Genealogy is a great hobby. This page introduces some of our favorite websites for hunting down ancestors, near and far. If Genealogy interests you, don’t forget to check our events calendar for the current Genealogy Series and other history programs, and visit our Derry Digital Archives and the New Hampshire Room for local research.

Free Resources to Access From Home


Currently, the Ancestry Database that you would typically use inside the library is available from your home computer. You may log in using your barcode and pin number.


While more limited, Heritagequest is always available online from home.

Family Search

Family Search is the largest free resource for genealogical records. While some of what they have available is indexed, much of it is not, and can seem hidden unless you know it exists. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the location of your search using the handy Family Search Wikis for the region you are researching. The Derry Public Library is a Family Search Affiliate Library, giving you access to, marginally, more than you can access from home. The nearest Family History Center is in Nashua, NH and provides more access than you can find at an affiliate library.


NARA holds national documents of huge historical significance and records that are useful for your genealogical search including census records, military records, immigration records, land records and naturalization records.

Freedman’s Bureau

The Freedman’s Bureau is a resource for African American Genealogy in the reconstruction era and includes marriage records, labor records and outrages (notifications of criminal intent by or against freedmen).



This is a crowdsourced website where people can contribute pictures and information regarding a headstone. Locate headstones using name and date of death.


This is a crowdsourced website where people can upload the information on a headstone. You can locate headstones by using name and date of death.

NOTE: Unmarked graves will not be found on Findagrave or billiongraves. Instead, locate the cemetery on the death certificate and contact the cemetery office or town. They may have interment records available.


Chronicling America

Interested in exploring old newspapers? Chronicling America has you covered. This is a digital collection of historic newspapers from 1789-1963. You can also access the Newspaper Directory, which provides information on repositories for physical copies.


World Radio History has a wonderful collection of trade publications from the field of radio history, such as Popular Science, Billboard Magazine, Monitor and More.

Fulton History

The Fulton History website holds historical newspapers and a large collection of New York State newspapers. The collection also includes a postcard collection and some Billboard Magazines.

Community History Archive (Advantage Preservation)

Many libraries, historical societies and town repositories use the Community History Archive. Use their handy directory to see if they have access to the paper you are looking for.


Sanborn Fire Maps

The library of congress has a large collection of digitized Sanborn Fire Maps. These maps can help you in your ancestral search by giving a sense of location, streets, boundaries and community centers like schools, municipal buildings, churches etc.

David Rumsey Collection

The David Rumsey Collection is a wonderful collection of over 150,000 world maps dating from 16th-21st century.


Always ask yourself if you are experienced in researching the location in which you are researching. If not, take time to brush up on regions, skills and more. The following websites are great resources for furthering your education in particular areas:

Cyndi’s List

American Ancestors

Ancestry Youtube Tutorials

Family Search Wiki