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Premium Databases Library Edition

*Available only within the library!

Answers await everyone—whether professional or hobbyist, expert or novice, genealogist or historian—inside the more than 7,000 available databases. Here, you can unlock the story of you with sources like censuses, vital records, immigration records, family histories, military records, court and legal documents, directories, photos, maps, and more.


*Access from home!

Heritage Quest Online is a comprehensive treasury of American genealogical resources that will help New Jersey residents find their ancestors.

Online Resources

  • Making of America Journals (University of Michigan): Making of America (MOA) is a digital library of primary sources in American social history primarily from the antebellum period through reconstruction. The collection is particularly strong in the subject areas of education, psychology, American history, sociology, religion, and science and technology. The book collection currently contains approximately 8,500 books with 19th century imprints.
  • Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers (Library of Congress): Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1789-1963 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present.
  • Documenting the American South (University of North Carolina): a digital publishing initiative that provides Internet access to texts, images, and audio files related to southern history, literature, and culture. Currently DocSouth includes sixteen thematic collections of books, diaries, posters, artifacts, letters, oral history interviews, and songs. 
  • Family Search Archive: The Family History Library sponsored by FamilySearch is the largest genealogical library in the world. The Family History Library is actively digitizing its family histories, local histories, and other collections to make them searchable and available online to researchers worldwide. You must a create a free account to access these materials. 
  • Making of America (Cornell University): The Cornell University Library Making of America Collection is comprised of primary sources in American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction.
  • Perry-Castaneda Map Collection: Historical Maps (University of Texas): Maps galore!
  • Samuel J. May Anti-Slavery Collection (Cornell University): The Cornell University Library owns one of the richest collections of anti-slavery and Civil War materials in the world. The May collection contains 10,000 pamphlets and leaflets that document the anti-slavery struggle at the local, regional, and national levels. Much of the May Anti-Slavery Collection was considered ephemeral or fugitive, and today many of these pamphlets are scarce. Sermons, position papers, offprints, local Anti-Slavery Society newsletters, poetry anthologies, freedmen's testimonies, broadsides, and Anti-Slavery Fair keepsakes all document the social and political implications of the abolitionist movement.
  • Their Own Words (Dickinson College): a digital collection of books, pamphlets, letters, and diaries, dating from the latter eighteenth through the early twentieth century, that reflects the history of the United States. This collection currently contains more than 34,500 individual pages of text and corresponding transcriptions, covering a variety of topics, including: colonial American politics; U.S. politics, government, and foreign relations; historical biography and autobiography; slavery and abolition; the American Civil War; the temperance movement; foreign travel; economics; medicine; philosophy; and theology. This online resource is made freely available, and we believe that it will be of value to teachers, students, and researchers at all levels of instruction.
  • American History and Genealogy Project: an unincorporated network of independent Web Sites devoted to History and Genealogy and covering North American Countries and Territories
  • The Cherokee Phoenix (Hunter Library, Western Carolina University): Articles presented on this site were originally published between 1828 and 1834 in the Cherokee Phoenix, the national newspaper of the Cherokee Nation.
  • Freedom's Journal, the First U.S. African-American Owned Newspaper: Freedom's Journal was the first African-American owned and operated newspaper published in the United States. Founded by Rev. Peter Williams, Jr. and other free black men in New York City, it was published weekly as a four-page, four-column newspaper, starting with the March 16, 1827 issue. Freedom's Journal circulated in 11 states, the District of Columbia, Haiti, Europe, and Canada. Subjects contained in the journal:
    • current events of the day, with regional, national and international information
    • editorials declaiming slavery, lynching and other injustices
    • biographies of prominent African-Americans
    • vital record listings of births, deaths and marriages in the African-American New York community
  • Immigration to the United States, 1789-1930 (Harvard University Library): Documenting voluntary immigration to the United States from the signing of the Constitution to the start of the Great Depression. 
  • Nationwide Gravesite Locator (U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs): Search for burial locations of veterans and their family members in VA National Cemeteries, state veterans cemeteries, various other military and Department of Interior cemeteries, and for veterans buried in private cemeteries when the grave is marked with a government grave marker. 
  • NYPL Digital Gallery (New York Public Library): Explore nearly a million items digitized from The New York Public Library's collections. This site is a living database with new materials added every day, featuring prints, photographs, maps, manuscripts, streaming video, and more.
  • Mystic Seaport Collection: The collections at Mystic Seaport reflect the extraordinary scope and significance of America’s relationship with the sea and inland waterways.
  • Prints and Photographs Online Collection (Library of Congress): The collections of the Prints & Photographs Division include photographs, fine and popular prints and drawings, posters, and architectural and engineering drawings. While international in scope, the collections are particularly rich in materials produced in, or documenting the history of, the United States and the lives, interests and achievements of the American people. 
  • Stars and Stripes: The American Soldiers' Newspaper of World War I, 1918 to 1919 (Library of Congress): This online collection includes the complete seventy-one-week run of The Stars and Stripes World War I edition. The Stars and Stripes was published in France by the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) of the United States Army from February 8, 1918, to June 13, 1919.
  • United States Military Academy Library Digital Collections: The U.S. Military Academy Library maintains extensive documentation of the history of West Point, the U.S. Military Academy, and Academy alumni in its Special Collections and Archives. These rich historical collections include extensive book, manuscript, and photograph holdings among other formats.
  • Women Working 1800-1930 (Harvard University): An exploration of women's impact on the economic life of the United States between 1800 and the Great Depression.
  • World War I Document Archive: This archive of primary documents from World War One has been assembled by volunteers of the World War I Military History List (WWI-L). International in focus, the archive intends to present in one location primary documents concerning the Great War. 
  • JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry: a database of more than three million names and other identifying information from cemeteries and burial records worldwide. 
  • For those tracing their Italian ancestry. Find links to genealogical sites, a genealogy toolbox, where to write for records, and much more.
  • Castle Garden Immigration Search: A database of more than 10 million immigrants who arrived at the Port of New York from 1830 through 1892.
  • Ellis Island Passenger Search: Offers information for the years 1892-1924 when 22 million passengers came through Ellis Island. Search for an immigrant's name and view a digitized page of the passenger manifest. 
  • The Ships List: Passenger lists, newspaper records, pictures of ships, and more.
  • Amerivan Battle Monument Commission: Several searchable databases are offered: burial listings for several wars (includes some names of those interred overseas or those who went missing in action) and casualties of World War I, World War II, and the Korean War.
  • American Merchant Marine at War: ship lists, names of World War II casualties, names of prisoners, medal recipients and more. 
  • Online Veterans and Military Documents: Offers selected service documents, lists of casualties, selected military documents, and photographs.
  • Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Wall: Search by last name. Once the record is retrieved, you can view personal comments or photos.
  • United States Online Historical Newspaper Links: Links to newspapers by state.
  • Search obituaries from over 1500 newspapers worldwide.
  • Obituaries Research Guide: Links to online obituary indexes, death notices, memorials, and finding aids.

New Jersey

  • New Jersey Digitized Historic Newspapers: This guide indexes all known digitized newspapers published in New Jersey, whether currently available or in process, including links and other access information
  • New Jersey State Archives: Imaged Collections: Over 20,000 images from the State Archives photograph and manuscript collections including Military and Wartime Activities, Cultural Resources and Historical Geography, Governors' Documents and Institutional Records, County and Municipal Records, and Family Papers and Non-Governmental Organizations.
  • New Jersey State Archives: Searchable Databases: access to over 1,000,000 database entries, indexing over 500,000 documents and photographs housed at the New Jersey State Archives. Database development is currently focused on post-1878 death records (now complete through June 1896), early land records, and the records of the Supreme Court. Archives staff add and edit database entries daily. Please be sure to re-check this site often for new content. Note: the state archives charges a fee to retrieve certain records.
  • The Rutgers Oral History Archives: records the personal narratives of:
    • Men and women (either New Jersey residents and/or Rutgers University alumni, faculty or staff) who served on the home front and overseas during World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Cold War and the nation's most recent conflicts
    • People with a story to tell about some aspect of New Jersey's proud history, its towns and cities, its diverse populations, organizations within the Garden State and/or social/cultural movements and events
    • Men and women who helped shape the history of Rutgers University as students, alumni, faculty, staff and in other roles
  • West Jersey History Project
  • New Jersey Death Index: A free searchable database of 1,275,833 deaths in the state of New Jersey between 2001-2017, and over 500,000 free digitized images of the death index for the years 1901-1903, 1920-1929, and 1949-2000.
  • New Jersey Marriage Index: online for free public use at the Internet Archive. There is a brides index for 1901-2000, a grooms index for some but not all years within 1901-2000, and a combined index that is in roughly chronological order for 2001-2016.
  • New Jersey Dept. of Health for Vital Records: The Office of Vital Statistics and Registry registers vital events and maintains the following vital records:
    • Birth, marriage and death records starting at 1919
    • Domestic partnership records starting at 2004
    • Civil union records starting at 2007
    • Adoptions – foreign and domestic
    • Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth data starting at 1969
      • Please note, New Jersey law protects and restricts the release of vital records. Vital records are not public records and cannot be searched online. 
  • The Jewish Historical Society of New Jersey: The Archives of the JHSNJ contain many of the treasures of the Jewish community of Greater MetroWest, including photographs, documents, oral histories, audio-visual materials, private papers, newspapers, memorabilia, and artifacts.
  • Rutgers University Special Collections and University Archives
  • Historical Maps of New Jersey: Images principally from Rutgers University Special Collections include 1784 boundary lines, 1928 and 1959 electric companies, 1960s high schools, and more.
  • Kean University NJ History Project: consists of mostly full view (and some limited view) non-fiction books and novels that represent the broad and rich history of New Jersey in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
  • New Jersey Women's History: Laws, letters, petitions, poems, reports, and more about the conditions affecting New Jersey women, Black and white, from the Revolutionary era to contemporary times.  Website also includes notable facts, timeline, and images. 
  • Where to Write for Vital Records (CDC-NJ): From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) where to write for birth, marriage, divorce, and death records in the State of New Jersey.

Organizations & Societies 

  • Association of Professional Genealogists :If you are unsure about carrying out research yourself, you can locate a prefessional genealogist listed here who can be hired to search your family history. Information is also provided for researchers who want to become professional genealogists.
  • Daughters of the American Revolution: Since 1890, this women's organization is "dedicated to keeping America strong by promoting patriotism, preserving U.S. history and supporting education programs." Women 18 years or older who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution, are eligible for membership. Visitors can browse the online library catalog, read overviews about exhibits, request a DAR Patriot Index Lookup, and view virtual exhibitions.
  • Federation of Genealogical Societies: The society offers a magazine, annual conference, Society Strategy Papers, and more for current members, although non-members can search the society's magazine article index.
  • The Genealogical Society of New Jersey: Founded in 1921, the society's mission is to "discover, procure, preserve and publish information pertaining to families and individuals associated with New Jersey." The site offers links to additional resources, inventories of cemeteries, and tables of contents to their genealogical magazines. The society's manuscript collections are housed at the Special Collections and University Archives at Alexander Library, Rutgers University.
  • Hispanic Society of America: Located in New York City, the Hispanic Society operates a museum and library. Resources available on the website include a timeline, a catalogue of printed books, a history of the society, and an overview of the museum's collections.
  • Jewish Genealogical Society: A directory of Jewish cemeteries in the New York Metropolitan area, a searchable database of Jewish Soldiers, Partisans and Workers Killed in Action during Nazism, and other resources are accessible. 
  • Jewish Genealogical Society of North Jersey: Currently in the process of carrying out a project to index all the headstones in the Newark Jewish cemeteries, the society holds meetings and has a resource library. 
  • National Genealogical Society: Information on how to become a member, and links to events, news, research help, a learning center, and more.