Family HistoryDiscover your family history, local or across the world.
American Ancestors (Library Use Only)
From the New England Historic Genealogical Society, the country’s oldest genealogical organization.
Ancestry Library Edition
Billions of international genealogy records, including census, death, marriage and military records. Thanks to our friends at the Western Michigan Genealogical Society for their support of this resource.
*Note: Access to this resource has been temporarily expanded to library cardholders working remotely, courtesy of ProQuest and its partner Ancestry.
Biography Reference Center
Thousands of full-text biographies, including the complete full text of Biography Today and Biography.
FamilySearch Affiliate Library (Main Library Use Only)
World’s largest collection of free family trees, genealogy records and resources. Affiliate Library records are available on Library computers only.
FIMo (Fire Insurance Maps Online)
High-definition, color fire insurance and historical maps for Michigan
Fold3 (Main Library only)
US military records, including stories, photos, and personal documents.
Billions of historical documents and millions of historical photos spanning the past five centuries.
ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Black Newspaper Collection
ProQuest Historical Black Newspapers offer essential primary source content and editorial perspectives of the most distinguished African American newspapers in the U.S. Includes Chicago Defender (1909-1975) and Michigan Chronicle (1939-2010).
The subscription databases are openly accessible to all patrons from any of our library locations. Home access to the subscription databases is limited to Grand Rapids Public Library cardholders only.
Books & Magazines
We have an extensive collection of genealogy books and magazines, covering not only Grand Rapids but also the entire United States. Search the collection here:
Grand Rapids and Kent County
- Obituary Index
Index of obituaries from Grand Rapids newspapers, 1910-present
- WMGS databases
Indexes to thousands of local records from the Western Michigan Genealogical Society: obituaries, marriages, funeral records, and more.
- Grand Rapids City Cemeteries
Search for burials by cemetery, under Genealogy Information
- Kent County GenWeb
Biographies, indexes, plat maps, cemetery records, and more.
- Kent County Clerk
Birth, marriage, and death records for Kent County
- Michigan Biographical Index
A cumulative index to books and periodicals
From the Library/Archives of Michigan, includes death certificates, state census records, Civil War service records, and more.
- Closed Adoption Agency Records
Closed adoption agencies in Michigan and who holds their records