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Last Updated: Sep 28, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Genealogy Print Page

Databases Available Through the Library

Genealogy & Local History websites

  • Family Search
    Although technically a website, this is really a database with billions of family records. It just happens to be free and you can access it from anywhere you have access to an Internet connection. That is why I list this first, out of alphabetical order. You will find direct links to sections of Family Search below.
  • Cyndi's List
    Cyndi's List is an categorized index to genealogy on the Internet. This is a quick way to find out what sites exist on the particular subject you are researching. This is a key site. Tip: If you are looking for a state, county, or province, look under the country first.
  • Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter
    I have found this to be the best site for keeping up to date on what is currently happening in genealogy. Availability of what's online, new websites, tips on using technology, book reviews, you name it. Once you take a look, you will keep coming back.
  • Family Search's Free Online Courses
    Here you will find a list of all their online classes, including classes for beginners. They usually include both an online presentation and handouts you can print. It is invaluable to have a printout when you are trying to follow an online presentation.
  • FamilySearch Historical Record Collections  
    Family Search has millions of online records that they add to daily. And access is absolutely free. This is an index to collections. You have a better chance of finding that illusive ancestor and their information if you narrow your search to a smaller collection relating more specifically to what you are looking for.
  • Genealogy at the Internet Archive
    The Internet Archive makes available a huge number of resources on a vast number of topics. Here you will find complete versions of books that are downloadable to your computer. Older Internet sites are also archived here. Click on the link above to directly to their genealogy resources. You may strike gold. For example, all the out-of-print books from the Boston Public Library's genealogy reference shelves are here.
  • National Archives -- Washington, DC -- For Genealogists
    Looking for immigration and naturalization records? Information on the federal census? Look here for these and other federal records. Not all records have been digitized, but a number have been. Start with this page which was created specifically to help genealogists.
  • National Archives -- Washington, DC -- Veterans Service Records
    Veterans service records are a key resource for genealogists. Check to see what records the Archives have on your military ancestor.
  • National Archives at Boston
    Check out National Archives in your own back yard. You'll be surprised at all you find here. Even classes -- at no cost.
    Note that these facilities are actually in Waltham, not Boston.
  • Stephen P. Morse
    This is a key site for immigration ports of entry to the United States. If you can't find your ancestor's ship's passenger list or entry information, don't give up your search after checking Ellis Island. They may have chosen a different route. Once you check this out, look at all the other information this site offers.

Don't Forget Books -- Subject Headings and Call Numbers for Genealogy

The Newton Free LIbrary, like many public libraries, uses the Dewey Decimal System for cataloging and shelving non-fiction books.  Each number represents a subject category.  This allows you to go to the shelf looking for one book and finding others that may be of interest.  Below are Dewey numbers relating to genealogy and family history.


Click HERE to learn more about Dewey Decimal Classification

929  Genealogy

929.1  Genealogy

929.2  Family History: The history of family groups as opposed to the biography of an individual.

929.3  Genealogical Sources

929.4  Personal Names: the origins and/or the history of last names (surnames) or first names (forenames).

929.5  Cemetery Records

929.6  Heraldry

929.7  Royal Houses


Genealogy -- Handbooks and Manuals  ["How to" books]

Genealogy -- [Place]

[Place] -- Genealogy -- Handbooks and Manuals ["How to" do place related research]

Note: A place can be a country, state, county, or town. For subject headings Massachusetts is abbreviated as Mass., not MA.


The Curious Genealogist: The Library's Genealogy Blogger


The Newton Genealogy Club

The Newton Genealogy Club is about members helping members. We can discuss someone's research, resources (online and off) for an ancestor hunt, new developments, how a beginner can get started.  Anything related to family history is fair game. Our members have a range of experience, from rank beginners who don't know where to begin all the way to Ruy, a certified genealogist. (He began the club and I took over when he stepped down.)  Everyone needs help with something and the discussions are fun and very lively.

Interested? The Newton Genealogy Club always meets on the second Wednesday of the month.  The only month we skip is August. The meetings are from 7:00 to 9:00 in the evening.

Our meeting room has recently changed due to the increasing number of people coming to the club meetings. We no longer use Meeting Room A. You want to go to the Special Collections Room which is towards the back left of the first floor.  From the parking lot, you will go over a bridge and through the side door into the library.  Keep going straight along the corridor.  As you pass the circulation desk, take a right and go through the alcove under the sky light. (You will have to go around a rather large reference desk at the front of the alcove.) Go through the door that is under the clock and take a sharp left and then a sharp right at the wall. You will see the doors to  Special Collections ahead on your left.


Why Family History?

There are many reasons why people become interested in family history.

1. It seems most often sparked by a sense of regret for connections not made.  You suddenly think of all the questions you wish you had asked.

2. It can be simple curiosity.  Where did I come from?  Who were my ancestors who lived before me?  What influenced them? Where and when did they live? Why did some come here?  So many questions.

3. Sometimes a medical genealogy can help solve medical questions about you or a family member.

4. Working with members of the family (older or younger) can help create bonds and forge connections.

5. Sometimes all or some of the above.

6. Did I miss anything? Leave a comment and let me know.

Reference Librarian/Family Historian

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Ginny Audet
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Newton Free Library
330 Homer Street
Newton, MA 02459
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