Genealogy @ Prendergast

For online resources available on the Internet, please see the Genealogy Links page

In-person assistance with genealogy research is available by appointment or as staff time allows.

Questions? Visit our monthly Genealogy Workshop on the third Wednesday of each month at 5:30.


The Prendergast Library subscribes to: Library Edition Ancestry is always available within the library.

HeritageQuest®  Access HeritageQuest from home HERE. You will need to input your library card number to access Heritage Quest from home.

Lakeview Cemetery burials – online access to burials from 1858-1950.

FamilySearch Affiliate Library (available within the library only). Requires a free account with FamilySearch and you will need to log in each time. While in the library, you will gain access to millions of restricted FamilySearch digital images.

Resources in the library

Print sources:

  • Jamestown City Directories, 1875-present (print)

1875-1916 are also online at NY Heritage and via links below:

1875  |  1878-1879  |  1883-1884  |  1886  |  1888-18891890-1891 | 1892-1893  |  1895-1896  |  1898-1899  |  1899-1900  |  1901-1902  |  1903-1904 |1905-1906  |  1907-1908 | 1909-1910  | 1911-1912  | 1913-1914  |  1915-1916

  • Jamestown High School Yearbooks, 1901-present
  • Histories of Chautauqua County, Jamestown
  • Genealogical and Family Histories
  • Early towns of Chautauqua County histories
  • Local and NYS Indian histories


  • Chautauqua County Cemetery records
  • Jamestown Journal, 1826-1881
  •  Jamestown Evening Journal, 1882-6/1943
  • Jamestown Morning Post, 1/1915-4/30/1929
  •  Jamestown Sun, 4/28/1949-6/1962
  •  Post Journal, 7/1943-12/2017

Courtesy of a grant from the Western New York Library Resources Council, the library was able to digitize historic copies of the Jamestown Newspaper. Years available online are 1826-1902. Browse/search the collection HERE. This site also hosts newspapers from around New York State.

Looking for more current articles? You can find articles from the past five years by searching on the Jamestown Post-Journal website.

Genealogy Research Policy

Genealogical research is also available for those who cannot come into the library.

For patrons who are unable to visit the Library in person, the Reference Staff will do limited genealogical research by searching the Jamestown newspapers on microfilm for obituaries. There is no limit to the number of names you may submit to us. We prefer to have an exact date of death; however, month and year are acceptable. Our search will be limited to the newspaper; due to time constraints we cannot search the census records on microfilm that the Library owns. Census records are available through HeritageQuest® online.

The Library will charge $15.00 for the first hour of research; $7.50 for each hour thereafter. This fee includes photocopying and postage. The minimum fee for any genealogy research will be $15.00. Payment must be made by check from US banks only or by PayPal.

Patrons making genealogy requests must provide the Library with a list of requested names (as full as possible) and death dates, a check for the minimum fee ($15.00 – Payment must be made by check from US banks only or by PayPal), a return mailing address and an upwards limit of how much they are willing to spend if the research requested takes more than one hour.

No refunds will be issued should we not be able to locate the information requested.

Patrons requesting this service will be asked to consent to this policy prior to our conducting a search.

Please print out the Obituary Request Form and mail it with your check or a copy of your *PayPal receipt to the following address:

James Prendergast Library
Attn: Reference Desk
509 Cherry Street
Jamestown, NY 14701

*If you are making your payment via PayPal, we will start the research after your payment clears.

Please note that the Jamestown Post-Journal has recent obituaries listed on their website. Click here to view obituaries from The Post-Journal.  If the obituary is from the last five years and is not in their Obituary section, you may be able to find it using the Post-Journal website’s search function.