Unearth Your Family History with Ancestry Library Edition and HeritageQuest Online

Did you ever wonder where your great-grandparents came from or why there are so many missing names on your family tree? Family secrets are harder to keep with advances in genetic testing and genealogical databases, but exposing those secrets can get expensive. The library recently acquired Ancestry Library Edition and HeritageQuest Online, two premier resources for genealogy research, providing Yonkers library cardholders with completely free access to both databases. These free online resources will not only save you money, but are sure to satisfy those looking to connect with relatives, discover hidden histories, find vital records, and search immigration records.


ANCESTRY LIBRARY EDITION (In-library use only)

Ancestry Library Edition is the most popular genealogy service featuring more than 9,000 databases and 200 billion images from around the world. Search census records, the Social Security Death Index, as well as military and immigration records to explore your family history. This resource is available for in-library use only. You can use any of our public computers or bring your own device and connect it to our free WiFi. Click here to get started.


  • Immigration and vital records
  • Census data
  • Family histories
  • Military and court records
  • Photos and directories


  • To have your records waiting for you when you get home, use the "Send Document" feature. 
  • The Learning Center has guides for beginning searchers as well as tips for the advanced searcher.
  • Download blank ancestral charts and correspondence sheets to keep track of your research.
  • Access message boards with over 25 million posts on more than 198,000 boards. The comments, advice, feedback, and information posted by fellow genealogists and researchers may prove invaluable to your own research. 


HERITAGEQUEST ONLINE (In-library and remote access)

HeritageQuest Online is a robust database powered by Ancestry with access to many of the same records. Additionally, the database offers U.S. Serial Sets, Freedman’s Bank Records, and local history books. The biggest (and best) difference is you can access HeritageQuest Online from the comfort of your home as long as you have a Yonkers Public Library card. Click to get started here. 


  • 1790-1940 U.S. Federal Census records
  • Genealogy and local history books, including city directories (search your name to see if your family is in one).
  • PERSI, the Periodical Source Index, guides you to thousands of genealogy articles.
  • Freedman’s Bank Records—many freed slaves and others deposited their money in this bank from 1865-1871. Look for your ancestors here.
  • U.S. Serial Set, which has petitions, memorials and private relief actions from the U.S. Congress.
  • Revolutionary War records—find out if your ancestor served.


For more free online genealogy resources, visit our Local History page. Have questions? Email us at localhistory@ypl.org and we can help get you started. Happy discovering!