Climbing Your Family Tree: Genealogy Resources Available to the Duke Community

Genealogy word cloudInterested in researching your family history, but don’t know how to start? Wondering whether or not Duke University Libraries has any resources to help you find your ancestors? Jacquie Samples (Head, Metadata and Discovery Strategy) and Lesley Looper (Team Lead, Bindery & Monograph Maintenance) have been working collaboratively to update and maintain Duke University Libraries’ Family History & Genealogy Research Guide to help members of the Duke community navigate their genealogy journey!

Below are some highlights:

One of Duke Libraries’ genealogy resources is a subscription to Ancestry Library Edition, accessible with your Duke NetID and password. Resources within Ancestry Library Edition include U.S. Census records, vital records, military records, and immigration records. Additional resources include city directories, school yearbook photos, and some newspaper obituaries.

HeritageQuest Online is another online database available through the DUL online catalog, thanks to NCLive. (It is also available through other libraries across North Carolina.) Available resources include U.S. Indian Census Rolls, Agricultural and Industrial Schedules, and the U.S. Freedman’s Bank Schedule- 1861-1875.

In addition to these and other databases, like America’s Historical Newspapers, World Newspaper Archive, and others available with a Duke login, there are several online resources available to everyone, regardless of Duke affiliation. Favorites include FindaGrave, Cyndi’s List, and the National Archives Resources for Genealogists. Google and Google Translate are also helpful resources.

Duke University Libraries also has print and online books and serials, as well as videos, related to genealogy. One interesting collection is several seasons of Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.  Other genealogy resources within DUL can be discovered by searching here.

Since Jacquie and Lesley began updating the Family History & Genealogy Guide, they have enjoyed presenting these resources and more to various groups within the Duke community, including a Duke Libraries Lunch & Learn, a DiversifyIT Brown Bag session, and most recently, an undergraduate Public Policy class. They also host a Microsoft Teams group, Genealogy@Duke, for genealogists of all experience levels within the Duke community.