By Mary Heyl

If you’ve been interested in researching your genealogy to find out just how far back you can trace your roots, the Ellicottville Memorial Library has an exciting new resource for you! is the most popular consumer online genealogy resource in the world, as it provides billions of records in census data, vital records, directories, photos and more. This site, which is typically accessible only through a paid monthly subscription, is now available for anyone to use for free through the EVL Memorial Library’s Ancestry Library Edition.

Library director Laura Flanagan is pleased to share this new resource, which the library introduced about three weeks ago. The EVL Memorial Library is a part of the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System, which purchased a subscription to the Ancestry Library Edition that patrons are able to use at the library through ProQuest. “It’s free to use this service, but you do have to be at the library to access it and we can show you how,” explained Flanagan.

With its six desktop computers and seven laptops, the EVL Memorial Library is the perfect place to spend the afternoon getting to know your family tree!

Upon entering your name and relevant family information, Ancestry accesses more than 7,000 available databases to find information from all over the world. Sources include censuses, immigration records, family histories, military records, court and legal documents, and more—and new data is added every day.

U.S. collections include the Social Security Death Index and U.S. border crossing and trans-ocean ship records. Canadian collections include 60 million records from the Census of Canada and key vital records, such as the Drouin Collection, which includes nearly 30 million baptism, marriage and burial records from Quebec from 1621 through 1967. Ancestry’s U.K. and other international collections are continuing to grow, as is the multimedia collection that contains all kinds of family and gravestone photos, postcards, and newsreels.

“We’ve had seven or eight people who have already been in to use it and have found information they never had access to before,” said Flanagan. There is no designated time or day of the week for visitors to use this great resource; any time the library is open, patrons can access Ancestry.

Flanagan, herself, has started exploring her genealogy with the new program: “I used it briefly to look up my grandparents and within two or three minutes, I found their marriage certificate and draft record. It didn’t take me long to find this information at all, and I’ve just scratched the surface!”

The EVL Memorial Library, which is located at 6499 Maples Road, is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday (closed Sundays). To learn more about Ancestry and the library’s other programs, visit or call (716)699-2842.