The Halton Hills Public Library offers a wide range of materials and services to help you learn more about the history of our area, and about your own genealogy and family history. We provide free, in-library access to Ancestry Library Edition and are a Family Search Afffiliate Library. 

Local History Resources

The Local History collection contains publications such as Acton's Early Days and Georgetown: Reflections of a Small Town. We also have cemetery records, local historical newspapers available on microfilm/microfiche and online, will and probate records, historical photos, and birth, marriage and death records. Most materials are for in-library use only but you can take home a Local History Kit with your library card.

Esquesing Historical Society Archives

The Georgetown Branch is home to the Esquesing Historical Society archival collection. This collection contains documents and photographs related to local families, businesses and community groups.

You can search for items in the archives using the online archives inventory. This tool is available through the Archives Association of Ontario’s Archeion database and allows you to access archival records across Ontario. Our staff can help you search for and view items in our archives during regular library hours.

The digitization of the archives inventory was made possible thanks to the generous support of the Halton-Peel Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society.

Newspapers

You can access our online newspaper databases from home or anywhere you have an internet connection. 

Halton Hills Newspapers

Search full-text articles in the local Halton Hills newspaper archives. Publications include: Acton Free Press, Acton Tanner, Georgetown Gemini, Georgetown Herald, Halton Hills This Week, Independent & Free Press, North Halton Compass.

View Halton Hills Newspapers

 Halton's Historical and Newspaper Records

Search local census, cemetery, land and surrogate court records, plus Lorne Scots enrollment and business directories, for names and subjects in Halton Region.

View Halton's Historical and Newspaper Records

 Halton Images

A virtual gallery of historical photographs, books, drawings, maps, videos, audio recordings, and other media, created and maintained by the public libraries of Halton Region as well as the historical societies of Burlington, Esquesing, Milton, Oakville, and Trafalgar Township.

View Halton Images

 Halton News

Search the full-text, local Halton Hills newspaper digital archives, as well as publications from surrounding areas. 

View Halton News

In-Library Use

The newspapers listed below are also available on microfilm/microfiche for in-libary viewing: 

  • Acton Free Press (1875-1984)
  • Georgetown Herald (1867-1991)
  • Georgetown Independent (1973-1978)
  • Independent and Free Press (1985-Present)
  • Halton Journal (1855-1859)
  • Canadian Champion (1869-1873)
  • Georgetown Leader (1961-1964)
  • Globe & Mail (1979-1982)

Browse our library catalogue

Family history resources

The Halton Hills Public Library offers a wide range of programs and resources to help you research your family history. Search our Events Calendar for upcoming programs to help you get started or continue with your family history research.

Join our Genealogy Circle group that meets the third Saturday of the month (September to June) at 10:00 am to share research tips and learn from other family history enthusiasts and guest speakers. 

Ancestry Library Edition

This online database that contains records of births, marriages, deaths, census information, immigration, military and more, for the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and many other countries. It can be accessed for free, from either branch of the library.

View Ancestry Library Edition

Family Search

This database is a free, family history research tool that provides online access to billions of historical records. FamilySearch is free to use from anywhere with internet access, but users must create an account to log in and search.

Open Family Search

The Halton Hills Public Library is a FamilySearch Affiliate Library, offering in-library access to additional, limited-access FamilySearch databases. You must log in to your FamilySearch account from within one of our library branches to access additional records.  

Local History Kits

Learn about key events in the history of Halton Hills, including the history of Georgetown, Acton and surrounding communities.

Local History Kits can be signed out for a six week period. They are great for school projects, teachers, and the general public. Each kit includes print materials, suggested readings for junior and senior students, and instructions on searching our online local history resources.

Browse our Local History Kits

Online databases  and other resources

Canadiana Online

This is a virtual library with full-text historical content about Canada, including books, magazines, and government documents. The collections include women’s history, Indigenous history, Canadian literature and genealogy, along with specialized journals, mass-market magazines, city directories, and annual reports from churches, schools, businesses and other organizations.

View Canadiana Online

Library and Archives Canada

The national library and archives for Canada provides access to historical census records, military history, Canadian university theses and dissertations, genealogy and family history documents, immigration records and more. Special digital exhibits are also featured. 

View Library and Archives Canada

OurOntario

A collection of over 2.2 million items and collections from libraries, archives, museums, historical societies, community groups, and government ministries, including contributions from the Halton Hills Public Library and the Esquesing Historical Society. 

View OurOntario