RFHC Databases

These databases are available on site, and are FREE, at the Reno Family History Center (RFHC):
  • The 19th Century British Library Newspapers digital archive - This fully searchable database of the British Library's newspaper holdings, provides a complete run of 48 British newspapers for the 19th century from 1800 to 1900
  • Ancestry.com-genealogy research website with over 5 billion records online and more being added almost daily. The majority of records are from the United States, though records are being added for other countries, such as Canada, the United Kingdom, and European countries.
  • FamilyHistoryLink - A free service where you can create your family tree and connect with genealogists from all over the world. Each patron that wants to use it simply needs to create his or her own free account at http://www.familyhistorylink.com/ and begin using it. (does not need to be accessed through the "portal")
  • FindMyPast.com - FindMyPast makes it easy to research your UK ancestry and create your family tree. Search census records and trace births, marriages and deaths to bring your family history to life.

Footnote.com - The place for original historical documents online where you will be able to view, save, and share original images of historical documents available for the first time on the Internet at http://www.footnote.com/. After following the "portal" link, if successful, you should see "You are using Footnote at the Family History Library" at the top of the Footnote Web page.
  • TheGenealogist.co.uk - A key website for searching English Parish Records, Directories, Census, Civil Registration, Surname Mapping and selected Army and Navy lists. This combined with their Smart Search tool makes this a great site to conduct English research at http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk
  • Genline.com (launcher) - Subscription-based Web site that offers access to images of the original Swedish church records from the 1600s to 1897. The record types include births, marriages, deaths, household examination books or the clerical registrations, and registers of movement in and out of the parishes. Genline's archive also includes the civil registration between 1860 and 1897 for births, marriages and deaths. Learn more at http://genline.com/
  • Godfrey Memorial Library - Contains U.S. and international resources, the Genealogical biographical Index (AGBI) containing statistics, sources for research, local histories, church and vital records, military lists, etc. Extensive collection of city and business directories, vital records, state, county and local histories, as well as numerous family histories, funeral sermons, family Bible records, and service and pension records. Provides access to the 19th century U.S. news, accessible archives to 19th century newspapers, African American newspapers, and the London Times digital archives newspaper databases, biography databases, and various church and cemetery records. Learn more at http://www.godfrey.org/
  • Heritage Quest Online - 
Heritage Quest Online database is a collection of material for both genealogical and historical researchers, with coverage dating back to the late 1700s. Researchers can use HeritageQuest Online to find their ancestors, trace their paths across America, and learn what life was like in the areas where they settled
    • Searches include:
    • Census: find ancestors in the complete set of U.S. Federal Census images from 1790-1930 including name indexes for many years.
    • Books: Find information on people and places described in over 24,000 family and local histories.
    • PERSI Periodical Source Index™: Find information about people and places from this index of over 2.0 million genealogy and local history articles updated annually.
    • Revolutionary War: Search selected records from the Revolutionary War Era Pension and bounty-Land Warrant Application Files.
    • Freedman’s Bank: Search for individuals in Freedman’s Bank (1865-1874), which was founded to serve African Americans. Includes a name index and images for bank depositors and their dependants and heirs.
    • U.S. Serial Set: Search the Memorials, Petitions, and Private Relief Actions of the U.S. Congress in the LexisNexis® U.S. Serial Set.
  • Historic Map Works Library Edition 
    • Historic Map Works™ Library Edition is one of the most extensive digital map collections available, with over 470,000 high-resolution, full color historic and antique maps. The core of the collection consists of cadasatral maps (property and land ownership) illustrating the geographic and development history of the United States and also includes illustrations, city directories, and more! This unique content allows genealogists, historians, and academic researchers to track the "residential genealogy" of families and locations.
  • World Vital Records - Access to birth, marriage and death records, family trees, census records, immigration records, court, land, and probate records, military records’ directory lists, newspapers, family histories, reference materials.
  • Alexander Street Press - American Civil War: http://alexanderstreet.com/
    • Research Data: Contains indexed, searchable information on over 4 million soldiers and thousands of battles, together with 15,000 photographs.
    • Letters and Diaries: Contains approximately 100,000 indexed pages of diaries, letters, and memoirs, including 4,000 pages of previously unpublished manuscripts, such as the letters of Amos Wood and his wife and the diary of Maryland planter William Claytor.
    • Images, Photographs, Posters, and Ephemera: Provides a vivid history of the American Civil War with over 1,400 images.
     . Paper Trail - Pioneer Wagon Train Diaries
     www.paper-trail.org/  Paper Trail contains excerpts from diaries of pioneers who crossed the United States. Even if you do not find something written by your ancestors, this is a very interesting website.


The following article was prepared for the NSGS Newsletter by LaRene Spencer, Co-Director at the RFHC.

{Editor: Italicized text was added by this editor--Jim Kattelman. As you should detect by my comments, I am very enthusiastic about the resources available at the RFHC. I encourage all NSGS Members to take some time to explore what genealogy information you might easily gather at the RFHC. Ask for help if you are not sure how the systems work or what is contained in the collections. Personal lessons can be arranged ! The items illustrated here are the physical resources.}

For your convenience - a brief tour on paper.

As you enter the Center, you will see our Reference Area. You will see a computer just inside the front door by the sign-in table that contains the entire Reno Family History Center Catalog—books, CDs, microfilm and microfiche. {This computer is your guide to the RFHC - get to know how is works !} 
Books on rolling carts in the foyer contain information dealing with the “how” and the “where” to look for records that will assist you in your family history research.  You will also find dictionaries (including some foreign language dictionaries), gazetteers,atlases/maps, etc.  Also included here are sets of books dealing with emigration and immigration, e.g. The Complete Book of Emigrants (England), Wuerttemberg Emigration Index (Germany), Directory of Scottish Settlers, The Famine Immigrants (Ireland), German Immigrants, The Great Migration Begins (immigration to New England 1620-1633) and The Great Migration (immigration to New England 1634-1635).

Approximately 5000 books will be found in three book rooms:

Washoe Book Room, the last room down the hall on the right, contains the entire genealogical collection of the Washoe County Library system. {If you are studying Colonial or Civil War America, check out the D.A.R. or Civil War collections. The D.A.R. records contain thousands of names that have already been researched. The Civil War collection is practically a day-by-day chronicle of the war. If your ancestor was in the Civil War, find their unit and follow the action. Also, the 29 volume set, Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, by Filby and Meyers will surely contain information on some of your ancestors. Ask for help, some of the book sets are difficult to use.}
Reno Book Room, (there are two rooms treated as one):

Down the hall on the right – contains only Biographies & Family Histories. {Books written by family members.}

Down the hall on the left – contains all other books owned by the Center. {A lot of state reference material.} 

More than 500 CDs containing genealogical records are stored in the front office for use by patrons.  They are only accessible on the computer in that office. {Many of these CDs will give you glues regarding the collections that are included in the FamilySearch.org website.}

In the last room down the hall on the left, you will find approximately 4,000 microfilms that are here on Indefinite Loan from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Several thousand microfiche are also found in that room, and the information contained there is also varied. {My favorite ! Since I have many microforms of German Parish Registers and Virginia Colonial Records on Indefinite Loan, I use these resources frequently. Take advantage of all the film that other researchers have ordered - it won’t cost you a dime ! Look up these films on the computer in the reference area. This is a great training ground to learn about various places and their related records} 

Of interest to patrons researching records from Nevada and parts of Northern California is our Parkin Collection.  It will be found in the room holding the microfilm/microfiche collections.  The data was collected by Nona Parkin over a period of approximately twenty years. The collection is organized by state and county, and filed in the cabinets alphabetically—ignoring Dewey numbers.  The collection consists of one hundred three- ring binders. {Early Nevada, from territory into the 1900s, is detailed in this amazing work of one person.}

There are seven computers available for patron use - 5 in our Computer Room and 2 in our Washoe Book Room.