Genealogy & Local History Resources

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

Visit the Book A Genealogist page for information about scheduling a one-on-one research session with our Genealogy Specialist.


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 is only available inside the library. 


FamilySearch is the largest genealogy organization in the world and is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. FamilySearch adds over 300 million free genealogical records and images online yearly from all over the world and manages the famous Family History Library in Salt Lake City. It has amassed billions of birth, marriage, death, census, land and court records from more than 130 countries to help you discover and make family connections. Access to FamilySearch Affiliate Library records is only available inside the Main library, on the library’s Wi-Fi. You may use your own device or a library computer to access the resource.


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. is a family history software service that provides access to old maps and land records for genealogical and historical research. It includes the First Landowners Project and the Antique Maps Collection. Genealogy, history, and archaeology researchers can use these interactive resources to recreate frontier neighborhoods and track migrations of families across the United States.


Massillon MemoryA gateway to selected resources available in the Local History Collection at the Massillon Public Library. Includes the Rotch-Wales Papers and the Massillon Business and Industry Database. Please Note: The Business and Industry Database is not currently available. We hope to have it back online soon.


NewsBank America’s News
Offers a collection of reliable news content from local, regional, and national sources. Access the entire collection or focus on content from The Independent (Massillon) or Canton Repository collections.


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



With an extensive list of publications from around the globe, NewspaperArchive includes billions of newspaper articles dating back to 1607 and extends to the present day. Every newspaper within this archive is fully searchable by keyword and date.
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.