Skip navigation
Close All Milwaukee Public Library locations will be OPEN during the RNC, Monday, July 15-18, 2024

If you're heading to Central Library, please note that it's within the Vehicle Screening Perimeter. Visit the City's website for more info.

Milwaukee Public Library Hours & Locations Close


Genealogy – the study of ancestry and family histories – is a popular hobby.

The Milwaukee Public Library has an excellent collection of materials in this field in the Frank P. Zeidler Humanities Room at the Central Library. 

The collection includes methods books on how to trace genealogy, bibliographies, family histories, passenger lists, a large number of periodicals, city directories, as well as census records and indexes.

The genealogical materials at the library are enhanced by related local history collections which have been developed for more than a century.

Ask a Humanities librarian for personalized suggestions to make the most of your research visit.

New to Genealogy?

Researching the Family Tree is a brochure full of advice for the beginning genealogist.

Attend a monthly introductory genealogy class at the Central Library. (See the right side of this page for upcoming sessions.)

Consider joining a local genealogy group, such as the Milwaukee County Genealogical Society, which meets monthly at the Central Library, or the African American Genealogical Society of Milwaukee, which meets monthly at the Villard Square Library.


Library Subscription Databases

Ancestry Institutional Edition
Ancestry Institutional Edition (from ProQuest) provides access to genealogy resources, historical photos, local narratives, censuses, oral histories, indexes and other resources in thousands of record sets that span from the 1500s to the 2000s.  Library subscription database. Available for use within MPL libraries. Not available for remote use.

Find U.S. Census schedules, family and place histories, the PERSI archive and Freedman’s Bank records in this genealogy trove from ProQuest. Provided as part of Wisconsin’s BadgerLink program. Library subscription database. Available for use within MPL libraries and for remote use by Wisconsin residents.

Jewish Data
Jewish genealogical records featuring many cemetery markers, including those in Wisconsin. Library subscription database. Available for use within MPL libraries and for remote use by City of Milwaukee library cardholders.

Heritage Hub
A successor product to  the former America's Obituaries & Death Notices database. Explore your family history with the premier collection of U.S. obituaries and death notices for in-depth genealogical research from 1704 – today. Heritage Hub helps you easily identify relatives, uncover new information and potentially unknown family members. Includes deep coverage from all 50 states, hard-to-find content from the mid 1900’s, and original obituary images. Heritage Hub also includes U.S. Social Security Death Index entries. Of local note, it includes obituaries and death notices from: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 1990-current; Milwaukee Journal, 1935-1980; and Milwaukee Sentinel, 1844-1968.

Library subscription database. Available for use within MPL libraries and for remote use by City of Milwaukee library cardholders.

Other Genealogy Resources

NOTE: Milwaukee Public Library participates in the Geni Public Access Program, which allows users of the popular collaborative family tree website to access "Pro"-level account features for free while using their Geni account via Milwaukee Public Library internet connections.

Researching Your Family Tree

No upcoming events found. Check back soon!