Freeport Community Library is a great place to do family history!

The Bartol Room houses FCL’s Maine and local history collection. This includes state and city/town histories, collections of vital records, and even histories of families that hailed from Freeport and the greater Midcoast region. FCL patrons also have access to a wealth of online genealogical resources with searchable databases full of information about the lives of our ancestors.

Need some assistance? Join Andrew during Genealogy Hour, where he is happy to help people with any level of experience on their genealogical journey! If it turns out FCL doesn’t have precisely what you need, we can also help you track down other genealogy resources that may.

We also have a large selection of genealogy guides in our adult nonfiction section. Most of them are grouped under the call number 929, making it easy to browse the collection for the book that’s right for you.

Collection Highlight: Genealogy Guides in FCL Adult Nonfiction (you can click on the covers below and use the ‘Request’ feature to put the book on hold)

Practical genealogy : 50 simple steps to research your diverse family history
The Family Tree Scandinavian genealogy guide : how to trace your ancestors in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway
The family tree problem solver : tried-and-true tactics for tracing elusive ancestors
The Family Tree Scottish genealogy guide : how to trace your family tree in Scotland
Unofficial guide to : how to find your family history on the #1 genealogy website
The adoptee
How to archive family photos: a step-by-step guide to organize and share your photos digitally
The Family Tree Italian genealogy guide : how to trace your family tree in Italy
The Family Tree cemetery field guide : how to find, record, & preserve your ancestors
The Family Tree Irish genealogy guide : how to trace your ancestors in Ireland
Trace your German roots online : a complete guide to German genealogy websites
Organize your genealogy : strategies and solutions for every researcher
The Family Tree Polish, Czech & Slovak genealogy guide : how to trace your family tree in Eastern Europe
The family tree guide to DNA testing and genetic genealogy
Uncovering your ancestry through family photographs : how to identify, interpret and preserve your family
Reading early American handwriting
Ancestral trails the complete guide to British genealogy and family history
Ancestor trouble : a reckoning and a reconciliation

Maine and Local History Collection

Despite the growing ease of conducting genealogy research online, a lot of great information about family histories is still unavailable on the internet. FCL’s collection of local histories can provide much context for the times and places our ancestors inhabited. Many of these publications even include chapters dedicated to the genealogies of early or prominent families from various areas of Maine. You can search our online catalog for the towns, cities, or counties your family is from and find out right from home if we may have any publications pertinent to your research. (Friendly tip: stick to the ‘KEYWORD’ search for best results.)

FCL also has many collections of vital records from towns and cities throughout Maine. These publications are a great way to track down information about the births, marriages, and deaths that have been recorded throughout Maine’s history. If you know your family lived in one of the municipalities we have, you can work backwards through the generations using these books to identify who you are descended from and related to.

If your family is from nearby, you may be so fortunate as to have your family’s history already researched and published in our collection of local family histories! These aren’t always 100% accurate, but they can sure get you started on the right path. It doesn’t hurt to try typing the last names of your kin into our catalog and see what comes up. Maybe you’ll luck out!

But don’t ever feel that you have to navigate our collection alone. There’s always Genealogy Hour, plus the FCL staff is happy to help people figure out which books might contain the information they need. Just ask us!

Collection Highlight: The Dunning Books

The Bartol Room’s reference collection includes the Dunning books. Colonel Thurlow R. Dunning, who died in the mid-1970’s, compiled notebooks of Freeport family history that have been indexed by family name, copied and bound. Colonel Dunning also made lists of inscriptions he found on headstones in local cemeteries and we also have these on record. Several of the Dunning books and a few other items have been scanned and are available online at the Digital Maine Repository.

Collection Highlight: Local Genealogy Books (you can click on the covers below and use the ‘Request’ feature to put the book on hold)

The Irish of Portland, Maine : a history of Forest City Hibernians
More than petticoats. Remarkable Maine women
Eminent Mainers : succinct biographies of thousands of amazing Mainers mostly dead and a few people from away who have done something useful within the state of Maine
Voyages : a Maine Franco-American reader
New England court records : a research guide for genealogists and historians
Early gravestones in Southern Maine : the genius of Bartlett Adams
The same great struggle : the history of the Vickery family of Unity, Maine, 1634-1997
A short history of Portland

Online Genealogical Resources

Genealogy research has been greatly simplified by the proliferation of online genealogical resources. These websites typically allow users to search for their families using a variety of methods. There are some great free websites out there as well as a number of typically paywalled sites that FCL patrons can access for free!

Websites FCL patrons can access for free:

  • Ancestry (Library Edition)Onsite at FCL Only (you can use your own device as long as you’re connected to our wifi, but no remote access).
    • Ancestry contains literally billions of individual census, obituary, immigration and vital records that are keyword searchable. Many include digital scans of the original documents (sometimes you can see your ancestor’s own handwriting!). Ancestry Library Edition provides access to many of the records Ancestry owns, which can be downloaded or printed by patrons to keep.
    • Library Edition users cannot, however, attach records to an online family tree the way that paid subscribers can. There are also collections on the site (particularly international ones) that are inaccessible to Library Edition users.
    • Maine State Library has provided this Ancestry video tutorial from Niche Academy to introduce new users to the site.
  • MyHeritage (Library Edition)
    • MyHeritage contains internationally diverse genealogy databases. Users have access to billions of historical documents, millions of historical photos and resources that span the past five centuries.
    • Remote access from home is allowed and the site is mobile-friendly.
    • Click here for the how to use MyHeritage Library Edition video tutorial.

Some other quality free websites:

Genealogy Hour

Genealogy Hour is a weekly opportunity to drop-in and get assistance with your family history questions. Andrew will be available to help you navigate online resources on sites like, scour the family history materials available in our collection, or help you identify where else you might be able to track down your ancestor’s information. Whether you are brand new to genealogical research or a seasoned genealogist, all are welcome to bring in their questions.

These events are always free and open to the public. Days and times have changed seasonally and we occasionally need to cancel individual sessions, so please check our Calendar of Events for upcoming sessions!

To make the most of your visit, try to arrive with your own laptop and any or all of the following information:

  • Dates and/or Locations of your Ancestor’s…
    • Birth
    • Marriage(s)
    • Residence(s)
    • Death
    • (Approximations are better than nothing!)
  • Names of your Ancestor’s close relatives
    • Parents
    • Siblings
    • Spouses
    • Children
  • Maiden Names of any Female Ancestors

Hope to see you there!

Other Genealogy Resources

One of the realities of doing genealogy is that there is no one-stop-shop for researching one’s family history. Beyond what FCL can offer, there are a lot of great resources nearby and online that provide access to other resources genealogists need.

If You Seek:

Other Places to Check Out: