Tools to Find Your Folks

We have many genealogy resources including books, online tools and worksheets to help you locate and document your family members from the past to present.

Books

We have more than 3,000 genealogy books to help you with your research. To start go to the library catalog and do a keyword search using the word genealogy. You will get many results, but on the left side of the screen, you will see sections to filter your search. A popular way to find resources that interest you is to narrow your search by topic and/or region. This gives you the opportunity to sort through our collection quickly to find what will help in your research.

Online Tools

Woman holding old photograph

Ancestry Library Edition – The world’s largest online resource for family history with records from all over the world. Records include family trees, vital records, census and military records. Note – You can only use this tool in the library.

American Ancestors Online is powered by the New England Historic and Genealogical Society. It is a repository for more than 400 million searchable names covering New England, New York and beyond. It provides access to the New England Historical and Genealogical Register and American Ancestors magazine, databases, and more than 200,000 published genealogies, biographies, local histories, vital records, maps, and other printed materials. Note – You can only use this tool in the library.

African-American History & Genealogy – Explore African-American history, culture and experience from the 16th through 20th centuries in newspapers, periodicals, pamphlets and broadsides using NewsBank’s Archive of Americana family of historical collections.

America’s Obituaries – The largest and most comprehensive newspaper collection of obituaries and death notices from the late 1990s to the present.

Family Search Catalog – The library is an affiliate site for Family Search microfilm. You can search the catalog, find microfilm or microfiche and have it sent to our library for you to view. (Library Card Not Required)

Fold3 – Fold3 is the web’s premier collection of original U.S. military records, including many from the U.S. National Archives.

Genealogy Connect – This collection includes nearly 600 genealogy research and reference publications.

HeritageQuest – This is a free resource for census records and city directories, which is helpful for people who are either just beginning their family research or who after years of work are still uncovering their past.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) – If you find a book to help you with your family research in the Family Search Catalog or another library, our Inter-library Loan (ILL) Department may be able to borrow it for you from another library.

Reference USA is a U.S. Standard White Pages database of over 155 million U.S. residents.

Sanborn Maps – American cities, towns and neighborhood histories are digitized via Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, 1867-1970.

Our Genealogy Printable Worksheets and instructions will help you to keep track of what you know!

Check out our Popular Tools page to find more help for your genealogical research. As always, visit the Topeka Room on the library’s second floor for assistance or call 785-580-4510.

Sherri Camp

Being the Genealogy Librarian at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library is so much fun! As a veteran genealogist, I love teaching and sharing digital family history and genealogy techniques and helping people solve genealogy problems. My work is to promote a greater knowledge of family heritage.