Genealogy

Genealogy Resources

Wilmette Public Library has many resources available to help you get started researching your family's history. 

Materials in the Local History Room 

Biography files, photographs, city directories, local business files, oral histories, yearbooks, and more. Learn more about the Local History Room’s resources. Most Local History materials, with the exception of yearbooks, require an appointment to view. Contact EvaAnne Johnson to schedule an appointment.

Local History Digital Collection

Some materials from our Local History Room are available online. See our digital collection, as well as search the index of our newspapers and vertical files, on our Local History website

Local Newspapers

Including the Wilmette Life, Wilmette Beacon, Lake Shore News, and Local News. Learn more about our local newspapers

Obituary Index

Obituaries from the local newspapers are indexed for the years 1898 - 1939 (many early issues are missing) and 1957 - present on the library’s Local History website

Reference books and research guides

Available in the Nonfiction section at 929.1, and in the genealogy reference section.

Periodicals

Magazines such as Family Tree Magazine and Internet Genealogy, as well as Illinois Heritage, the Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, and The quarterly : journal of the Illinois State Genealogical Society. Look for current issues in the Periodicals Room.

Databases

Access genealogy databases that may help you with your research, including Ancestry.com, HeritageQuest, and FindMyPast. Use the links below to access them.

Scanners

The Library's Technology Center has scanners that you may use if you want to digitize your old family photos or documents. Visit the Printing & Copying page to learn more.

Genealogy Databases

Access these databases within the library, or remotely with a Wilmette library card.

Chicago Tribune Historical 1849-1986

Chicago Tribune Historical

The Chicago Tribune offers full page and article images with searchable full text back to the first issue (April 23, 1849).

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Find My Past

Find My Past

Find My Past hosts billions of searchable genealogical records, drawing from census, directory, and historical information.

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Heritage Quest Online

Heritage Quest Online

HeritageQuest Online is a comprehensive treasury of American genealogical sources, including unique primary sources, local and family histories, and finding aids.

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Newspapers.com

Newspapers.com

Newspapers.com provides access to historical newspapers from locations across the U.S. and worldwide.

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