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Last Updated: Oct 6, 2014 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 of Genealogy Sites on the Internet  
    This is the best index to genealogical and family history sites on the web, bar none.
  • 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.
  • National Archives and Records Administration  
    This site covers only those records generated by the federal government. Some of these include census, naturalization, and military records. If you are looking for marriage or divorce records, for example, you will not find them here. Those are usually found in local counties, cities, or towns.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers  
    This is an ongoing project of the Library of Congress covering newspapers published from 1836 to 1922. Although the site does not cover all newspapers for all states for this period, there is a huge amount of information here. Take a look.
  • Preparing, Protecting, Preserving Family Treasures  
    Saving your precious family heirlooms and records for future generations is just as important as tracking down your ancestors. Look through this site provided by the Library of Congress to discover what you need to do.

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.

Unless otherwise notified, we use Meeting Room A. When you come into the library from the parking lot, you go over a bridge.  As you first come in, you will see the art gallery to your left.  Just as you turn into the front part of the gallery, you will see a big square opening on your right. If you got through that and look to your left, you will see Meeting Room A. That's where you will find us. 


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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