All YPL locations will be closed Sunday, Feb. 12 & Monday, Feb. 13 in observance of Lincoln’s Birthday and Sunday, Feb. 19 & Monday, Feb. 20 in observance of Washington’s Birthday.

Genealogy & Local History

Learn more about genealogy research and local history at the Yonkers Public Library through our electronic and print resources.

If you have a local history question, please email or phone 914-375-7966 to speak to a librarian.

At the Library

Local History Incubator –  at the Will Library and online. State-of-the-art audio equipment available for patrons to record an oral history, conduct an interview, create a podcast or scan historic photographs. Contact Mike Walsh at for more information.

Yonkers News Archive – Full database access in the library to Yonkers Herald, Yonkers Statesmen, and Yonkers Gazette (1857-1993).

Yonkers Public Library Digital Archive – Historical pictures of Yonkers Public Library and the city of Yonkers

Electronic resources

ancestryAncestry Plus Library Edition – Includes U.S. Federal census, American genealogical biographical index, immigration list index and more.vital records indexes, passenger and immigration lists, city directories and military service indexes. NOTE: This database can be accessed on select computers within the library and cannot be accessed from home.  

family searchFamily Search –  Explore the world’s largest collection of free family trees, genealogy records and resources. The Yonkers Public Library is a FamilySearch Affiliate Library and offers onsite access to digitized records not available offsiteFollow this link for more information about Affiliate Libraries, and for assistance, please visit the Reference Desk or call the Riverfront Library at 914-375-7966. – A historic newspaper website which contains archives of over 700 New York newspapers, and some from other states and Canada. It allows some searching in the old Yonkers Statesman and in the pre-1986 Herald Statesman.

Genealogy Resources – Available at the federal level. Includes information on the Bureau of Land Management records, how to locate microfilm immigration records, Library of Congress local history and genealogy resources, and preservation tips to save family records.

Where to Write for Vital Records – Collection of links to direct access for individual state and territory agency information from the CDC. This will assist in locating information on birth records, death records, marriage records, etc.

Yonkers Gazette & Yonkers Examiner (1857-1893) – Full online access to these newspapers


Yonkers and Westchester local history resources

Yonkers Historical Society – The Yonkers Historical Society, with early incarnations dating back as early as 1877, is dedicated to preserving the rich and deep history of the City of Yonkers. The office, located in Grinton I. Will Library is open Thursdays, 12- 4 pm. The Yonkers Historical Society also operates the historic Sherwood House Museum, one of the oldest buildings in Westchester County and a National Historic landmark, located on Tuckahoe Road (open seasonally).  914-961-8940 (Call on Thursdays or leave a message.)

Westchester Historical Society – Westchester’s largest collection of local history and genealogy; covers the county’s development from the first Dutch settlers in Yonkers to corporate settlers on the White Plains corridor. The collections are housed in a state-of-the-art temperature- and humidity-controlled facility.

Journal News in Microfilm – Full-image newspaper content from the Journal News from 2010 till present. Note: Username: yonkers and Password: yonkers. Select Journal News from Titles.

Library Digital Archives – Photographs, articles, and oral history interviews that describe the history of Yonkers and Westchester County.

Podcast: Histories of Change, Continuity, and Community: Yonkers – Podcast series that features stories about local history.  Produced by Sarah Lawrence College students.


West Indian Genealogy resources

Curated genealogy websites

YPL Recorded Program on “Tracing Your West Indian Ancestors: The Complex History of Slavery in Jamaica with Genealogist Phillip Nicholas”