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City Directories

City directories can help you find the address where your ancestor lived as well as the business where they may have worked.

Genealogy and the Orange County Library System

The Orange County Library System's genealogy collection is located at the West Oaks Branch Library & Genealogy Center (1821 E Silver Star Rd, Ocoee FL 34761).  It includes:

  • Genealogy Reference Collection- This extensive collection of genealogy reference books is organized by state.
  • Microfilm Collection- This includes census records, passenger lists, and Orlando Sentinel articles.
  • Genealogy Periodicals
  • Donated Family Histories
  • Print Indexes- Includes indexes to US Federal Census Records and Passenger and Immigration Lists
  • Surname Vertical Files-  File folders on family names may contain general information but many also contain copies of original documents, property records, vital records, and family photos.
  • Subject Vertical Files- File folders containing information on a variety of subjects or places. Some contain cemetery records, vital records or information on specific locals in that state, county, or city.

Book a PRO: Genealogy @ West Oaks

Learn how to find your ancestors using library resources from one of our PROs.  Book a PRO can arrange a meeting with a genealogy specialist at our West Oaks branch to help with your genealogical research.


Wondering how to begin your genealogy research? Learn the basics with these books that can be delivered right to your home!

The U.S. Census is the simplest place to begin looking for records. Use the census to confirm the facts you think you know about your ancestors and to find new information.

The OCLS Genealogy collection includes some standard reference materials that every genealogist should be aware of. These books include substantial information on record types, where to find them, and how to use them.

Tracing foreign born ancestors has its own unique set of challenges but the process of immigrating and obtaining citizenship creates many records. Learn to take advantage of that paperwork with these books.

Your research was going fine until you discovered records were missing, someone was listed under the wrong name, or an ancestor's father seemingly didn't exist. Overcome these challenges and more with these books.

Once you've begun your research you will quickly find yourself with an abundance of information, and that can become overwhelming. The key to preventing frustration is organization. Check out these book for tips on how to manage what you find.

Don't have time to come to the library? Try one of our ebooks!

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These databases are free to you with your library card, and provide access to census records, passengers lists, military records, reference ebooks, and much more.