Genealogy & Local History

Contact: Adult Services Desk or call 203-438-2282 x12004.

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. Ancestry.com, Inc. is based in Provo, UT. Available on library computers only.

Connecticut State Library Collections in Ancestry.com

Create an individual account and search Connecticut records only. The complete version of Ancestry Library Edition is available on library computers only.

HeritageQuest Online

Powered by Ancestry. U.S. census records 1790-1940, local history books and articles, city directories, Revolutionary War records, and more.

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

Historical Hartford Courant 1764-1922

Temporarily unavailable due to state budget cuts

Historical New York Times 1851–2009

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State and Local Genealogy and History Resources

Connecticut Ancestry Society, Inc.

ConnecticutHistory.org

Connecticut Society of Genealogists

Connecticut State Library History & Genealogy Reference Unit

Ridgefield Historical Society

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

RidgefieldHistory.com

(website created by Jack Sanders)

Ridgefield Press Obituaries Index 1875 to August 2005

Notable Ridgefielders:

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

Genealogy Resources

Cyndi’ås List

Find genealogy resources on the Internet\

DAR Genealogical Research System

National Society Daughters of the American Revolution

FamilySearch.org 

ree family history and genealogy records

Find a Grave

World’s largest gravesite collection

FindMyPast.com

British and Irish family history

Fold3 Military Records: Accessible from Connecticut State Library with a CSL library card.

Geni – A MyHeritage Company

World’s largest free family tree

Legacy.com

National database of obituaries

New England Historic Genealogical Society – AmericanAncestors.org

PublicRecordCenter.com

Public records by state

USGenWeb Project

Free genealogy and family history online

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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 Ancestry.com 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

Books

  • 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

Magazines/Newspapers

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