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Using Ancestry Library Edition

Ancestry Library Edition is available for your use at any public computer inside the Library, and on any laptop using the Library’s wireless connection. It is not available outside of the library.

Getting Started

From a Library PC, look for the icon on the desktop.

From your laptop, go to

Basic Searching

Start from the Home page, or bring up the Search page. Click on the “Search” button in the bar toward the top left of the page.

Enter the first and last names of a person you are searching for into the search form. You may also enter birth and death details here, if you know them. (If you know only an approximate date of birth or death, go ahead and enter that).

Tip: Do not check the “Exact matches only” box if you wish the results to include variations on the person’s name (e.g. typing in “James Smyth” will also bring up names like Jimmy, Jim, or Smith)

Click the “Search” button. A new screen will appear with your results.

Navigating the Results

With the Historical Records tab highlighted, your results may include census records, birth, marriage or death records, military, immigration, court and land records, and so on.

Click on the Stories & Publications tab to see newspapers, periodicals, family histories, and books containing the name of the person you are searching for.

If you click on Photos & Maps, you might find yearbook, headstone or other photos associated with the person you are searching for, gazetteers, atlases, etc.

Printing, Emailing and Saving Your Results

When viewing an image, the Print button lets you print the entire image or just the selection currently visible on your screen. Click on the “Properties” button in the box that pops up to change the print settings.

The Save button lets you save the image as a .jpeg file on your thumb drive.

The Share button allows you to email the document. Emailed documents will expire a few days after they are sent.

Advanced Searching

If you have additional information about the person you are looking for, use Advanced Searching to retrieve more relevant results. Click on the “Advanced search” link (under “Search resources” in the box at the top on the right side of the page).


Use a question mark (?) when searching for names that differ by exactly one letter. For example, typing “Sm?th” will retrieve both “Smith” and “Smyth” names.

An asterisk (*) represents 0 to 5 unknown consecutive characters. A search for “Joh*n” will give results for “John”, “Johnson”, “Johnsen”, “Johnston”, “Johaneson”, etc.

Tip: wildcards cannot be used as the 1st, 2nd or 3rd letter of the name or word you are searching.


You can also browse Ancestry’s resources by place, title of resource, or type of record. To browse by type of resource, click on the Search button at the top of the page. On the right side of the page, you will see a list of categories. Click to go to a search screen that will allow you to search resources in just that one category.

To search for individual resources, choose a category and scroll down, or click on “View all Ancestry Titles.”

To browse by location, scroll down on the search page. After you click on a region, you will be prompted to search for a state, region, or province.

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