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Genealogy Overview

To help you get started on your family research we’ve put together this page of books, magazines, and microfilm from our collection. There is also a list of helpful websites you may find useful to get you started filling in your family tree.

Don’t forget we have a lot of great material in our Local History Collection including Census Records, City Directories and Vital Records which will help you in your search. See the main Local History page for a full listing of the collection. As always, if you have any questions please visit our Ask a Question page and a member of our reference department will be glad to help guide your search.

Books at Pollard Memorial Library to get you started:

  • Allen, Desmond Wall. First Steps in Genealogy: a beginner's guide to researching your family history - CALL NUMBER: S.C. 929.1 ALL
  • Carmack, Sharon DeBartolo. A Genealogist's guide to discovering your female ancestors: special strategies for uncovering hard-to-find information about your female lineage - CALL NUMBER: S.C. 929.108 CAR
  • Crawford-Oppenheimer, Christine. Long-distance genealogy - S.C. 929.1072 CRA
  • Croom, Emily Anne. Unpuzzling your past: the best-selling basic guide to genealogy - CALL NUMBER: S.C. 929.1072 CRO
  • Richley, Pat. The everything on-line genealogy Book: use the web to discover long lost relations, trace your family tree back to royalty, and share your history with far flung cousins - CALL NUMBER: S.C. 929.10285 RIC
  • Rose, Christine and Ingalls, Kay Germain. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Genealogy - CALL NUMBER: S.C. 929.1 ROS Ref
  • Warren, Paula Stuart. Your guide to the Family History Library - CALL NUMBER: S.C. 026.9292 WAR

Magazines available at Pollard Memorial Library

  • American Ancestors- published quarterly
  • Lowell Offering - October 1840-December 1845 (microfilm)
  • New England Historical and Genealogical Register - published quarterly

Sample of newspapers on microfilm-(check with our Reference Staff for others):

  • American Citizen - 5/20/1854-5/1862
  • Centralville News - 5/5/1916-11/3/1916
  • Chelmsford Phoenix - 6/28/1825-2/24/1826
  • Evening Star - 3/31/1890-9/19/1896
  • L'Etoile - 9/16/1886-4/7/1899
  • Le National - 6/13/1890-10/4/1895
  • Lowell Advertiser/Lowell Evening Advertiser - January 1838-December 1862
  • Lowell Courier-Citizen - Morning edition: 1/5/1837-2/1906 Evening edition: 3/1906-12/1921
  • Lowell sun - Weekly: 8/10/1878-8/27/1892 Daily sun - 9/1/1892 to date
  • Lowell Sunday Telegram - 4/1899 - 9/1952
  • New England Greek Messenger Weekly - 3/11/1915-12/26/1917
  • Star of Bethleham - 1/2/1841-5/2/1846

Helpful Genealogy Links

Websites for beginners

  • Dear Myrtle's Beginning Genealogy Lessons - Lessons on line for beginning genealogist
  • - If you are a brand-new genealogist or need a refresher course, this is a great place to learn the basics of hunting for ancestors
  • Introduction to Genealogy - Free, Interactive Online Course Learn how to research your family history for free with fellow classmates from around the world.
  • - The primary purpose and function of is to connect people so that they can help each other and share genealogical research. Whether you're just starting out or you've been doing genealogy forever, here are some useful general information files.

General Genealogy Websites:

  • The American Family Immigration History Center - This database provides information on 22 million immigrants and ship's crews who arrived at Ellis Island and the Port of New York between 1898 and 1924. Searchable by name, including alternate spelling, results provide date of arrival, age, marital status, ethnicity, residence, gender, ship, and port of departure. Information on each ship and ship manifests are also available.
  • - A commercial site with genealogical information, such as how to search for family records and create a family tree, and many message boards and other ways to share information. Most other features require a paid subscription.
  • Ancient Faces - Thousands of family pictures
  • City Clerk - The Lowell City Clerk’s office has information on births, deaths, and marriages.
  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Family History Center
  • Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet - A collection of over 100,000 links. This site is one of the richest resources for genealogy studies
  • Family History Library - The largest genealogical society in the world. You can access their card catalog and key databases online. If you only go to one site, this is it. It is packed with information, indexes, and practical tools. Included is the complete SourceGuide™ with hundreds of finding aids and research papers.
  • Family Tree Maker - Includes how-to articles, extensive annotated directory of related internet resources, research services and much more.
  • Family Search - Sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS). Vital records extraction project 35+ million names in its Ancestral File, 360+ million names in the International Genealogical Index and Family History Library Catalog with records from more than 2 million rolls of microfilm
  • Free Genealogy Charts and Forms
  • - Hosted by Rootsweb.
  • New England Historic Genealogical Society
  • Northern Middlesex Registry of Deeds
  • Roots Web Guide to Tracing Family Trees - An outstanding beginner's guide as well as tips for more advanced genealogists
  • ROOTS-L HomePage - Genealogy discussion list Web site. Contains: the ROOTS-L library, with hundreds of files, including how to obtain vital records, useful tips for beginners, book lists, etc.; the Roots Surname List or RSL, a list of over 900,000 surnames and contact information for the almost 100,000 people researching them; GENSERV, a massive database comprised of the GEDCOMs of over 11,000 submitters; the U. S. Civil War Units file; United States Resources: A Web page for every state in the United States, with links to genealogical and historical resources; and the ROOT-L archives, searchable
  • Roots - Billing itself as "The Oldest & Largest FREE Genealogy Site," RootsWeb includes search engines and databases, family trees (over 70 million names), surname and geographical mailing lists, and message boards.
  • Saint Patrick Cemetery - Contains genealogy burial listings from 1895 thru 2011
  • Social Security Death Index - The Social Security Death File Index is a basic source for assisting genealogists. Searches can be limited by city, county, or state and even modified by birth year, month, or day. Useful for beginning or advanced researchers.
  • US Genweb Project - Links to all the state genealogy web sites, special archiving projects on census, cemetery tombstones, guides to doing research
  • The World Gen Web Project - This online resource for international genealogists "is a non-profit, volunteer based organization dedicated to providing genealogical and historical records and resources for world-wide access." Divided into eleven world regions, it is searchable by countries, provinces, states, and other administrative divisions.
  • United States Historical Census Data Browser - Population and economic data from the U.S. Census, 1790-1960.
  • Vital Records Information
  • Where to Write for Vital Records - Information for accessing vital records by state

Libraries/Research sites

  • Archdiocese of Boston Archives
  • Boston Public Library
  • Digital Public Library of America - Access to millions of items—photographs, manuscripts, books, sounds, moving images, and more—from libraries, archives, and museums around the United States. 
  • NARA Genealogy - A source for archival research and genealogy.
  • National Archives and Records Administration, Genealogy Page - This outstanding site is packed with genealogical tips, guides, and practical information for obtaining federal records (census, military, passenger lists, etc.) as well as indexes like the Index to all Veterans Who Died in the Korean War, which is searchable by name or by state.
  • Newberry Library - An independent research library open to the public, the Newberry Library in Chicago serves over 10,000 people annually. The library is known for its extensive genealogy materials, as well as its collections on the history and literature of Western Europe and the Americas.

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