Genealogy Research

Ella Johnson History & Genealogy Research

Please visit our Historical Collection page for local databases and physical material information.

If you are one of our patrons, please feel free to take a look at the Inter-Library Loan page and consider ordering some amazing genealogical materials.


Also, the library pays for several databases including:

  • Ancestry Library Edition – This is the worldwide edition of (in library use only).
  • HeritageQuest – This resource provides access to census, schedules, Freedman’s bank records and various other records. If accessing at home, the database may ask you to enter your library barcode to use it.
  • A to Z Databases – A reference and marketing database including 30 million business profiles & 220 million residents. If accessing at home, the database may ask you to enter your library barcode to use it.
  • Chicago Community Coverage Newspapers – Explore current and archived issues of newspapers including the Northwest Herald, Elgin Courier, Chicago Sun-Times, and more with full-color newspaper pages, full-text articles and content only published online!
  • HeritageHub – Explore genealogical records from 1824 – today, including hard-to-find obituary content from the mid 1900’s, coverage from all 50 states, and original obituary images from historical newspapers. Access is available 24/7.
  • Black Life in America – The experience and impact of African Americans as recorded by the news media, 1704 to today.


Hampshire Register Newspaper

The local newspaper ran from approximately 1884 through 2009 and has been digitized. It may be found here. For added fun, make sure you use these Boolean operators when searching the newspaper:

  • AND—between two words includes both words
  • NOT—removes the word after it from your results
  • “Put parenthesis around all of your words” to find all of them.
  • CTRL F on your keyboard brings up a search & highlight feature


Ella Johnson Memorial Library History

More History & Genealogy Research Resources