Monroe County Library System NY
Monroe County Library System image

Library Applications

See Our Online Sponsors


Central Library on Facebook

MCLS on Twitter

MCLS on Twitter

Local History and Genealogy

2nd Floor, Rundel Memorial Building, (585) 428-8370


Local History and Genealogy Blog  


Family Detectives Club - Season 3     Family Detectives Poster  

Weekly genealogy workshops every Sunday    

from 1:15-1:45 p.m. October through May in the Division.  


  October 2014  November 2014 



Join us for a new season of  

Rochester's Rich History   

Monthly talks on a variety of local history topics.   

2-3 p.m. one Sunday a month  

in the Rundel Auditorium, 3rd floor, Rundel Memorial Building  

View the schedule  



November 16, 2014 

2:00-3:00 pm

Rundel Auditorium, 3rd floor, Rundel Memorial Building 

Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County

115 South Ave., Rochester, NY


James A. Hard: The Last Union Combat Veteran of the Civil War 

David Crumb, Presenter  


Come and hear the fascinating story of Rochester resident James A. Hard, the nation’s last Union combat veteran of the Civil War. Mr. Hard, a colorful and highly respected citizen of the Rochester community, was known affectionately as “Rochester’s Grand Old Man.” He led every Memorial Day Parade for two decades, was well known across the country in G.A.R. circles, took his first plane ride at 105 years old, and became a symbol of a bygone generation for young and old. Mr. Hard died in 1953, just a few weeks shy of what would have been his 112th birthday.


David Crumb is a retired RIT professor and former executive with Marriott and Sheraton hotels. Currently the historian for the Village of Hilton, David has had a lifelong interest in history, with a focus on New York State, Monroe County, and Parma. He has done recent programs for the Parma Hilton Historical Society on the Great Fire of Hilton; Parma and Hilton's involvement in the Hojack Railroad; and Hilton’s baseball history. He resides on his farm just north of Hilton with his wife Mari.


Sponsored by the Local History & Genealogy Division, 585-428-8370


Free parking on Sundays for library patrons in the Court Street garage.



 The map below gives an overview of the Local History and Genealogy web site click on it for a full size view   


image map thumbnail - local historyThe Local History and Genealogy Division offers expert in-person reference service, as well as telephone and email service for quick reference questions. All materials in the Local History and Genealogy Division are restricted to use within the department, but a significant and growing portion of the collection is available online. Also, as many materials are old and fragile, photocopying is restricted, but patrons may bring in equipment to photograph items.

The Local History and Genealogy Division and its partners have digitized photographs, books, manuscripts, maps, directories, postcards, and other items for easy access and for the preservation of original print material held within selected local collections in Monroe County. The thousands of items found here represent the rich history of the Rochester region. They are of interest to anyone researching local history and genealogy. Collections throughout the county can now be searched at one online location, thanks to the cooperation of many partner institutions.

The Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County boasts one of the premier collections of local historical and genealogical materials in western New York, while smaller municipal libraries have built collections of materials relevant to their particular towns.

The sections listed below are links to extensive materials held by the Central Library's Local History and Retrieval Divisions and by various town libraries.

The information provided by these various resources will help researchers find answers to questions about the history of Rochester and Monroe County, and will aid genealogy researchers looking for family information. What is provided online, however, is only a very small part of all the collections held at the libraries in Rochester and Monroe County. The information here will help you get started, but visiting our libraries will speed you on your way.

Genealogy Resources - a variety of helpful tools and guides for researching family history and finding information on past residents of Rochester and Monroe County

Local History Resources - various resources covering the history of Rochester and western New York

Rochester Images - historic and contemporary photographs, maps, postcards and other memorabilia from Rochester and Monroe County

Digitized Collections  - historic books, newspapers and magazines of local interest that can be viewed online or downloaded and printed

Pathfinders - guides to special topics

News - includes information on new items available online

  Monroe County WebsiteCity of Rochester Website