Free Online Resources!

Santa Cruz Public Libraries:

The local public library system provides general information, databases, and the online catalog of holdings, including those of the Genealogy Library:

NEW! – World Collection is the online home of over 1 million pages of historical newspapers from around the United States and beyond. Includes Santa Cruz newspapers. —–   Available in the public library branches, and using a Santa Cruz library card and a PIN number, you can then use this resource from your own computer at home.

Heritage Quest
Research materials for tracing family history and American culture. Search over 25,000 family and local history books, US Federal Census Records from 1790-1930 as well as genealogy and local history articles.   Purchased through funds donated by the Genealogical Society of Santa Cruz County.     —-     Available in the public library branches, and using a Santa Cruz library card and a PIN number, you can then use this resource from your own computer at home.

New England Historic Genealogy SocietyAmerican Ancestors
Provides access to more than 2,400 searchable databases containing over 110 million names. Some of the most popular include: The American Genealogist, Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841-1910, The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, and Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850. Purchased through funds donated by the Genealogical Society of Santa Cruz County. —-   This database is now available at all branches of the Santa Cruz Public libraries!

Ancestry Library Edition
Ancestry Library Edition delivers billions of records in census data, vital records, directories, photos, and more. Unlock the story of you with sources like censuses, vital records, immigration records, family histories, military records, court and legal documents, directories, photos, maps, and more.   —–   This database is available ONLY from inside the Library (any branch).


Santa Cruz County GenWeb
This site provides access to local resources, and provides links with adjacent counties as well as with worldwide genealogical sites via the California GenWeb, the US Gen Web, and the World GenWeb.

University of California Libraries
This online catalog contains the holdings of all UC campuses, including that of the local U.C. Santa Cruz campus. You can also find materials in any other participating library through WorldCat.

California State Library — Sutro Branch
Catalog of the extensive genealogical collection at the Sutro Branch, located at 2945 Golden Gate Ave. in San Francisco.

Family Search
The world’s largest genealogy organization provides free access to its databases and resources. Sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS or Mormons), it also has free downloadable programs for organizing your genealogy data.

Materials on microform may be ordered online, to be delivered to a local Family History Library. Many others are now being provided digitally online.

Santa Cruz Family History Center
A branch of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, also sponsored by the LDS Church. It is open to the public, and has many resources stored locally, as well as access to the full range of materials in Salt Lake. They also provide free access to the usually fee-based research service

Cyndi’s List of Genealogy Sites
A comprehensive, categorized list of over 300,000 internet links that point you to genealogical research sites.

Monterey County Genealogy Society
Our neighbor society on the central coast. News of meetings, publications, and a newsletter are among their online offerings.


San Francisco Genealogy Society contains useful information on Santa Cruz County history and genealogy.

Santa Clara County Historical & Genealogical Society
Another neighbor society, affiliated with the Santa Clara City Public Library.

One-Step Webpages by Stephen P. Morse
Steve Morse developed tools for simplifying and enhancing the search capability for websites already posted by others. His Ellis Island one-step search tool was the first, but there are many others.

Watsonville Public Library

Pajaro Valley Historical Association

Capitola Historical Museum

Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries
The Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries (FSCPL) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the Santa Cruz Public Libraries (and the book mobile). Through FSCPL membership dues and donations, our members provide programs, services and media to all Santa Cruz Public Library branches. Thanks to your book donations and FSCPL volunteers, we also have a Friends’ Bookstore in the Central Library Branch and hold a giant Book Sale twice a year at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium.

The SF Bay Area Genealogy Calendar

The SF Bay Area Genealogy Calendar is a collection of local genealogical society events – seminars, classes, workshops and meetings in a 75 mile radius of San Francisco.