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Now that we’re all stuck at home, how would you like to have FREE access to the world’s largest online family history resource?  Want to find out if great great grandad was a horse thief (check out criminal records),  what great Uncle Orville’s occupation was (check U.S. Census records).   This fantastic resource is always available from inside your library, but from now through June 1st Ancestry Library Edition is available to you from home with your library card and pin number!

Below, you can find a few examples of different records available on Ancestry Library Edition, and how they can be useful during your research!

Census Data (especially the 1910s – 1940s)

Back then, the census asked more in depth questions than are asked today.  In addition to the usual name, age, and birth year, you can also find information such as birthplace, current address, Father’s Name and Birthplace, Mother’s Name and Birthplace, and Occupation and Industry.  This, along with the other household members and their ages, can be valuable information you can use to help track down your relatives, or verify information you’ve found in other places. Through this feature, I discovered that my maternal grandfather worked as a clerk in a library in Queens, NY in 1930

Draft Cards

Draft cards can be helpful by providing the full name, date of birth, birthplace, and place of residence of your relative.  When registering, they were asked for their “next of kin” as well as the relationship to that person.  This can give you another family member’s name you may not be aware of.   When i was utilizing this feature, I discovered that my great uncle worked at the Charms candy factory in NJ in 1940!

U.S. Social Security Applications & Claims Index

Because this record is based on the person’s social security number, it can be very useful in helping to uncover any name changes, especially if you are searching for a female relative.  It will list the month/year and what their name was.  This is a great way to discover a relative’s maiden name or married name, or just help in tracking name changes over their lifetime.

PLEASE NOTE: Ancestry Library Edition does not offer the same personalized functionality and collections as the full, subscription version of Ancestry.com.  Please click here to see a full explanation of these differences from ProQuest.

If you have any questions about utilizing this service, be sure to reach out to a staff member through our online chat service!