On the left is a photo of a woman looking at a laptop. On the right is a graphic with a collage of 3 black and white photos and the words Connect to a Deeper Family Story. The ancestry library edition logo is on the bottom.

Ancestry Library Edition

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. Please note that Ancestry is only available in library.

By using this service, you accept this service’s Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Good to Know


  • Ancestry provides access to billions of historical documents, millions of historical photos, plus local narratives, oral histories, indexes and other resources in over 30,000 databases that span from the 1500s to the 2000s.

  • Multimedia collections deliver millions of files ranging from family and gravestone photos to postcards and newsreels.

  • Canadian collections provide nearly 60 million records from the Census of Canada, and key vital records, such as the Drouin Collection (1621-1967), which includes nearly 30 million baptism, marriage, and burial records from Quebec.

  • U.S. collections include information from sources such as federal and U.S. censuses; birth, death, and marriage records including the Social Security Death Index; and U.S. border crossing and trans-ocean ship records.

  • U.K. collections offer censuses for England, Wales, Isle of Man, Channel Islands, and Scotland, with nearly 200 million records: Births and Baptisms (1834-1906), Marriage Licenses (1521-1869), Deaths and Burials (1834-1934), and Poor Law Records (1840-1938) in London, and more.

  • Other international collections continue to grow with more than 46 million records from German censuses, vital records, emigration indexes, ship lists, phone directories, and more; Chinese surnames in the large and growing Jiapu Collection of Chinese lineage books; Jewish family history records from Eastern Europe and Russia; and more.



Getting Started


To access Library Edition, you will need to be on site at the library. 

To get started, you will need to have the following:



Using the Database


Once you have logged on, you can start with the general search which will ask you for a person’s name, birth year and / or place they may have lived. Enter as much information as you have available. You can also choose to search census, vitals, military or immigration records from the homepage.

Posting and searching the message boards allows you to potentially connect to other family members or researchers. 

Ancestry also provides different charts and forms to assist you in keeping track of your research. 

Be sure to save digitalized record files and you can email them to yourself so you don’t lose what you have found.



Searching Hints


Spelling mistakes in records are common, so be flexible with names you find in the results field.  Use wildcard symbols to get spelling variations. For example, use “?” to get spelling variations for one letter in the name like Nielson, you could use Niels?n to retrieve results for Nielson, Nielsen. 

Use “*” to get spelling variations for more than one letter after the 3rd letter in the name. With this, Johns* could become Johnson, Johnstone, Johnston etc.



Need Help?


For more information, please visit Ancestry’s support pages.   



Privacy and Terms of Use


Ancestry is a commercial service whose policies concerning privacy and user information differ from that of the London Public Library. For more information, please read Ancestry’s Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.