Genealogical Resources in The Filson Library: Ancestry Library

The Filson Historical Society Library has one of the most extensive Kentucky genealogy related collections in the region. Genealogists come from all around the country to sift through our collection in hopes of either finding that one missing piece of the puzzle, or to simply begin family research on ancestors who lived in Kentucky.

Genealogy research can be a frustrating and tedious endeavor even for the most experienced researchers. Generally, one must file through many pages of many books or microfilm rolls to find certain information. However, in recent years many valuable records have been made available to view on the internet in subscription form, and the Filson Library has adapted accordingly. One of the most popular and user-friendly genealogy websites is While this is a subscription service one can get at home, the Filson subscribes to which is much like the home version but more extensive (and expensive!). It has proven to be beneficial to those who come to the Filson and find information in the library edition that they were unable to find at home. Some patrons find that membership to the Filson or the cost of the research fee is more favorable than subscribing at home for this reason.

Page from the 1930 census

Page from the 1930 census

Ancestry library is perhaps most useful when looking for U.S. census records because one can simply type in a name and find all the instances where that name appears on the census. Census records tend to be the best place to start when doing genealogy and many patrons find using Ancestry library much easier than going through dozens of books. Nonetheless, Ancestry library also contains many other types of records such as marriage, military, and immigration records, and most recently actual death certificates have been made available as well. All of these records are also available to print out from our patron computers and serve as one of the only items allowed to leave the Filson Library!

Filson Historical

2 comments on “Genealogical Resources in The Filson Library: Ancestry Library

  1. Stephanie E Watkins

    My mother has many older books regarding genealogy. She has passed and we wondering if we could donate and to where.

    1. Jamie Evans

      Hi Stephanie, We are so sorry for your loss, and appreciate you reaching out to us. Please email us at and a staff member will be happy to talk to you about your mother’s books.


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