There are a lot of places online that you can use to find genealogy resources, both locally and nationally. While I am far from a genealogy expert, I have done my best to gather some info. The following are the best of the resources that I am aware of online:
I created a LibGuide devoted to local history and major genealogy resources available through the library and online. Many of these resources can also be used for genealogy. There are lots of links, databases, and eBooks gathered into this one central resource. I am always open to suggestions if anyone has any as well.
The Library System of Lancaster County has a subscription to HeritageQuest. HeritageQuest is a database that includes access to the United States census records and hundreds of local history titles. Federal Census records through 1930 are available on this database, with some gaps in those records.
To access HeritageQuest use the following steps:
1) Visit the following website: http://online.lancasterlibraries.org
2) Enter your Library Card number in the box at the top
3) Click on the GO TO ONLINE RESOURCES button
4) The select the database you wish to use from the menu by clicking on the icon to the left of each database description
Online Public Access to the National Archives: The prototype central portal of the National Archives and Records Administration, includes searching of several different databases.
PAGenWeb: This site is devoted to Pennsylvania Genealogy.
Family Search: This free service search many different records and is available through The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Online Newspapers:These are great places to obituaries and other information. I wrote extensively about them in a previous Rewarding Resources.
The historical societies in the area have a greater array of genealogical resources than a typical public library. The major local historical societies are the Historical Society of the Cocalico Valley, LancasterHistory.org, and the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society. These and others are linked on the Local History LibGuide.
We do have some print resources as well, which you can find on the Local History LibGuide or you can search for them at our catalog. Many of these titles are in our Ephrata Collection, which is reference and do not leave the library. Other titles can be checked out and used at home.
Keith L Greenawalt, Reference Librarian