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Research Guides

Genealogy & Family History: Finding Family History-Related Books

A research guide to genealogical research at the UW Libraries.

Using UW Libraries Search to Find Genealogy-Related Books


The UW Libraries has the largest book collection in the state with over 7 million volumes. Included in the collection are many primary and secondary sources that may be useful to family historians such as: The Colonial Records of the State of GeorgiaMining cultures: men, women, and leisure in Butte, 1914-41 and Die Inschriften der Stadt Fritzlar.

UW Libraries Search

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Type in the keywords that broadly describe your topic  or geographical area and add special terms that designate genealogical sorts of sources such as:


  • church records and registers
  • court records
  • deeds
  • genealogy
  • heraldry
  • history
  • land titles
  • nobility
  • obituaries
  • freedmen's bureau
  • pleas of the crown
  • probate records
  • regimental histories
  • registers of births
  • sources
  • wills

Sample searches:


apache indian reservation

ireland heraldry

london court records

regimental histories civil war ohio

yakima history

registers of birth massachusetts

virginia freedmen

wills lincoln england


Note down the library name and call number -- you need this information to locate the book.

Genealogical Reference Books

The UW Libraries has a fairly small collection of genealogical reference books but an extensive collection of history-related reference works including encyclopedias and biographical dictionaries. See the various regional and topical sections of the History Research Guide for these titles.  Larger collections of genealogical reference books can be found at local public libraries including the main branch of the Seattle Public Library, Fiske Genealogical LibrarySeattle Genealogical Society and the Family History Center.

Sample titles available at the UW Libraries:

Digitized Book Collections

The UW Libraries has three major collections digitized collection of books that can be useful for genealogists researching colonial America and early modern British history.