This is the "Atlantic City Genealogy" page of the "Genealogy" guide.
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This guide provides a sampling of the materials available on this subject. To view more visit the library or browse the catalog. For Atlantic City information view our Heston Collection.
Last Updated: Aug 6, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Atlantic City Genealogy Print Page

Newspaper Look-ups (Obituaries, etc.)

On-site access to Atlantic City newspapers is available whenever the Library is open. To locate the date of an article from 1984 to the present, researchers are encouraged to use the Online Local News Index. Tip: do a subject search for the person's name - last name, first name.

The Library has The Press of Atlantic City from 1895 (with a few exceptions) on microfilm. There are also other area newspapers available on microfilm. The Library also has Newsbank, a full-text searchable database of The Press, from 1988 to the present, and this is available on-site only.

If you are not able to visit on-site, limited research assistance is available for a fee.

NJ Vital Records

For information on obtaining a copy of a vital record certificate of an event that occurred in Atlantic City (birth, death, marriage, or domestic partnership), please refer to the following websites.


Premium eResources

Heritage QuestHeritage Quest: United States Population Census returns, electronic books, periodicals index for genealogy publications, and other online resources. Requires a valid Atlantic City Free Public Library card to access from outside the Library building.

Newsbank: full-text newspaper articles from The Press of Atlantic City (1988-present) and The Philadelphia Inquirer (1981-present). This database is only available inside the Library building.

The Online Local News Index (OLNI) is published by the Atlantic City Free Public Library and is continously updated. Full-text of the articles is NOT available through the index. If you would like to see the full-text of an article, please visit the Library to use the microfilm collections, print resources, or NewsBank.

Sanborn Map Company played a vital role in the development of fire insurance map making in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The company created hand-made and colored lithograph maps of over 12,000 cities and towns across the United States and set the standard for fire insurance maps of the era.  Sanborn Maps are now used to provide a detailed understanding of the physical make up of these cities and towns. ACFPL has them for New Jersey. They are displayed in black and white because these digital maps were created by scanning microfilm, which was originally filmed in black and white. This database is only available inside the Library building.

Local History Materials

The library maintains clippings files on topics related to Atlantic City and local history, as well as archival collections, books, and other unique resources. Please contact the Atlantic City Heritage Collections staff for more information about these.

  • Local History Biography Files
  • Local History Subject Files
  • Census Records
    Federal Population Census years available on microfilm: 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930 (federal census returns are released 72 years after the date; 1940 census returns should be available in 2012)

    Civil War Veterans and their Widows (special schedule from 1890 Federal Population Census)

    New Jersey State Census years available: 1855, 1865, 1885, 1895, 1905, 1915
  • Atlantic City Census 1885
    All database entries include the first and last name of every person listed on the census returns. The entries for Atlantic City include additional demographic data: age range, sex and race.
  • Atlantic City Maps
    Maps from the 1870s-present. Some maps list property owners and describe buildings present.

Use the Atlantic City Heritage Collections

If you are interested in doing historical research about Atlantic City, consider using the Atlantic City Free Public Library's Atlantic City Heritage Collections.

Because some of the items in the collection are fragile or irreplaceable, the Alfred M. Heston Research Room is a closed-stack area with access provided only by Library personnel at certain times. Researchers must register and present a form of photo identification to see materials. Researchers must also agree to follow certain rules for the use of archival materials, which will be explained when the researcher arrives.

Open Hours:

Wednesdays 2:00-4:30pm
Thursdays 9:30am-12:00pm and 2:00-4:30pm

Other times may be available by appointment. Contact the Atlantic City Heritage Collections staff.

Other Research Sites

  • Atlantic County Historical Society
    The library's card catalog offers over 85,000 references to books, newspapers, family bibles, photos, maps, and historical and genealogical documents.
  • New Jersey Historical Society
    The library collections contain manuscripts, reference books and rare books, photographs, maps, broadsides, pamphlets, mass-produced prints and other materials that document the cultural and historical heritage of New Jersey from the colonial era through the 20th century.
  • New Jersey State Archives
    Current holdings amount to over 37,000 cubic feet of paper records and over 32,000 reels of microfilm. Located at 225 West State Street in downtown Trenton
  • NJ Archives Searchable Databases
    Searchable databases include: marriage records, death records, legal name changes, Civil War records, World War I casualties, and Department of Agriculture photographs.
  • NJ State Library: Genealogy and Local History
    City directories, Sanborn maps, family genealogies, WWI Draft Registration for New Jersey, over 70 genealogy periodicals and much more.
  • Archibald S. Alexander Library (Rutger's)
    In addition to the Libraries' own New Jersey holdings, the collection includes the papers of the New Jersey Daughters of the American Revolution and the papers of the Genealogical Society of New Jersey. Available material includes transcriptions of family Bible records, gravestone inscriptions, church records, papers and genealogical compilations on New Jersey families, and many other printed materials.
  • National Archives at Philadelphia
  • Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Independent Researchers

If you are not able to visit in person to conduct your researcher, you should consider sending a researcher. Here are a few places that provide researchers. ACFPL does not vet or recommend a particualar site or researcher.


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