Discover Your Ancestry at the Library

Fall is the perfect time to curl up in a cozy armchair and start a personal research project. How much do you really know about your heritage, house, and hometown? Diving into your family history can be rewarding, and even thrilling! Who knows what stories—or legends—you’ll uncover once you start looking.

One of the many benefits of your library card is the wealth of genealogy and heritage resources available. Whether you’re prepping a presentation for your family reunion or getting to know the first residents of your 100-year-old home, you can access the library’s resources to investigate billions of historical records from around the world.

View the resources listed below on the Genealogy web page

  • There are multiple ways to access historical records on Sno-Isle Libraries website as well as in person at a community library. With near-global coverage starting from the 16th century, MyHeritage is an online genealogy tool which can be used from your home computer at any time. Use MyHeritage to build out an interactive family tree that can easily be shared with family and friends.
  • You also have access to HeritageHub, another online tool used to view U.S. obituaries and death notices from 1704 through present day. Obituaries offer a treasure trove of information including details about the individual’s professional accomplishments, community relationships, and personal interests.
  • The world’s largest online family history resource, Ancestry Library Edition, can be accessed in person at your local community library. Use census records and city directories found in Ancestry Library Edition to learn more about your house or neighborhood. You can even create a timeline and “family tree” for the house and its former occupants.

Combined, the genealogy databases and Historical Photo Archive at Sno-Isle Libraries include an ever-growing number of images and documents that can be downloaded, saved and printed. Pictures of historic Whidbey Island; immigration and military records; marriage, birth and death certificates; and so much more can be found for the United States and beyond.

Not sure where to start? Just ask a librarian. As librarian Jennifer Forman says, “It is one of my favorite moments as a librarian to watch the faces of library customers when they see an original document for their ancestor for the first time. It’s such a direct connection between the customer and their past.”

To view the full list of genealogy resources available to you, please visit or speak to a librarian at your local community library.