Have you always wanted to research your family history but you’re not sure where to start? Delving into genealogy for the first time can be intimidating when you’re not exactly sure what you are looking for. Don’t worry, the library is here to help! From free resources you can access through our website, to on- on-one help sessions via Zoom, our staff can get you started on the journey to learning more about your ancestors. 

Here are just a few of the great tools the library offers:

Ancestry

One of the most popular and helpful genealogy tools around is Ancestry. Ancestry is a subscription based research tool that is always free to use in the library. But the good news is that during the time that the library is closed, Ancestry has granted remote access to library card holders. Just log in with your card number and PIN and you can start researching from home. Ancestry’s easy to use interface makes it a snap to search census data, marriage records, the Social Security Death Index, Find a Grave, ship passenger lists, and more. Something to note– Ancestry Library Edition will not allow you to create a family tree. For that functionality a paid subscription is required.

Fold3

Fold3 is a database of military records that provides convenient access to US military records, including the stories, photos, and personal documents of the men and women who served. Search by branch, conflict, record type, repository, and more. Military records can provide valuable information about our ancestors such as where they served, and the names of immediate family members.

FamilySearch

FamilySearch is another essential tool for genealogy research. This database provides access to many of the same records that can be found through Ancestry but with FamilySearch you can create your family tree through a free subscription. The site operates much like a wiki, where users can easily share and edit information about individuals. Also, FamilySearch has a robust Help page with simple tutorials that can answer almost any question you have about how to use the site.

The Yearbook Project

Over the las few years, we have digitized our nearly 2,000 volume collection of KCKPS yearbooks and they are available to view on our eCommunity website. While we do not have every volume for every school in the district, the high school collection is extensive. Yearbooks can be valuable tools for finding photographs and biographical information about relatives who attended school in KCK.

Newspaper databases

The library subscribes to a number of newspaper databases including America’s Newspapers, African American Newspapers, and the Kansas City Star and Times. Newspapers are a great source of historic information including obituaries, and they are easy to search using your ancestor’s name.

Beginning on October 13, we will offer one-on-one genealogy help sessions via Zoom . If you would like personalized assistance on how to use these research tools, click on the link for more information and to find out how to register.