if there’s any published information about your early ancestors that traveled to the Americas between 1617 and 1950. These persons came from more than 75 countries around the world, departing from more than 70 ports in Africa, Asia, Europe, South America and the South Pacific and arriving to more than 35 ports in the geographic area that is now known as North and South America.

With the 2020 edition several new data points appear for the first time, including, immigrant country of origin, immigration occupation, ship name, port of departure and date of departure.

Plus enjoy the following features:

  • Arranged alphabetically, entries include name of immigrant, age, date and port of arrival or place of first mention in New World, names and ages of family members, coded to the primary immigration source, which can be consulted for further information.
  • Within the directory, cross-references connect immigrant ancestors to other family members who immigrated with them to the Americas.
  • For the 2020 edition, the 108,000 newly-profiled persons were drawn from a wide variety of more than 200 sources of genealogical and immigration information, including passenger lists, historical publications, naturalization records, government documents, scholarly journals, ship manifests and other historical sources.
  • The "Bibliography of Sources Indexed" provides complete information about each of the cited sources.

The Passenger & Immigration Lists Index is a great resource for discovering early immigration information when records were sparse and not well documented.

For even more genealogy resources, please visit our Genealogy & Local History resource page. 

Happy searching!