Dauphin County Library System - Open for Discovery!

< Back to Beyond The Shelves

New Family History Resources at The Library! 

Thursday November 9th, 2023

New Family History Resources at The Library! 


The Library is now a FamilySearch Affiliate Library! 

The FamilySearch Library (FSL) in Utah is the world’s largest family history library. And the FamilySearch website allows you to search billions of its records from the comfort of your own home. While most records can be viewed without any conditions, you will encounter some that have restrictions or limited access. Many of the restricted records can be viewed at a FamilySearch Center (FSC) or an Affiliate Library. All eight locations of The Library now have affiliate status! This means that you can now visit any location and view over 2 billion records and 400,000 images that cannot be viewed from home. 

To see these records, you must be onsite at one of our libraries. You can use our public computers or bring your own device and connect to the Wi-Fi. (Our public computers have a shortcut on the desktop that goes directly to the FamilySearch website.) You will then need to log in to your personal FamilySearch account. If you do not have one, you can sign up for free using the “Create Account” link at the top of the page. Once you are logged in, just search as usual. Any previously restricted images that are unlocked for affiliate libraries will be seen automatically.  

If you prefer to do your searching at home, make a note of any restricted records that you would like to view. (I copy and paste the links into a Word document to make it easy to find them again.) As long as the availability message says it can be viewed at an affiliate library (see image below), you will be able to see the document when you are onsite.  


Before you come into The Library, here are some things you should know:  

  • You do not have to be in the library to use www.FamilySearch.org. But you must be onsite to view restricted images.  

  • A free FamilySearch account is required to view records and images but there are resources on the website that do not require one. 

  • Affiliates have access to 90% of the records that are available at an FSC so some will still be restricted.  

  • You will not be able to see the restricted images on the website once you leave the library. To maintain a copy, you must print them out or download and save them. We recommend that you bring a flash drive with you. 

MyHeritage is now available. 

MyHeritage is a subscription database that has more than 19 billion historical records from all over the world. Now thanks to some changes in the databases offered by the state-wide POWER Library, libraries across Pennsylvania can now give members free access to MyHeritage Library Edition. You cannot build a tree with the Library Edition, but you will find all of the same records as the paid version.  To use it for free, you must log in through The Library website with your library card and PIN. Links to the database can be found on both our Genealogy and Research pages.  

If you have never used the database or would like a refresher, a tutorial can be viewed here

For more information check out The Library’s genealogy page: https://www.dcls.org/genealogy or visit the Information Services department at the East Shore Area Library. 

The above piece represents the views of the author and is meant to inspire dialogue and increase understanding and a sense of community. The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent the views of The Library. Members are welcome to comment below or contact us privately by using our online contact form >