Genealogy & Family History

Genealogy & Family History

Discover your family history.

We have tools to help you research your family, both locally and around the world. This guide lists databases provided by the Westland Public Library, along with local indexes and resources. Home access to the subscription databases is limited to Westland library cardholders only.

Westland Library Resources

Westland Cardholders

Ancestry Library Edition

The ultimate source for genealogy, family trees and family history records online.

Westland Cardholders


Collection of U.S. obituaries and death notices for in-depth genealogical research from 1704 to today.

MeL Database

MyHeritage Library Edition

MyHeritage Library Edition is one of the largest, most internationally diverse genealogy databases of its kind. Access to billions of historical documents, millions of historical photos and other resources in thousands of databases that span the past five centuries.


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Detroit Free Press

Searchable archive of the Detroit Free Press from 1831 to the present. New issues are added about 1 month after publication.

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Detroit News

Explore Detroit history through local news, events and people with The Detroit News Collection. Search current and archived issues with full-color newspaper pages, full-text articles and content only published online.

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Westland Observer

Back issues of the Westland Observer 1982-2017. Please note that some issues may be missing from our digital collection.

Web Resources

Cyndi’s List of Genealogy Sites

A free, categorized, and cross-referenced index to genealogical resources on the Internet.

David Rumsey Map Collection

This collection focuses on rare 16th through 21st century maps of North and South America, as well as maps of the World, Asia, Africa, Europe and Oceania.


Free family history, family tree, and genealogy records and resources from around the world.

Find a Grave

Find a grave is a crowdsourced collection of headstones and cemetery data, searchable by the person’s name. Some records contain obituaries.

Michiganology began as 10 years ago when the Archives of Michigan and Library of Michigan partnered to deliver more than 1 million records online. Now, more than 10 million records ​are available online along with ​interesting educational materials and countless stories chronicling the everyday lives of Michiganders.

MIGenWeb: Michigan Genealogy

Michigan genealogy on the web; part of the U.S. GenWeb project.

National Genealogical Society

The National Genealogical Society is the premier national society for everyone from the beginner to the most advanced family historian. Our conference, publications, educational courses and other offerings present continued learning opportunities.

Obituary Daily Times

Obituary Daily Times (ODT) is a crowdsourced database of obituary information. Each entry contains basic information, such as name, publication and date of publication.

U.S. GenWeb Project

The U.S. GenWeb Project contains a variety of unique county and state resources including photos, maps, transcriptions, historical documents, helpful links and much more.

U.S. Vital Records Information

The most comprehensive resource for obtaining vital records (such as birth certificates, death records, marriage licenses, divorce decrees, naturalization, adoption and land records) from each state, territory and county of the United States. 

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Research Appointments

Do you need in-depth help with genealogy or other research? Book an hour with one of our librarians.


Burton Historical Collection

The Burton Historical Collection (BHC) of the Detroit Public Library began as the private library of Clarence Monroe Burton, a prominent attorney and Detroit historiographer. Mr. Burton’s collection is one of the most important private historical collections in the country.

Detroit Public Library
5201 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48202

(313) 481-1401

Archives of Michigan

The Archives of Michigan is responsible for preserving the records of Michigan government and other public institutions. The collections also include documents, maps, photographs and film from private individuals and organizations.

Michigan Library and Historical Center
Second Floor
702 W. Kalamazoo St.
Lansing, MI 48915

(517) 335-2576