Collection Information

This category includes thousands of rich collections of published resources that can add depth to your family history. Published family histories may link to your family lines and can include the names, birth, marriage, and death dates, relationships, as well as stories about that family. Although published family histories can contain errors, the clues they contain can lead you and greatly help your research process.


The biographical sketches and oral histories of other people may give insights into what life was like for your ancestor. You’ll also find a record of events that had a profound impact locally, but don’t merit a mention in other history books. If your ancestor had any interaction with the subject of a biography, you may even find a mention of him in the publication.

Throughout history, family histories, journals, and biographies have been published.

This category brings together thousands of such publications, and you may find that someone has published a family history that ties in with one of your family lines. Even if your ancestor didn’t leave behind a journal or biography, by reading those of his or her peers, you can get a better feel for the times and places in which your ancestor lived.

Sample Images

Search Tips

  • Through the Card Catalog, it’s easy to see what local histories are available geographically. Use the filters to select Stories, Memories & Histories and narrow your search to that collection. Next in "Filter by Location" select a country, state, and county to see what’s available for the area.
  • Browsing the book is sometimes the most effective way to find what you’re looking for. For many of the titles on Ancestry, you’ll find links on the database search page directly to the table of contents, list of illustrations, individual chapters, and the index. These are often mirrored in the navigation bar of the Advanced Image Viewer. (Look in the blue bar above the navigation icons that says "Go to section.")
  • Older databases may not include the advanced navigation, but it’s still possible to read the title just as you would a book, and even where pages don’t match up exactly, you can do the math to skip ahead to sections of interest.
  • Use the stories you find in these publications and locate records to back up what you find. You may find "embellishments" in some published, family histories, local histories and biographies.