Sunday, February 3, 2019

Libraries I Love for Family History Research

The Columbus Metropolitan Library on Grant Street, in downtown Columbus, was the first library I used for family history research.  I was familiar with the library for other uses but not family history.  It was the library where I learned how to search census records.

Since my first searches there the library's resources have expanded.  They had a good collection of books and resources for local history, for all Ohio counties, plus books for most other states.  When the powers that be decided that the State Library of Ohio should not have a genealogy collection, many of their books were given to CML and their collection expanded to have books for all the states in the U.S.  CML now has a decent collection of online genealogy resources, too, which you can view here, but you'll have to dig a little deeper to find books for your geographic areas of interest.  Use the card catalog, or visit in person.

At one time the State Library of Ohio had a great collection of books for family history research but, as I said above, it was decided that genealogy books did not belong in the state library, so they were dispersed to other libraries.  Nonetheless, they still hold census records, including agricultural censuses, which can be a great resource if there are farmers among one's ancestors.

I've been to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.  Unfortunately, my family and I were passing through the city on our way to another destination.  As a beginning researcher I hadn't taken any of my papers with me because I didn't expect to have time to spend at the library.  I have to say, the missionaries there seemed fairly disappointed.  They encouraged me to think of just one ancestor's name to research.  If they were disappointed, I was even more so.  All those resources and no time!

There are some online, digital collections I've used, too.

Where would I be in my family history research without libraries and their free resources?!

This post was written for Amy Johnson Crow's 2019 version of 52 Ancestors.  The post topic for the week was "At the Library."


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  1. The Library of Virginia (state library) has taken the opposite view from Ohio. EVERYthing comes to Richmond.

    1. Lucky Virginia family history researchers! I wish Ohio took the same stance, Wendy.


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