Genealogy

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Ancestry.com Library Edition

Samuels Public Library offers free access to Ancestry.com Library Edition through our public computers, as well as through any device connected to our public wireless network. Ancestry.com is the most comprehensive database of genealogical information available online, containing billions of records across thousands of local, state, federal and international record collections.

Features
  • Diverse collections, including census lists, citizenship and naturalization records, newspaper articles, military records and court documents.
  • A variety of search options that let you broaden or narrow your results, including exact/non-exact name match and filters for birth date and location.
  • Browsing options let you find collections by record type, state or country.
  • View high-resolution images of the scanned records with a variety of display options.
  • Options to print, email or save to a USB drive the documents you find during your search.
  • Ancestry’s Learning Center, which provides you with quick tips, video tutorials and research guides.
  • Downloadable ancestral charts, research calendars, and other documents to help you record your findings and track your progress.

HeritageQuest Online

The library also offers HeritageQuest Online, another genealogy research database, which is accessible from any device with internet access, at home or on the go. HeritageQuest Online is a comprehensive treasury of American genealogical sources — rich in unique primary sources, local and family histories, convenient research guides, interactive census maps, and more.

HeritageQuest Online banner
Features
  • U.S. Federal Censuses feature the original images of every extant federal census in the United States, from 1790 through 1940, with every-name indexes for all years.
  • Genealogy and local history books and directories deliver more than 40,000 family histories, local histories, city directories, and other books.
  • Revolutionary War records contains original images from pension and bounty land warrant application files help to identify more than 80,000 American Army, Navy, and Marine officers and enlisted men from the Revolutionary War era.
  • Freedman’s Bank Records, with more than 480,000 names of bank applicants, their dependents, and heirs from 1865–1874, and full-page register views, it offers valuable data that can provide important clues to tracing African American ancestors prior to and immediately after the U.S. Civil War. It is considered one of the most important resources for African-American genealogical research.
  • U.S. Serial Set records the memorials, petitions, private relief actions made to the U.S. Congress back to 1789, with a total of more than 480,000 pages of information.
  • Periodical Source Index (PERSI) Archive (1800-2009), published by the Allen County Public Library, it contains more than 2.3 million records covering both English and French periodicals published around the world since 1800.

Local History

The Elizabeth P. Biggs Local History room is located in the adult area of the library. This room houses the library's local history collection, including some local genealogical information. A sample of items available in the collection includes:

  • Genealogies of Virginia Families (5 vol.)
  • McKay and Allied Family History and Genealogy (9 vol.)
  • Genealogies of many other families from Warren County and surrounding areas, as well as prominent Virginia families such as the Lees
  • Shenandoah Valley Pioneers and Their Descendents, as well as many other titles useful for local genealogy research
  • Records of the Virginia Company (4 vol.)
  • Early Virginia Immigrants, 1623-1666
  • Virginia Soldiers of 1776 (3 vol. register)
  • Heads of Families at the First Census of the United States Taken in the Year 1790 for many states, including Virginia
  • Tombstone Inscriptions for many cemeteries in Warren County, Shenandoah County, Page County, and more, including Prospect Hill Cemetery
  • Warren County birth registry, death registry, marriage registry, and mortality schedules for various years
  • Diary of Lucy Rebecca Buck and many other Civil War recollections of local people
  • Books on local Civil War battles, including Front Royal, Cedar Creek, Winchester, and Kernstown
  • The War of the Rebellion (69 vol.), the official compilation of records of the Union and Confederate armies
  • Maps of the Avtex site
  • Documents related to the Town of Front Royal, such as annual financial reports
  • Histories of Warren and various other Virginia counties
  • Books on Virginia history, geography, etc.

Obituaries

Samuels Public Library has microfilmed copies of the Warren Sentinel and Northern Virginia Daily. Warren Sentinel coverage begins in 1900 (with some early missing issues), and Northern Virginia Daily coverage begins in 1995. The library has a microfilm reader available for public use; it has both printing and scanning capabilities. The reference staff is available to assist with its use. Researchers may request a scanned obituary by emailing reference@samuelslibrary.net with the deceased's name and date of death.


More Online Resources

Tips & How to Get Started

Genealogy: Advice for Effective Searches
Answer a series of simple questions and get free, customized advice on the most effective next steps in your genealogy search.

Internet Genealogy: What You CAN and CANNOT Do
Helpful introduction to the kinds of genealogical resources available on the Web, with excellent examples of each.

Rootsweb Guide to Tracing Family Trees
25 entertaining and helpful lessons on successful genealogy, including hints and pointers to some of the best of the web.

Supplies, Forms, Charts
Download or print charts and forms from the web, or find someone to print that enormous family tree for a reunion.

Vital Records
Where to write for birth, death and marriage records.

Where to Write For Vital Records
National Center for Health Statistics; search by state.

Databases

Christine's Genealogy Website
African American genealogy resources.

Cyndi's List
Links to nearly 300,000 genealogy sites online - a great starting point for online research.

DeathIndexes.com
Directory of online death indexes listed by state, including death certificate indexes, obituaries, cemetery burials and probate records.

Ellis Island
Web site of the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation. Search passenger records, get genealogy charts and forms, and learn about the immigrant experience.

Family Search
The Family History website of the Church or Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS). Contains genealogies submitted by Church members, the Family History Library Catalog, and information extracted from church and vital records throughout the world.

Family Tree Searcher
Find Family Trees Easily - Enter your ancestor information just once to search for family trees at multiple online genealogy databases.

Find a Grave
Find gravesites of your ancestors or of famous persons in a database of millions of names and photos. Search by surname and location or cemetary name and a list of the famous by a birthdate or deathdate. Create virtual memorials, add 'virtual flowers' and a note to a loved one's grave.

Free Genealogy Search Help for Google
This free site will create different Google™ searches using tips or "tricks" that will likely improve your genealogy search results. Just provide what you know about an ancestor and the site will set up the best searches for you, based on what you enter.

Genealogy Center at the Allen County (Indiana) Public Library
Acquaint yourself with  America's premeire genealogical collection in a public library. There are many wonderful self-help resources such as PATHFINDERS and RESEARCH TOPICS  to further your research.

Genealogy.com
Includes FREE search of Social Security Death Index - SSDI. Census data, family records, birth and death records, and a lot more!

Internet Archive
The Internet Archive, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is building a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form. Like a paper library, we provide free access to researchers, historians, scholars, and the general public.

JewishGen: Jewish Genealogy
Discussion groups, databases including the Shtetlseeker and Family Finder, and links to other Jewish genealogy sites.

Legacy
Find recent obituaries from newspapers and funeral homes across the U.S. Some archives retained as long as a year.

National Archives
Passenger arrivals, censuses, naturalization's, military and pension, Native American and tribal information.

National Archives and Records Administration (1940 Census)
Learn how the census was taken, which records survive today, and how to find microfilm that may contain your family's records.

Public Records Directory
Links to criminal records,  civil court records,  marriage records, divorce records, real and personal property records, recorded documents, jail and inmate records, sex offender records,  and other free public records.

RootsWeb
The Internet's oldest and largest free genealogy community, affiliated with Ancestry.com. Home of the Rootsweb Surname List, with over 800,000 surnames listed; about 18,000 surname, ethnic group and locality mailing lists; and the WorldConnect project containing about 23,000,000 names.

Social Security Death Index
Contains 63 million+ records of persons who had Social Security Numbers and whose death was reported to the Social Security Administration.

USGenWeb Project
Volunteers host pages for every state and county in the U.S. May contain transcribed census or vital records, surname lists and queries, military records, biographies and more.

World GenWeb Project
Sites hosted by volunteers for countries and regions of the world.