Genealogy Databases

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The Buffalo and Erie County Public Library subscribes to several databases that contain genealogical and local history information. The following is a list of those databases. Out-of-town researchers should check with their local libraries for access, as hundreds of libraries across the U.S. carry these same resources.

To access these databases, click on the following link and select Genealogy.


Ancestry Library Edition

Buffalo News


Sanborn Maps of New York 1867-1970


Ancestry Library Edition

A genealogical research product providing access to more than 1 billion names. Includes U.S. Federal Census between the years 1790 and 1930, city directories, immigration, vital, military, court, church and ethnic records. For use at any library.

Click here to read about the differences between Ancestry Library Edition and (consumer edition).


Buffalo News

This database offers full-text articles from the Buffalo News, 1989 to the present. It includes obituaries, which are narrative articles. It does not include death notices. The Buffalo News database also does not include pictures or advertisements. For use at any library or from home with a valid Buffalo & Erie County Public Library card number.



HeritageQuest Online contains U.S. federal census records from 1790-1930, over 24,000 local history and genealogy books, a genealogical and local history serials index, Revolutionary War Pension Files, Freedman's Bank Records, and the U.S. Serial Set. For use at any library or from home with a valid Buffalo & Erie County Public Library card number.

HeritageQuest Help Guides and Tutorials:



Print Guides

Search Census Records


Learn how to use HQ

Browse Census Records


Search the U.S. Census

Browse Slave Census Schedules


Search Books

Basic Book Search


Search Revolutionary War records

Advanced Book Search


Search Freedmans Bank Records

Search Freedman’s Bank Records


Search PERSI

Search Revolutionary War Records


Search the U.S. Serial Set

Search PERSI


Special printing instructions

Printing from HeritageQuest



Sanborn Maps of New York 1867-1970

Sanborn fire insurance maps are large-scale detailed property maps including building outlines, property boundaries, street addresses, building use, and other information. This database covers hundreds of New York State cities and towns from 1867-1970, including over 50 Erie County locations. Use Sanborn maps to locate buildings and neighborhoods, see a neighborhood "as it was," to study the growth of towns and cities, and to identify the impact of new developments.

Sanborn Maps of New York Database Help Guides: