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Did You Know: Genealogy Resources at the Library


Have you been wanting to trace your family’s history? Getting started can be a daunting process, and with the recent release of 1950s census data, there is more information to uncover than ever! But did you know that your library card gives you free access to genealogy resources? From databases, to books, to helpful guides, there are numerous tools to make the process more approachable.


An HCPL library card provides you with free access to HeritageQuest and Ancestry for Virginians.

HeritageQuest provides a collection of research materials for tracing family history and American culture including census data, city directories, agricultural and industrial schedules, and more.

Available through the Library of Virginia, Ancestry for Virginians provides access to select collections and content through an agreement with Patrons can create a free account to access digitized and indexed records and materials. Note that these records do not include the entirety of Ancestry's Virginia-related content, and search results may include materials not part of the Library of Virginia's collections. For full access to, visit the second floor reading rooms at the Library of Virginia.


In addition to Ancestry for Virginians, the Library of Virginia provides other helpful genealogical resources to start your journey!

Searching for family members outside of the state of Virginia? Try out some of these online resources as well:

  • Design Your Family Tree with Adobe InDesign
    • Monday, November 21 from 6:30 – 8:30 P.M. @ the Fairfield Library
    • Learn how to create a family tree using Adobe InDesign. Even if you haven't begun researching your family history yet, you can create a template to be saved and edited later. Bring a thumb drive to save your work and any family photos you might want to use, or use our sample images.  Experience with InDesign is optional, but skill with a keyboard and mouse is essential. Registration is required.
  • Digitizing Your Family History
    • Tuesday, January 24 from 2:00 – 3:30 P.M @ the Varina Library
    • The library has resources for preserving genealogical information, film, photos, and documents. Join us as we show you the best ways to scan, organize, preserve, and manage your digitized family history. Registration is required.

Good luck with your genealogy project! HCPL staff are here to help you with any further questions, either in-person or online through AskHCPL!

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