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Web Pages: Genealogy

New Books

We are adding new resources to the Genealogy Center every month. Stop by the Genealogy Center to view our New Books section or click the link above to see some of the newest titles.


Ask a Librarian


For more information about the Central Texas Genealogical Society visit

Online Genealogy Resources

Ancestry Library Edition (ALE)

A wide range of primary resources for genealogical and historical research. 

Access to this resource has been temporarily expanded to library cardholders working remotely, courtesy of ProQuest and its partner Ancestry.

Family Search


One of the largest collections of genealogical data in the world with 2 billion digital images in the FamilySearch historical records collection, catalog and online books. Available in-library only.

FamilySearch Affiliate Library


A continuously growing digital database that has partnered with the National Archives and provides millions of original documents of historic and genealogic interest.

HeritageQuest Online

A comprehensive database of American genealogical sources and is rich in unique primary sources, local and family histories, and finding aids. Access provided by MOREnet.


HistoryGeo is a family history site that helps you link old maps and land records to your genealogy research.

Only available in the Genealogy Center.

Newspaper Source Plus

Covers >160 major regional newspapers. Contains full text of national and syndicated content.

Contains full runs and portions of runs of well-known, regional and state titles to small local newspapers in the United States, England from 1648, and Canada.

Texas Digital Sanborn Maps

Large-scale plans of Texas cities and towns from 1867 to 1970 created to assist fire insurance companies. The maps list street blocks and building numbers as well as building usage notes.

October is Family History Month

This year the 20th Annual Genealogy Lock In

will be held virtually as well as in person!

If you are interested in attending and would like

to register please click here

2021 Genealogy Lock-In Program of Events (Friday, October 15, 2021)

10:00 – 10:50 am NARA Mythbusters: Your Family IS in the Archives, Difficulty: Beginner

Judy G Russell, JD, CG, CGL, The Legal Genealogist  Sponsored by: Friends of Corpus Christi Public Libraries

“All the military records were burned in the fire.” “There isn’t any birth, marriage or death information in federal records.” “There aren’t any details about ordinary families at the National Archives.” These kinds of myth-statements stop genealogist from breaking down all kinds of brick walls using the wealth of information in NARA records. Join the mythbusters with the treasures the National Archives holds for your family.

11:00 – 11:50 am Methodology: Using Timelines to Focus Your Research, Difficulty: Beginner

Susan Ball, President TxSGS

The most important tool you can use to research your ancestor is a timeline. Learn how to construct a timeline for your ancestor and use it to uncover previously overlooked avenues for research.

12:00 – 1:15 pm Beginning Genealogy Workshop, Difficulty: Beginner

Kathy Huber, MLS, Director of the Tulsa Genealogy Center, Hardesty Public Library

This workshop will explain the steps necessary to begin your family history research and introduce useful records that will assist you in getting started on the right tract.  Exploring some basic genealogy research records, we'll discuss how to locate and use them to your advantage.  Bring lunch and join us for this informative and fun workshop.

1:25 – 2:30 pm So, You’ve Found Your German Town of Origin, Now What?, Difficulty: Intermediate

Teresa Steinkamp McMillin, CG   Sponsored by: Waco-McLennan County Library

Finding your ancestor’s town of origin can be exciting. Once this piece of information is found, you might be left wondering how to get records from the other side of the ocean. This lecture focuses on how to get records for German towns. Highlights include: verifying the location, strategies for identifying misspelled town names, finding historical jurisdictions, finding records for that town, useful aids for reading those records, tips for hiring a professional genealogist in Germany, when necessary.

2:40 – 3:35 pm Fingerprinting Our Families: Using Ancestral Origins as a Genealogical Research Key, Difficulty: Beginner

Curt B. Witcher, MLS, FUGA, IGSF Manager, The Genealogy Center Senior Manager, Special Collections, Allen County Public Library

Explore how the concept of “America, the Great Melting Pot” may really be a flawed concept. Identifying the ethnic group of one’s ancestor or potential ancestor can pay some significant research dividends. Topics covered include how to build a historical context for one’s ancestor, studying population clusters, paying attention to patterns of all sorts (naming, migration, settlement, etc.), understanding the motivations of migration, and locating resource repositories.

3:45 – 5:00 pm Attacking 18th and 19th Century Mysteries with DNA, Difficulty: Intermediate

Blaine Bettinger, Ph.D., J.D., The Genetic Genealogist Sponsored by: Waco-McLennan County Library

Did you know that you have an arsenal of Secret DNA Weapons at your fingertips? These tools can help you attack those mysteries from the 1900s and 1800s! Learn how to harness the power of Shared Matching to pull out matches related via a mystery ancestor, how to build Research Trees to quickly identify common ancestry, and more!

5:10 – 6:00 pm Filling in the Family Stories, Difficulty: Beginner

Susan Kaufman, Senior Manager, Houston Public Library, Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research

This presentation, through examples of sources, will help you to understand the context in which your family lived, celebrated, cooked, listened to music, and other daily activities that all help provide the stories that make our families come alive. Stories in context go beyond just a name, date and place on a pedigree chart. Social history helps us to better understand lives, provides context to our research, adds interest to the pedigree chart and can also lead to additional records.

6:10 – 7:00 pm Discover Genealogical Treasure Using Historic U.S. Maps, Difficulty: Intermediate

Hannah Kubacak, Genealogy Librarian, Genealogy Center Waco-McLennan County Library

Maps provide a valuable tool for understanding the world as it was when our ancestors were living. Explore a variety of resources for finding and using historic maps. A few of the maps to be discussed during this presentation will include Fire Insurance maps, county boundaries, Public Land Survey System maps, and land grants.

This event is presented in partnership with the Genealogy Network of Texas. This means that libraries across the state will all be participating in these programs at the same time. If you are unable to attend our event here in Waco, but are interested in participating at another location, view the list of participating location below to find one near you.

Take a look around the Genealogy Center!

Visit us in the West Waco Library & Genealogy Center branch located 5301 Bosque Blvd. Suite 275, Waco, Texas 76710.

Call us at 254-750-5945.

Email us at

For more information about library hours and locations please click here.

5 Genealogy Projects to Do From Home

1. Sort through papers. Do you have a stack of notes and photo copies that has piled up? Take some time to review the things you’ve found and get your research organized. You never know what you will re-discover while cleaning up.

2. Write a biographical sketch of one of your ancestors. Is there someone you have spent a lot of time researching? Put all of that hard-work to good use! Write their life story. Having a written story makes it easier to pass this information down to other family members. If you write a few of them, you’ll have created a family history! Make sure to cite your sources so future researchers know where you found the information.

3. Watch a genealogy webinar. There are so many excellent videos available for free online. Take this opportunity to learn tips and tricks to improve your own research. To view virtual classes created by the Waco Genealogy Center click here.

4. Contact relatives. Call, email, or message your aunts, uncles, cousins, and anyone else who may have family stories. Information and heirlooms get passed down through different lines of the family. Maybe a cousin remembers a story that your grandmother never shared with you, or your brother may have a box of old photos just waiting to be scanned.

5. Research using the library's Genealogy Databases. Log-in using your WMCL Library Card to access databases like Ancestry Library Edition, Fold3,, HeritageQuest, and Texas Digital Sanborn Maps all for FREE. Click here to see a full list of the library's databases. 

Genealogy Center News

Ancestry Library Edition is available remotely to WMCL library card holders working from home until December 31, 2021. Courtesy of ProQuest and its partner Ancestry.

We release a free Genealogy Class video on the 3rd Thursday of every month. Check out past videos here: Building and Researching Your Family Tree, a Twelve Part Series.

For information about the West Waco Library & Genealogy Center's current hours please click here or call 254-750-5945.

Beginners' Genealogy Video Series

New to genealogy or want to brush up on your skills? Videos from the Genealogy Center are a great way to learn, no matter where you are. Click here to see past videos in our Building and Researching Your Family Tree, a twelve part beginners' series. New videos are released on the 3rd Thursday of every month. 

Building and Researching Your Family Tree, a Twelve Part Series

Part X: Migration, Emigration, Immigration

Click the full-screen icon in the bottom right corner to make the video larger.

In the Collection

In the Genealogy Center you will find:

  • Over 32,000 volumes
  • Information for 34 states
  • Maps
  • Access to research databases
  • 6 microfilm readers
  • 2 microfiche readers
  • 3 microfilm/-fiche copiers
  • 1 photocopier
  • 3 research computers

We've got you covered!

Keepsake Crafts

Alisha shows us how to take precious records from your family history and turn them into useful objects that you can enjoy every day! Click here to find other Keepsake Craft videos.

Waco Library

1717 Austin Ave. Waco, TX 76701

(254) 750-5941

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