Local History | Library History | Obituary Index | Local History Room & Collection

Genealogy Club

Meets on the third Wednesday of the month, except in December
6:30-8:45 p.m.

Genealogy Club meetings are held in the lower level of the library in Meeting Rooms A/B. Meetings begin with announcements and the topic of the month. After that, beginner and intermediate sessions will begin along with round table discussions.

A Local History librarian provides internet and archival genealogy instruction and research support. The club is facilitated by Leslie Drewitz, a Certified Genealogical Librarian. If you have questions, please email Leslie at or call (630) 924-2765. Members also share ideas and meet other researchers, receive help with research questions and brick wall dilemmas, and share genealogy finds.

Computers are available to research genealogy using Ancestry Library Edition, Heritage Quest, MyHeritage Library Edition (formerly World Vital Records), and Family Search. Since there are a limited amount of computers, please bring your laptop or tablet that can be connected to the library’s Wi-Fi.

The club also has a blog (not sponsored by the library) that club members can join to post questions or stories about their research. Executive committee members can share the blog link and account creation instructions.

Bloomingdale Public Library is a FamilySearch Affiliate Library. Using the library's computers or Wi-Fi, you can access millions of locked FamilySearch digital records that are only available in a Family History Center or Affiliate Library. Free personal account is required and locked records are only accessible for in-library use.

Library Databases

Ancestry Library (In library use only)
Research genealogy and local history through census data, the American Genealogical Biographical Index, and more.

Fold3 provides access to original military records, including the stories, photos, and personal documents of the men and women who served in the military. Records date from the Revolutionary War through recent conflicts.

Heritage Quest
Contains the US Federal Census Records from 1790 - 1940. Search contents of books to find information on people and places described in family and local histories. Search article database to find information about people and places.

MyHeritage Library Edition (formerly World Vital Records)
Billions of historical records from all over the world, including US and UK census records, family tree profiles, historical and tombstone photos, and much more.

Library Newspaper Databases

Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times full-text newspaper articles from 1986-Present. For full newspaper with images, select the Image Format (available from 2018-Present).

Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune full-text newspaper articles from 1996-Present

Chicago Community Collection
Chicago suburb full-text newspaper articles. Includes Bloomingdale Press from 2009-2013 and Carol Stream Suburban Life from 2009-Present.

Historical Newspaper: Chicago Tribune
Historical articles from the Chicago Tribune from 1849-1988.

Daily Herald
Daily Herald full-text newspaper articles from 1997-Present

Daily Herald
Daily Herald full-text newspaper articles from 1995-Present

Free Genealogy Web Resources

1940 Census
Full access to the 1940 census images and 1940 census maps and descriptions.

Castle Garden
Offers access to an extraordinary database of information on 11 million immigrants from 1820 through 1892.

Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court
Search more than 500,000 naturalization petitions covering 1871 to 1929.

Directory to genealogical resources on the internet.

Digital Library on American Slavery
Detailed information on approximately 80,000 individual slaves, 8,000 free people of color, and 62,000 whites - both slaveowners and non-slaveowners - extracted from legislative and county court petitions, wills, inventories, deeds, bills of sale, depositions, and court proceedings.

DuPage County Genealogical Society
Includes indexes of DuPage records, history, and maps of DuPage County, and information on upcoming events and classes.

Ellis Island
Covers 17 million passenger arrivals through the port of New York between 1892 and 1924.

Emigration & Immigration Records & Links
Includes passenger lists and naturalization records.

Find A Grave
Collection of 77 million grave records. Many include photos of headstones and family photos.

Federation of Eastern European Family History Societies
Includes a Resource Directory map that is a great starting point for doing family research in eastern and central Europe.

Illinois Archives
Search databases of the Illinois State Archives.
Obituary database in collaboration with 700 North American newspapers.

Library of Congress
Digital collection of maps, photos, documents, and more.

Library of Congress - Chronicling America Historic American Newspapers
Newspaper collection that has grown to more than 4.8 million digitized pages, plus a directory of historical US newspapers and archives of where you can find copies today.

Library and Archives Canada
Includes images of border entry records from 1908 to 1935, searchable censuses (1871, 1881, 1891), vital records, and military, land, and immigration records.
Family history website able to match cousins researching the same ancestors.

National Archives
Holdings of U.S. government documents including military service records and immigration records.

National Archives of Ireland
Digital resources include the household returns for the censuses of Ireland of 1901 and 1911.

Newberry Library
Information on how to use the Newberry Library for genealogical research.

Newberry Library Atlas of Historical County Boundaries
The Atlas presents in maps and text complete data about the creation and all subsequent changes (dated to the day) in the size, shape, and location of every county in the fifty United States and the District of Columbia.

Newberry Library Chicago Ancestors
Find and share historical information about Chicago.

Online Death Indexes, Records & Obituaries
Death indexes arranged by state and county.

Online Searchable Military Records & Databases

UK National Archives
Search records held by The UK National Archives and their records on partner websites.

Genealogy Circulating Collection

The library offers many genealogy materials for check out. Search our online catalog for the full collection. Topics include:

  • Ethnicity specific genealogy
  • Family history publishing
  • Genealogy courses
  • Genealogy methods and tutorials
  • Internet genealogy guides
  • Self-publishing