Local Research Assistance

Let Us Help You Research Your Family Tree

            “The mission of the Genealogical society of Santa Cruz County is to foster and nurture interest in genealogy by providing guidance, information, and inspiration, while encouraging the broader public in the development of family histories and genealogical records.”

GSSCC offers five ways we can help with your personal genealogical research:

1.  FREE RESEARCH HELP   Come in to our Genealogy Desk at the downtown Santa Cruz Public Library when one of our trained staffers is on duty.  We try to have staffers available for a wide variety of days and times.  Our staffers will not do the research for you, but have been trained to work with you to get you started, and show you how to use the resources available in our library (ancestry.com Library Edition, local newspapers, microfilm, other online resources, etc.)  Local, national, and international sources can be included. This service is FREE. Check out our Staffing Calendar and call ahead to double check that a volunteer staffer will be there at the day and time you want to come.

2.  FREE EXPERT HELP Check out the list of our Expert Researchers These GSSCC members are all experienced in researching the areas indicated, and have offered to share their expertise.  They are all staffers, so you can check the Staffing Calendar to see when they are scheduled to staff next.  Call to make sure they will be staffing as scheduled. This service is also free.

3.  LOCAL HISTORY RESEARCH SERVICE  We also have a Local History Researcher (formerly known as Queries Researcher) who will do local research for you.  A donation of $25 an hour to GSSCC is suggested for this type of research. It entitles you to an initial evaluation and one and a half hours of research time. Many requests can be answered in this time. If more time is required to complete the task, or if new opportunities for further research turn up, we will furnish a report outlining a research plan with an estimate of any additional costs.

Information on what to provide and how to send it to the Research Coordinator are provided on this Research Assistance Form.  We have access to area newspapers on microfilm, including the Santa Cruz Sentinel, the Surf and the Evening News. We have local cemetery listings, county voter records, and county vital statistics. We have city directories dating from the early 1900s. Many of these resources have been indexed, and these indexes are available in the Genealogy Library.

4.  SPECIAL WORKSHOPS & SIGs Besides the above ongoing services, we also offer a Beginning Genealogy Workshop once a year, several “Introduction to ancestry.compresentations, and several ongoing Special Interest Groups (DNA, Irish research, South County).  Check out our Event Calendar for dates, times, and places when these groups will meet.

5.  In addition to all the above, our monthly Speaker series is designed to educate and inspire.