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Genealogy Databases

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

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).


HeritageQuest Online contains U.S. federal census records from 1790-1940, special federal census schedules, over 20,000 local and family history books, over 20,000 U.S. city directories, a genealogical and local history serials index, Revolutionary War Pension Files, Freedman's Bank Records, and select content from the U.S. Serial Set. For use at any library or from home with a valid Buffalo & Erie County Public Library card number.


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: