Free Historical Biographies Genealogy Search

Family Histories, Biographies, Biographical Sketches from sources most from more than 100 years ago.

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, many books of biographies organized by county were published, and these are commonly referred to today as "mug books". These books are collections of biographical sketches, biographies, or multi-generational genealogies, a rich source of information for genealogists. Many times the country of origin and family history is included along with names of family members and their relationship, religion, political leanings, organization membership, and occupation. Typically these books were published only by advance subscription and more often than not a biography of the subscriber was included, sometimes with a photo.

The length of the bios vary by book. Some county books have short biographical sketches while other have multi-page genealogies scanning many generations.

While the biographies are generally written in a favorable light to the person, sometimes the listed virtues of the person in the bio reflect the virtues the family found important.

If you can't find an online bio of a family member, try searching in the local library or historical society.

  • Ancestor Search Biographies
    A FREE genealogy database of biographies, biographical sketches and multi-generational genealogies. Most were written in the late 1800s to the early 1900s.
    Search by name, date range and location.

  • Family History Books
    This collection has been established to provide genealogical researchers throughout the world with access to a rich repository of histories created by families to record and celebrate the lives of their ancestors. The repository is hosted by the libraries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is constantly growing.

The biographies can be very useful sources to guide genealogy research. Some of the things that can be learned from these county books are:

  • Family members and relationships
  • Country of origin
  • Immigration year
  • Family Tree
  • Migration in the US
  • Military Service
  • Property owned
  • Occupation
  • Religion
  • Organizations joined
  • Political Party
  • Virtues the family found important