Say “Hello” to Long-Lost Relatives!

Connections might seem to be hard to come by these days. But thanks to resources available from the Saint Paul Public Library, you can actually make quite a few connections—with your family’s past! 

For example, did you know that the Library Edition of Ancestry.com is available from home through August 31st? This gives you online access to census information, passenger lists from ships, birth, marriage, and death certificates and much more! 

The Saint Paul Public Library also has a wealth of material in our Saint Paul Collection online. City directories (which include residents’ addresses and often occupations) can be accessed, as well as historic and aerial maps of the city.  

Our website also includes a link to the National Archives, where you can research military, immigration, and other records, and request copies. 

If your family came from the farm, you might find them on county and township plat maps. The University of Minnesota’s Borchert Map Library has online atlases that show land parcels and the names of the people who owned them. 

Newspapers, of course, are a great way to find information about people from the past. Our website has a link to the Minnesota Historical Society’s Digital Newspaper Hub that allows you to do word searches in historical newspapers from across Minnesota. 

As you learn about your ancestors, it’s important to understand the world they lived in, since it often explains their actions. (“Why did Uncle Joe move to Saint Paul’s East Side in the 1920s? The Seeger Refrigerator Company was hiring!”) Here is a booklist with titles that will help answer some of your questions and all are all available to request for contactless pickup at the Saint Paul Public Library! 

You can also request periodicals with in-depth stories on Minnesota history topics: 

 *These periodicals are also available online at the organizations’ websites. 

Saint Paul Public Library’s online historical items and Minnesota Reflections are also a treasure-trove of information. There you’ll find everything from Saint Paul Winter Carnival scrapbooks to digitized versions of city government annual reports that date back to the 19th century! 

Introduce yourself to your long-lost relatives with a little help from the Saint Paul Public Library! 

(Post by Emily G.)

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