The Leesburg Public Library maintains a genealogy collection of nearly 6,000 print sources, over 1,000 data CDs, and subscriptions to genealogical magazines and journals. Resources range from guides for the beginning family researcher to in-depth sources for the experienced genealogy researcher. The Library owns over 900 reels of microfilm including the archival collection of past issues of the Leesburg newspaper – some back to the 1890s. Films may be viewed on the ScanPro 3000 digital microfilm reader/scanner which enables images to be enhanced, printed, saved to a USB drive, or emailed.
We became a FamilySearch Affiliate Library in June 2010. From within the Library, researchers can access certain records that may not be accessible from home.
Online databases are available to Library users for genealogy research. Within the Library patrons have access to Ancestry Library Edition* and American Ancestors (formerly New England Ancestors). Access is available from home or any computer with a Leesburg Public Library card to Fold3 and HeritageQuest. (*remote access is available with a Lake County Library System card through December 2021)
The Library also receives donations of materials from local genealogical and lineage groups, including the Kinseekers Genealogical Society of Lake County, the Villages Genealogical Society, the Bertha Hereford Hall Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Mercy Hurd Chapter of the National Society of Colonial Dames, the Land of Lakes Chapter of the Daughters of 1812, and the Confederate Gray Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.
The Genealogy Department includes a file of obituaries which have appeared in local newspapers since the early 1980s. Earlier obituaries may be viewed on the library’s collection of microfilm for the Leesburg Daily Commercial. The digitized collection Project Collect, indexes public records, cemetery records, and other information on early residents of the Leesburg area. The collection includes sources for all states, all Florida counties, and many foreign countries, as well as Passenger and Immigration Indexes, Patriot Indexes, and local cemetery transcriptions.
A reference librarian is available at all hours the library is open. Appointments may be scheduled with an Adult Services Librarian for genealogy assistance.
Who Uses the Genealogy Area?
Many local residents and winter residents use the resources and support services of the Genealogy Area to further their research into their own family genealogy. Visitors often stop in Leesburg on their travels to gather information about their relatives who have lived in the area. Genealogy groups from other areas schedule visits to use our resources. Spouses, children, grandchildren, and other relatives come to obtain a copy of a published obituary. Beginning genealogy researchers come to get started, to ask for assistance, or to learn what resources we have available to them. Individuals who want to write a family history or create a family scrapbook come for information, suggestions, and support. Many of us have reached the point where we want to learn more about our heritage and how to pass that on to our descendants: the Library is perfect place to start and further family research.