Holyoke Public Library
250 Chestnut Street - Holyoke, MA 01040

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Genealogy Resources

Ancestry Library Edition (in-Library access only)

U.S. collections: hundreds of millions of names from sources such as federal and U.S. censuses; birth, death, and marriage records including the Social Security Death Index; and U.S. border crossing and trans-ocean ship records.

Canadian collections: nearly 60 million records from the Census of Canada, and key vital records, such as the Drouin Collection (1621-1967), which includes nearly 30 million baptism, marriage, and burial records from Quebec.

U.K. collections: censuses for England, Wales, Isle of Man, Channel Islands, and Scotland, with nearly 200 million records: Births and Baptisms (1834-1906), Marriage Licenses (1521-1869), Deaths and Burials (1834-1934), and Poor Law Records (1840-1938) in London, and more.

Other international collections: more than 46 million records from German censuses, vital records, emigration indexes, ship lists, phone directories, and more; Chinese surnames in the large and growing Jiapu Collection of Chinese lineage books; Jewish family history records from Eastern Europe and Russia; and more.

Military collections: over 150 million records containing information often not found elsewhere and includes records from the colonial to the Vietnam era.

Multimedia collections: millions of files ranging from family and gravestone photos to postcards and newsreels.

*Click here to access charts and forms to track your research.

In-Library Access to Ancestry

Heritage Quest Online - Available from home with your Holyoke Public Library card.


Library Access      -      Home Access  Log in with your library card number.


  • Census: Find ancestors in the complete set of U S Federal Census images from 1790-1940, including name indexes for many years.
  • City Directories:  from across the United States
  • Books: Find information on people and places described in over 28,000 family and local histories..
  • Revolutionary War:: Search selected records from the Revolutionary War Era Pension & Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files.
  • Freedman's Bank: Serach for individuals in Freedman's Bank (1865-1874), which was founded to serve African Americans.


  -  Available for in-library use only. 

Library Access 

American Ancestors from the New England Historic Genealogical Society includes: Vital records, military records, probate documents, genealogies, periodicals and journals. Smaller than other databases, but growing every year, American Ancestors also indexes important sources, such as the repertoires from select Holyoke churches (available in the History Room). Note that the Holyoke Public Library’s subscription does not include access to American Ancestors’ external databases.  

Massachusetts Newspapers (1988 – present) - Available from home with your Holyoke Public Library card. 


Also note:  Available in the History Room only on Microfilm  - The Holyoke Transcript and Transcript-Telegram (1880s - 1993).  

Other Family History & Genealogy Resources

Just a few of the many free online research options available to family historians.  And remember, it’s not all online!



New! Puerto Rican Genealogy

Irish history and records

Lisa Dougherty’s list of sources for Irish research (includes paid websites) http://www.upstatenygenealogy.com/useful-links.html

Researching African-American History


French-Canadian Research

Resourcelist-FrenchCanadianResearch Compiled by Jack Keane

Family Search wiki on Quebec research

Direct link to Canadian Census Records (1841-1921) (Library & Archives Canada)

Ancestry Library Edition also provides access to the Canadian Census and the Drouin Collection of Quebec Vital Records (Free while on Holyoke Public Library wifi). 

Family Search wiki on Tanguay's Genealogical Dictionary

Tanguay, vol. 1 instructions (English Translation of Tanguay's Key)

Links to the 7 volumes of Cyprien Tanguay's Dictionnaire généalogique des familles canadiennes:

Vol. 1

Vol. 2

Vol. 3

Vol. 4

Vol. 5

Vol. 6

Vol. 7