Genealogy & Local History

Contact: Adult Services Desk or call 203-438-2282 x113

The Ridgefield Library is dedicated to maintaining a genealogy research collection and resources related to Ridgefield’s history, and to assist patrons using these collections.

The genealogy collection includes general genealogy, census and military records, advanced genealogy research, and genealogy by national origin. Online resources include American Ancestors, Ancestry Library Edition, and MyHeritage Library Edition.

The local history collection contains books and resources on the history of Ridgefield, the Ridgefield Press newspaper from 1875 to present, indexes to selected Ridgefield Press articles, local biographical information, prominent family histories, an architectural survey of historic homes in Ridgefield, and much more

Good News for Genealogists and Historians

The Ridgefield Library has a ST ViewScan III microfilm scanner to provide improved access to the Ridgefield Press from 1875 to 2003 as well as other microform content.

To learn more about this resource, contact the Adult Services Desk for an individual appointment for a demonstration.

Online Resources

Authoritative sources of articles and reference information, brought to you by the Ridgefield Library unless otherwise noted. Have your library card handy for log-in.

Genealogy Information

American Ancestors

Search more than 500 research databases maintained by the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS). Covers vital, probate, cemetery, church, and other records spanning the U.S. and beyond, including one of the most extensive online collections of early American records, and the largest searchable collection of published genealogical research journals and magazines. Available on library computers only.

Special strengths include English, New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont), New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia materials.

Established in 1845, New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) is America’s founding genealogical organization.

Ancestry Library Edition

The world’s most popular consumer online genealogy resource. Billions of records from 8,000 databases, census data, vital records, immigration & military records, and more. Unparalleled coverage of the United States and the United Kingdom. Search by state and country included., Inc. is based in Provo, UT. Available on library computers only.

Connecticut State Library Collections in

Search Connecticut records only in Create an individual account by clicking “Sign In”.

MyHeritage Library Edition

More than 5 billion historical ​records from all over the world, including U.S. and U.K. census records, 1.5 billion exclusive family tree profiles from MyHeritage and Geni, millions of public records and tombstone photos, directories, guides, references, biographies and yearbooks, exclusive databases such as the Jewish Chronicle historical newspaper, and many others. MyHeritage is based in Israel.

Historical Newspapers


State and Local Genealogy and History Resources

Connecticut Ancestry Society, Inc.

Connecticut Society of Genealogists

Connecticut State Library History & Genealogy Reference Unit

Notable Ridgefielders:

A Who’s Who of People Who Made News in 20th Century Ridgefield

The Ridgefield Encyclopedia
by Jack Sanders, updated August 2021
The Ridgefield Encyclopedia contains of thousands of entries on people, places, organizations, and things relating to Ridgefield, Connecticut. The encyclopedia is compiled and written by Jack Sanders. It is constantly being expanded and edited and new material is added daily. Please check back for updated versions.

Racism in 20th Century Ridgefield by Jack Sanders, June 2020

Uncle Ned’s Mountain: Two Centuries of African-American Slaves, Farmers, Soldiers, and Saviors in a Small New England Town by Jack Sanders, updated August 2021 is a website created by Jack Sanders.

Ridgefield Press Obituaries Index 1875 to August 2005

Ridgefield Timeline
Enlarged and revised by Jack and Sally Sanders, updated November 2020
The Ridgefield Timeline is arranged by year and contains of thousands of events during Ridgefield’s first three hundred years. It is searchable by using “Command F” (Mac) or “Control F” (Windows). The Timeline is being regularly enlarged and revised by Jack and Sally Sanders. Please check back for updated versions.

Ridgefield Historical Society
Extensive research library available online, including index of Ridgefield names, cemetery indexes, and more.

Genealogy Resources

Cyndi’s List
Find genealogy resources on the Internet

DAR Genealogical Research System
National Society Daughters of the American Revolution
Free family history and genealogy records

Find a Grave
World’s largest gravesite collection
British and Irish family history

Fold3 Military Records –Connecticut State Library with CSL library card

Geni – A MyHeritage Company
World’s largest free family tree
National database of obituaries

New England Historic Genealogical Society –
Public records by state

USGenWeb Project
Free genealogy and family history online

Library Materials

Circulating books and most reference books are shelved on the Upper Level. Print magazines and newspapers are shelved in the Friends of the Library Reading Room unless otherwise noted.

Genealogy & Local History Collection – Selected Titles

  • The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy, 4th Edition, by Val. D. Greenwood, 2017.
  • Barbour Collection of Connecticut Town Vital Records, Ridgefield 1709-1850 compiled by Lorraine Cook White
  • The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy by Blaine T. Bettinger, 2016
  • Finding Your Roots by Janice Schultz, 2013
  • Unofficial Guide to by Nancy Hendrickson, 2014
  • Advanced Genealogy Research Techniques by George G. Morgan, 2013
  • Family Tree Cemetery Field Guide by Joy Neighbors, 2017
  • Family Tree Guidebook to Europe by Allison Dolan, 2013
  • Family Tree Irish Genealogy Guide by Claire Santry, 2017
  • Family Tree Italian Genealogy Guide by Melanie D. Holtz, 2017
  • Organize Your Genealogy by Drew Smith, 2016


  • Biographies – Alphabetical by last name of person; monarchs and saints are by first name
  • Collective Biographies (families or groups as subject) – 920’s
  • Family History and Genealogy – 929.1, 929.1028
  • Heraldry – 929.6
  • Personal Names – 929.4
  • Local family histories – Ask at the Adult Services Desk for assistance
  • Connecticut History – 974.6
  • Ridgefield History – 974.69


  • Ancestry
  • Connecticut Genealogy News
  • Connecticut Nutmegger
  • American Ancestors (call number 929.1)
  • NEHG Register: The Journal of American Genealogy (call number 929.1)