Family History and Genealogy

Family History & Genealogy

We Can Help You Learn About Your Family.

The Oakland Public Library has genealogy resources on Oakland and the Bay Area.
Reference librarians can help you by email ( or mail:
Magazine and Newspaper Room
Oakland Public Library
125 14th Street
Oakland, CA 94612
We can look up information in:
  • Oakland City Directories
  • California county histories
  • Oakland birth and death certificates (1870-1904)
  • other Oakland History Center indexes
You can request copies of Oakland birth and death certificates, death notices or obituaries from local newspapers by mail. Please enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope and allow 2-4 weeks for a response. We can do two of these searches for you each month.
We cannot do research in the Alameda County censuses or voting registers.

Geneaology Resources

Ancestry Library

Meet your ancestors! Our online genealogy resources, such as Ancestry Library, can help you discover your family's past.

Heritage Online

The Hackett Family poses for a family portrait

HeritageQuest Online

Public records and lineage tools for the family historian.

Reference Librarians Can Help

Want to Write Your Family History? Try Biblioboard.

Biblioboard lets you create and share original work. Why not use it as a place to write your family history?


Family History Month: Share Your Stories

With Pressbooks and Biblioboard we can tell our family stories, whatever family means to each of us.


We Bike Book Club, part of a series

Mar 7th | 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Online Event
The We Bike Book Club is a joint book club run by OPL and Bike East Bay.


How to Use with the Oakland Public Library

Learn how to get started with Ancestry Library, available for free through OPL. This video will show you how to navigate the site.

Local History Online

Otis Tarleton Mansfield poses for aphoto in his naval uniform

African American Museum & Library at Oakland - OAC

The Online Archive of California (OAC) provides free access to resource collections.

African American Museum & Library at Oakland on Calisphere

History in different forms from institutions in California.

Oakland History Center Finding Aids (Online Archive of CA)

The Online Archive of California (OAC) provides finding aids to help researchers navigate Oakland History Center collections.

Oakland History Center on Calisphere

The extensive photograph collection covers all aspects of East Bay life including historic buildings, neighborhoods, the harbor, and more.

Books on Genealogy

Books on Genealogy

Revisiting Historical Narratives thru Genealogical Research

Genealogical research Moriah Ulinskas has conducted to diversify historical narratives on American cities in the post-World War II era.

Other Local Genealogy Resources

African American Genealogical Society of Northern California

Visit their website here.

California Genealogical Society

The California Genealogical Society mantains a library at:

2201 Broadway, Suite LL2
Oakland, CA 94612-3017

The library is open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays 9am to 4pm. Free to members, $5 reader fee for non-members. First Saturday, free to all.

Family History Center (of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)

Family History Centers provide the most comprehensive collections available for research in genealogy and family history. Though they are maintained by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, they are open to the public at no cost.

The Family History Center in Oakland is a large, regional facility located in the lower level of the Visitor's Center on the grounds of the Temple at:

4766 Lincoln Avenue
Oakland, CA 94602
(510) 531-3905.

Helpful Links

To Locate Dates of Death:

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