Genealogy & Local History Resources

This page features Internet sites and library resources to help you begin researching your family history.


African American Heritage
ProQuest® African American Heritage is a groundbreaking digital resource exclusively devoted to African American family history research. It includes primary sources such as census records, vital records, freedman and slave records, church records, legal records, and more. It also includes an exclusive partnership with AfriGeneas (a leading social networking site devoted to African American genealogy) that provides access to expert advice, moderated forums, chats, mailing lists, surname registry, and more.


Ancestry Library
An enhanced edition of’s popular consumer genealogy database, This database replaces the Ancestry Plus database. This database is only available inside the library.

Ancestry Library is temporarily available for remote access with a library card via this link.


Millions of U.S. military records to help you discover and share stories about everyday heroes, forgotten soldiers, and the families that supported them.
NOTE: In order to participate in the community and download or print documents, you will need to create your own unique account (with an email address) on the Footnote site after you access the database.


HeritageQuest Online
A collection of over 25,000 family and local histories, and content from HeritageQuest.
To access this database from outside the library, enter your library card without spaces between the numbers.


Massillon Memory
A gateway to selected resources available in the Local History Collection at the Massillon Public Library. Includes: the Ohio Obituary Index, the Rotch-Wales Papers and the Massillon Business and Industry Database. (Past and present businesses found in city directories and the library’s newspaper clipping file have been gathered into this database which can be searched by business name, type of product, date, or by person affiliated with the business.)


Newspaper Source
Provides full text from 194 full text newspapers and other sources.


Historical newspaper database. View, save and print full-page newspapers dating from 1759 to 1977.
Online access to 3,000+ historical newspapers. Dating from the early 1700s into the early 2000s, Library Edition contains full runs and portions of runs of well-known, regional and state titles to small local newspapers in the United States and other countries.


Ohio Obituary Index
(The Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center)

An index to 2,200,000 obituaries, death & marriage notices & other sources from Ohio from the 1810s to the present day.


The Rotch-Wales Papers
Contains personal and business correspondence, diaries, documents, accounts, ledgers, and daybooks of Thomas Rotch and Arvine Wales I.


Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps
Provides a searchable interface for locating historical Maps of Ohio towns and cities.