Local History & Genealogy Resources
In 1907, Margaretta Taylor bequeathed funds for the creation of a library, which was incorporated in 1911 as the William A. and Margaretta Taylor Memorial Association. In 1912, the original red brick building opened on Second Street. The library moved to its current location in 1971, and the name was changed to Cuyahoga Falls Library in 2004.
City History – from City of Cuyahoga Falls
Cuyahoga Falls was founded in 1812, and was originally called Manchester. The Cuyahoga River runs both south and north through the city and the Cuyahoga “Falls,” which extend for about two miles, fell farther than Niagara Falls.
Due to the rough water, Native Americans who used the river to travel from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi left the river at the Falls and used what is now Portage Trail to continue their journey south. The river was an early source of power for mills and manufacturing, and by 1840, Cuyahoga Falls had a wider variety of manufacturing than any other Ohio settlement.
Local History Collection
The local history collection is available on the upper level of the library in the Adult Services. The reference collection includes the first library collection, William A. & Margaretta Taylor Memorial Collection; area directories; Cuyahoga Falls High School yearbooks; local history books; and microfilm of Cuyahoga Falls Reporter December 24, 1870-December 26, 1952 & Cuyahoga Falls News Press January 17, 1930-December 26, 1979, January 1981-December 2014.
Library staff is available to answer basic history and genealogy questions. A local history expert/volunteer is also available to assist you with in-depth local history questions by appointment on Thursday afternoons.
All resources are available both in and outside of the library unless noted otherwise. If you’re outside the library, some resources may require a library card number.
- African American Heritage – A groundbreaking digital resource exclusively devoted to African American family history research.
- Ancestry Library Edition (in-library only) – Begin your genealogical or local history research with Ancestry Library Edition, which delivers billions of records in census data, vital records, directories, photos, and more contained in more than 7,000 databases.
- AtoZdatabases (provided by Cuyahoga Falls Library) – A search tool that is ideal for finding friends & relatives. Over 240 million people.
- Castle Garden (Library card not required) – Contains and makes available eleven million records of immigrants who arrived at the Port of New York from 1820 – 1892. Today more than 100 million Americans can trace their ancestry to this early period of immigration.
- FamilySearch (Library card not required) – A nonprofit family history organization dedicated to connecting families across generations.
- Fold3 – Fold3 features premier collections of original military records. These records include the stories, photos, and personal documents of the men and women who served in the military.
- Heritage Quest – A comprehensive treasury of American genealogical sources—rich in unique primary sources, local and family histories, convenient research guides, interactive census maps, and more.
- Newspaper Source – Provides cover-to-cover full text for more than 40 (U.S.) & international newspapers.
- Ohio Death Record Index Search (Library card not required) – Find death certificates of persons that died in Ohio from 1913-1944, 1954-1963. Use the index information to help in obtaining a copy of particular death certificates.
- Ohio History Central || Online Encyclopedia (Library card not required) – An evolving, dynamic online encyclopedia that includes information about Ohio’s natural history, prehistory, and history.
- Ohio Memory (Library card not required) – Explore digital content from over 360 cultural heritage institutions representing all 88 of Ohio’s counties. Contains over 700,000 digital images from a variety of primary source image types.
- Ohio Obituary Index (Library card not required) – An index to over 3,500,000 obituaries, death & marriage notices & other sources from Ohio from the 1810s to the present day. Actual obits may be ordered from over 60 partner libraries.
- Passenger Search – The Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island, https://libertyellisfoundation.org/passenger (Library card not required) – Explore Passenger Lists for your family Ellis Island and Port of New York Immigration Records.
- Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps – Originally created for assessing fire insurance liability in urbanized areas in the United States. The collection includes over 40,000 detailed maps of Ohio cities drawn between 1882 and 1962. Each map includes detailed information regarding town and building information.
- Summit Memory (Library card not required) – Remarkable countywide local history digital collections.