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Our collection houses a selection of reference books that can be useful tools for researching your family roots. Titles such as American Genealogical Biographical Index, Lineage Book: Daughters of the American Revolution and Colonial Families of the United States of America are a few of the sources available. General genealogical resources are located outside the Elizabethtown Reading Room and are accessible during all Main Library hours of operation. Genealogies of specific families and the Genealogy Vertical File are stored within the Elizabethtown Reading Room and can be accessed during open hours or by making an appointment.

Use our online catalog to search for Genealogical Titles. Titles located in the Genealogical Reference Collection will have a call number beginning with GR. Titles located in the Elizabethtown Reading Room will have a call number beginning with NJR.

Genealogy Vertical File Index - Our Genealogy Vertical File is comprised of obituaries, biographies, and/or articles about individuals library staff have researched throughout the years. For copies of materials from the vertical files, contact the Elizabethtown Reading Room.

Microfilm Collection

The Elizabeth Public Library holds the following materials on microfilm which may be accessed during all open hours of our Main Branch:

Elizabeth City Directories: Find the people that lived in our city from 1865 – 1971, complete with addresses, places of employment, and an occasional date of death. Directories also include information for the surrounding towns  of Roselle Park, Linden, Hillside and Roselle.

 Elizabeth Daily Journal: Our collection includes the microfilm edition of The Elizabeth Daily Journal newspaper from 1871-1991, digital access for January 1872-April 2, 1937,  and a limited number of issues of its predecessors, The New Jersey Journal from 1779-1876 and the Elizabeth-Town Gazette from 1818-1821. An indexed file covering the years 1915-1991 is available as an aid to research. If doing an obituary search, please be aware that only prominent figures are listed in the index. The Elizabeth Public Library received a project grant from the New Jersey  Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State, for the Elizabeth Daily Journal Digitization Project.

Elizabeth Daily Monitor: This collection dates from September 23, 1868 through October 13, 1875. There are gaps in this collection.

Newark Evening News: This microfilm collection dates from July 1, 1958 through August 31, 1972. There are gaps in this collection.

Star Ledger: This newspaper collection dates from January 1971 through December 2013.

New Jersey State Census: The library’s holdings of the decennial New Jersey State Census on microfilm cover the years 1855 through 1915.  There are gaps where certain county files were missing.

United States Census: The library has the United States Census of New Jersey on microfilm from 1830 through 1910.

ProQuest has partnered with Ancestry.com to create Ancestry® Library Edition, one of the most important genealogical collections available today.  It has unparalleled coverage of the United States and the United Kingdom, including census, vital, church, court, and immigration records, as well as record collections from Canada, Europe, Australia and other areas of the world! IN-LIBRARY USE ONLY.

The Elizabeth Daily Journal Digital database begins with the January 10, 1872 edition and is continuously updated as more issues are digitized.
Funding for the Elizabeth Daily Journal Digital database has been made possible in part by project grants from the New Jersey  Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State, and through a grant administered by the Union County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs, Department of Parks & Recreation. 

Explore your family history with the premier collection of U.S. obituaries and death notices for in-depth genealogical research from 1824 - today. HeritageHub 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. Access is available 24/7.

HeritageQuest® Online is a comprehensive treasury of American genealogical sources—rich in unique primary sources, local and family histories, convenient research guides, interactive census maps, and more. 
You MUST have an active EPL library card to use from home.


The experience and impact of Hispanic Americans as recorded by the news media, 1704 to today.

La Vida Hispana en América
La experiencia e impacto de los Hispano Américanos como ha sido escrita por los medios de comunicación del 1704 al presente.

Image result for ny times logo transparent

Obtain free and full digital access to The New York Times for 24 hours. Please use IE 11 or Firefox for access. An Elizabeth Public Library card is required. 

Click HERE for in-house access.

Click HERE for 24 hours of full off-site access.


The Union County Local Source was created by the merger of the Union Leader, The Observer, The Progress and The Eagle. The database covers 2008-2018. Additional years will be added as they are digitized.

Explore Newark history through local news, events and people with the Star Ledger Collection. Search current and archived issues with full-color newspaper pages, full-text articles and content only published online. Also available remotely 24/7 on any device.

Additional Genealogical Resources

Genealogical Societies/ Genealogists

New Jersey Chapter of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society

Genealogical Society of the West Fields in Westfield, Union County, New Jersey

Genealogical Society of New Jersey list of Professional Genealogists

Genealogical Society of New Jersey

Central Jersey Genealogical Club

Searchable Databases and Request Forms

New Jersey State Archives Searchable Databases and Request Forms

State of New Jersey Department of Health Vital Statistics

Family Search.org

The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. Passenger Search database

American Ancestors by New England Historic Genealogical Society

Immigrant Ancestors Project of Bringham Young University

General Genealogical Resources

Rutgers University Libraries Special Collections and Archives Genealogical Resources

New Jersey State Library Genealogy and Local History Resources

Cyndi’s List of Genealogy sites on the internet

LDS Genealogy New Jersey Resources

Rootsweb Ancestry Research site

Union County Resources page of NJGenWeb