Saving Genealogy Dollars in the New Year

With the coming of the New Year, many of us are pondering our goals for 2012. [Will it be to achieve career advancement, to kick a habit, or to drop a few pounds…?]  In our current economy, many of us will choose to grow our savings as a resolution.  Here are some ways that the Grosvenor Room can help you save money while supporting your genealogy habit!

Keeping up with genealogy methods and trends – Are you looking to build your genealogical knowledge?  Use the Grosvenor Room Collection instead of buying personal copies and subscriptions.

  • How-to books – The Grosvenor Room Reference Collection includes an extensive list of methodology books on topics such as researching ethnic groups, record types, translation guides, regional research guides, and many other topics.  Grosvenor Room genealogy books, do not check out, but there are many genealogy how-to books that do circulate in other departments and B&ECPL locations.  Search our catalog to see what we own.
  • Genealogy journals and magazines
    • Family Tree Magazine, American Ancestors and Family Chronicle are a few subscriptions that excel in assisting researchers in keeping up with research trends, methods, websites, and technology. 
    • If you are looking for case studies try the American Genealogist and the National Genealogical Society Quarterly
    • Discovering tools for ethnic groups can be difficult, especially when dealing with foreign records.  Avotaynu (Jewish genealogy), Rodziny (Polish genealogy), and The Septs (Irish genealogy) are three culturally specific periodicals that we carry. 
    • The New England Historical and Genealogical Register and The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record provide regional content.  
    • If it is Western New York information that you are looking for, check out the Chautauqua Genealogist and The Western New York Genealogical Society Journal, which are excellent sources of information on local history, research repositories, and transcriptions of local records.

Are you looking for items outside the scope of our collection or that we don’t own?

  • Interlibrary Loan – Did you know that the library can borrow books from other library systems?  This service is called Interlibrary Loan, and if you have a B&ECPL card, you have access to it.  Most of the time, the service is free.  Put in a request through our website or ask a staff member for help.  To see the resources that we may be able to borrow for you, search the WorldCat database.  The National Genealogical Society library is part of this collection.  To read more about the NGS collection and its borrowing procedure, click here.  Many microfilm resources (such as newspapers, land records, and poorhouse records) at the New York State Library and New York State Archives may also be borrowed.
  • Let Us Know – If you come across a resource that you think our patrons may be interested in, email us and we may purchase it.

 Save on genealogy database subscriptions by using B&ECPL online resources.

  • Ancestry Library Edition – This database is almost exactly the same as, and anyone can access it from all B&ECPL locations. Search the entire U.S. Federal Census 1790-1930, passenger lists, military records, and thousands of other databases.  To see if Ancestry has the content you are looking for, search at first from home and then visit your local library to gain access to the records.  [Searching is free, but viewing the records is not.]
  • HeritageQuest Online – Available from in-library and from home with your B&ECPL library card, HeritageQuest offers U.S. Census records, thousands of full-text genealogy books, Revolutionary War documents and more.
  • Buffalo News – Search for obituaries and other articles about your relatives.  This database covers 1989-present.  [Pictures, classified ads, birth/death/marriage announcements, and advertisements are not covered.]  Available in-library and from home with a B&ECPL card.
  • Sanborn Maps of New York 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.  Available in-library and from home with a B&ECPL card.
  • Reference USA Residential – A great resource for those planning a family or class reunion.  Search residential listings across the United States to find addresses and phone numbers.  Available in-library and from home with a B&ECPL card.
  • African-American History Online – Includes thousands of entries, covering the entire breadth of African-American history, from African beginnings through the slave trade and the civil rights movement to the present. The database is organized into sections: Biographies, Subject Entries, Primary Sources, Timelines, an Image Gallery, and Maps and Charts.  Available in-library and from home with a B&ECPL card.
  • Black Studies Center – Combines three resources for research and teaching in Black Studies:  Schomburg Studies on the Black Experience, International Index to Black Periodicals (IIBP), and The Chicago Defender. This fully cross-searchable gateway to Black Studies includes scholarly essays, recent periodicals, historical newspaper articles, and more.  Available in-library and from home with a B&ECPL card.
  • Biography In Context Biography in Context is a good resource to search if you are seeking information on influential Buffalonians. It merges authoritative reference content with periodicals and multimedia while also allowing users to search for people based on name, occupation, nationality, ethnicity, birth/death dates and places, or gender as well as keyword and full text.  Available in-library and from home with a B&ECPL card.
  • Select Genealogy Websites – The amount of genealogical content being added to the Internet is growing rapidly. See select lists of useful sites by topic on our websites page and in our subject guides.

Thinking of obtaining copies of vital records from government agencies or other institutions?  Try the Grosvenor Room first.  We have convenient hours, and copies are only 20 cents a page.

  • Lists of vital records and related records owned by the Grosvenor Room are available online.  We have the New York State Vital Records Index, early Buffalo birth records (1881-1913), early Erie County marriage records (1877-1935), and a few other original vital record sources.  Indexes for estate papers (1800-1929) and naturalization records (1906-1966) may be searched in-library also.
  • Many local records owned by the Family History Library are also part of the Grosvenor Room Collection.  This includes select church records and cemetery records, as well as other materials.  Be sure to check our holdings before paying rental fees.

Consult with our librarians before hiring a researcher or paying for a class.

  • We have subject specialists in the Grosvenor Room who can provide guidance with our resources.  Come in for a visit before spending funds on a professional researcher.
  • Are you looking for genealogy classes?  The Library has database and beginning genealogy classes scheduled for 2012.
  • Would your work group or society like a tour of the Grosvenor Room or a guest speaker? Contact us with your request.


Happy New Year and Happy Hunting!

 – Grosvenor Room Staff

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