“…In all of us there is a hunger, marrow deep, to know our heritage - to know who we are and where we have come from.”
- Alex Haley, Roots: The Saga of an American Family
Unraveling the mysteries of family origins has become highly popular in recent years. According to a 2014 Time magazine article, next to gardening, genealogy is the second most popular hobby in America. The internet has made easier global connections to ancestor data and other burgeoning genealogy searchers. TV shows like PBS’s Finding Your Roots with Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. have also catapulted the popularity of genealogy research.
To quench the thirst for researching your own history, BCLS offers Ancestry Library Edition, which can be accessed for free from any library computer. This extensive resource holds billions of documents including census data, vital records, family histories, military records, photos, maps and more. U.S. Census records stored in Ancestry's database are fully viewable from 1790 to 1940. Passenger ship lists and other immigration records are also available when accessing this service the library's online resources. It’s captivating to see your great-grandmother’s name on a ship’s manifold, along with the names of her siblings and family, as well as the assets they brought with them.
In addition, BCLS maintains a resource guide to fulfill genealogy research endeavors. Explore a listing of archived Burlington County newspapers, cemetery records and much more.
To start - or continue - your genealogy research, visit one of our reference librarians at your local branch!