Genealogy at the Library

It’s like digging through your grandma’s attic, without the dust.

Don’t worry. We’re not in her attic, but we can help you discover your family tree and connect you to your roots in a number of different ways. 

  • Get started on your search from the comfort of your home
  • Then dig through online and physical archives at the Library
  • Talk to an expert who walks into the past with different families every day (In-Library Use Only)
Discover your unique family history with billions of free records from around the world, including census and vital records, immigration and passport records, plus periodicals, books and photos. You can also send documents home from the library for your own records. While you must be in a library branch to use, remote access to genealogy resources is available through Heritage Quest California Collection
Access an archive of over 400 California newspapers from 1851–2009. Search for obituaries, marriage announcements, birth announcements and more.

Heritage Quest
Start your ancestry search online from the comfort of your own home with digital collections of U.S. census data, bank records, Revolutionary War records and more.

American Ancestors
Research genealogy using the New England Historic Genealogical Society’s collection of civic and church records, newspapers, military and court records, tax and voter lists, diaries, published genealogies and more. Available only at Central Library.

The Sacramento Room
Access extensive local archives including books, periodicals, maps, ephemera, postcards and photographs, as well as online access to many digital archives of local history. Located at Central Library.

Genealogist Collection
A select group of reference books, periodicals, and other materials to support your family history research. Located at Central Library.


Upcoming Events

Join us for free monthly genealogy lectures on a variety of topics that will help you with your family history research.  Presented by knowledgeable and qualified speakers, topics include census and vital records, newspaper research, important genealogy websites, and DNA testing, to name a few.  
The following virtual genealogy presentations take place via Zoom on Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.:

October 28: Getting Social about Your Search for Ancestors, with speaker Jacqi Stevens

November 18: Marriage by Blacksmith: Gretna Green Marriages, with speaker Madeline Yanov

December 16: Did Your Ancestor Attend Church? Researching in Religious Records, with speaker Lisa S. Gorrell

January 27: Mexican Civil Registration: A Deep Dive, with speaker Lisa Medina

February 24: Online Maps, Atlases, and Gazetteers for Genealogy, with speaker James M. Baker

March 23: Genealogical Resources at the Center for Sacramento History, with speaker Kim Hayden

April 27: Shakin’ Out the Smiths: Researching Common Surnames, with speaker Nancy Calhoun

May 18: 30 Records that Document Female Ancestors, with speaker Gena Philibert-Ortega

June 22: Sacramento FamilySearch Center: Fun, Easy, & Free, with speaker Philip Walton Horner

View past genealogy presentations on our YouTube channel.

Have Questions?
What are the qualifications of your genealogists?

Our genealogists have years of experience conducting family history research. Many are active members of genealogical societies, and at least one has written books about her family’s history. They regularly attend genealogy classes and conferences to maintain their research skills.

Can you trace my family history using my DNA?

That’s not a service that we offer at the Library, but we can provide you with recommendations to reputable services or you can attend one of our upcoming presentations on DNA testing.

Why am I only able to access at the Library?

The library subscribes to the database Ancestry Library Edition, which is the institutional version of One of the conditions set by the database vendor is that Ancestry Library Edition must be accessed through computers located in the library.

Contact Us