Pictured: Sisters Betty Hart (left) and Jane Phillips are two of many visitors to the ESPL Eastern Shore Room that will benefit from using FamilySearch to do online research of their family history.


(ACCOMAC, VA) – If you want to be part of the popular ancestry search trend, you may not need to look any further than the local library. The Eastern Shore Public Library is now a FamilySearch Affiliate Library, which means it has access to more genealogy resources to help you make more family discoveries.

There are only a few hundred affiliate libraries in the country. The designation means local library patrons will now have greater and more convenient access to the wealth of genealogical resources available through FamilySearch. The popular web service has over 6 billion searchable names and 2 billion images of historical genealogical records—and you get the helpful assistance of library staff.

The basic version of FamilySearch is available to anyone from home with a free account, however, access to many record sets is restricted.  By logging in at any of the four ESPL libraries with this individual account, most of these record sets will then be accessible.  Such record sets include county court records of Accomack and Northampton Counties such as deeds, wills, inventories, shipping records, administrator’s bonds, court orders, Overseers of the Poor indentures, property taxes and many more.  Rather than traveling long distances to courthouses, these records can now be viewed using the nearest ESPL library.

“Interest in our ancestral roots continues to grow with the popularity of DNA tests, reality tv shows like Long Lost Family or Who Do You Think You Are?, and the growing access to online genealogy records.  Adding Eastern Shore Public Library as our newest FamilySearch Affiliate Library will enable patrons to make many fun, personal discoveries and family connections,” said Paul Nauta, FamilySearch Public Relations Manager.

Eastern Shore Public Library has been upgrading its local history resources for the Eastern Shore of Virginia Heritage Center to be built at the new regional library in Parksley.  It is expected that many new visitors will come to the Eastern Shore as the library’s research facilities, equipment, and archive access are improved.  The ESPL Foundation recently received two grants for this purpose.  The Northampton Tourism Grant will help fund construction.  The United Way of the Eastern Shore and the Katharine H.S. Edmonds Reading Materials Fund at the Eastern Shore of Virginia Community Foundation will partially fund the purchase of a new computerized microfilm scanner-reader.  “FamilySearch is a wonderful addition to the great resources we already offer,” said Cara Burton, Library Director.

For more information or to schedule a short tutorial, contact Eastern Shore Public Library at (757) 787-3400.