Finding Genealogical Material

Since our collection is designed to support the campus curriculum, we do not purposefully collect materials for genealogical research. But we do have resources that can be useful.

General Searching

Use our library catalog to search for books and other items. Use WorldCat to search beyond our collection, including 60 million records and many archival records.

Recommended search terms:

Archives Heraldry Public Land Records
Business Records Inscriptions Public Records
Church Records Inventories of Decedents’ Estates Registers of Births, etc…
Criminal Registers Land Grants Slave Records
Death Notices Marriage Records Taxation-Lists
Deeds Mining Claims Titles of Honor and Nobility
Epitaphs Names Trials
Families of Royal Descent Obituaries Voting Registers
Genealogy Probate Records Wills

Most published genealogies are within the CC100 to CC200 call number range (see call number locations) if you would like to browse.

Guides to Genealogical Research

Searching for Your Ancestors: the how and why of genealogy

The Source : A Guidebook of American Genealogy

To find more genealogical guides, browse call numbers starting with CS.

Arizona Resources

Arizona Genealogy Birth and Death Certificates
PDF copies of birth and death certificates that are public record (for births that occurred at least 75 years ago and deaths that occurred at least 50 years ago). From Arizona Department of Health Services.

Arizona Historical Society
Has the world's largest collection of Arizona history artifacts, documents, and photographs.

Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records
Contains many types of public records which may be useful to family historians. Among the many resources available are:

  • Assessment Rolls containing lists of taxable persons and their property.
  • Brand Indexes and Books.
  • Coroner or Justice Court records detail inquests held for deaths that occurred by violence or under suspicious conditions.
  • Great Registers containing personal information required of those who registered to vote. Great Registers before 1912 contains only men.
  • Miscellaneous Books, as their name implies, contain land records, proof of labor, plat maps, court documents, a few marriage records and whatever fell under the Miscellaneous category.
  • Records from the Territorial Prison.
  • Superior Court records including pre-WW II marriage licenses, wills, probate cases, and civil and criminal cases.

Arizona State Library Archives and Public Records
Serves the information needs of Arizona citizens. Provides access to unique historical and contemporary resources:

  • Archives of historical records in Arizona.
  • Museums on state government history and people of the state.
  • Public records management program.
  • Research and law library. Includes Federal Regional Depository.

University of Arizona - Special Collections
Maintains collections of rare books and unique archival materials. Established in 1958 to house materials on Arizona, the Southwest, and the U.S./Mexico Borderlands, Special Collections now includes rare books, manuscript collections, photographs, and other materials in a wide variety of subject areas.

University Records Management and Archives Facility
More recent records are maintained at the University Records Management and Archives Facility. University of Arizona scientists whose papers are held by Special Collections include Andrew E. Douglass, Edward T. Hall, Pierre Lecomte du Nouy, Homer L. Shantz, and George E.P. Smith.

Vital Records
Information on birth and death certificates, adoptions and other records kept by the Arizona Office of Vital Records.

County Histories

County histories can be researched by region, state, county or town using these subject terms: genealogy, biography, or history.

For example:

  1. Go to our advanced catalog search
  2. Use the drop-downs to change Any Field to Subject
  3. Type Pima County in the first search box
  4. Type genealogy or biography or history in the second search box
  5. Select Search

This will retrieve county histories as well as biographical and genealogical information.

A search using the name of the location (county, town or parish) (state, if US, or country), with the subjects History and Sources will retrieve records relevant to that area.

City Directories

To find a general city directory:

  1. Go to the advanced catalog search
  2. Enter the term city directory as a keyword
  3. To search a specific area, type a subject search under the name of the region for directories. Example: Arizona Directories or Tucson (Ariz.) Directories or Pima County (Ariz.) Directories

Family Genealogical Materials

Although we have a very limited collection of published genealogies. To search for them:

  1. Go to the advanced catalog search
  2. Use the drop-down to change Any Field to Subject
  3. Type in the family name and click Search


See our guide to online biographies.

To search for print biographies:

  1. Go to the advanced catalog search
  2. On the first two lines, change Any Field to Subject in the drop-down menus
  3. Type Dictionaries on the first line
  4. Type Biography on the second line


See our Finding News Sources guide.


We have obituary indexes, notably for the New York Times. See all obituary indexes.

You can also find obituaries or death notices online:

ProQuest Historical Newspapers

Early American Newspapers Series 1, Series 2 and Series 3


See our Finding Maps guide.

Historic maps may provide some land ownership information. You can search the catalog under the name of the locality and the word Maps.

  1. Go to the advanced catalog search
  2. On line one use the drop-down box to change the Any Field to Subject and type Arizona
  3. On line two use the drop-down box to change Any Field to Subject and type Maps

Other Online Resources

Ancestor Hunt
Search the Mormon Church's huge genealogy record collection in the free genealogy search engine below.

Ellis Island Records
Extensive immigration and passenger lists.

Castle Garden
Extensive immigration and passenger lists.

Family Search
Several major services, which can all be searched at once. Personal Ancestral File (PAF), a very good and inexpensive genealogical software package, can be accessed and downloaded from this site.

International Genealogy Index (IGI)
Available through the Family Search page, this index includes the contents of many parish registers.

Heritage Quest
Available through the Pima County Public Library. Any resident of Pima County may apply for a library card and gain access.

The message board tab is a recommended way of searching by name or location.

Last modified: May 11, 2015