Columbia Maryland Family History Center

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FamilySearch This article describes the services and resources available at a Family History Center, a branch facility of the Family History Library.

Exterior of the Columbia Maryland Family History Center. Red arrow points to door (red oval).

The Columbia Maryland Family History Center is convenient for people in Columbia, Ellicott City, and surrounding towns, but people from anywhere are invited to visit and use our facilities.

Center Contacts and Hours[edit | edit source]

Location Map:


  • 4251 Columbia Rd Ellicott City MD 21042 United States
  • Located in the basement of the church building at 4100 St Johns Lane, Ellicott City, MD
  • Enter from the church's lower parking lot at 4251 Columbia Road, Ellicott City. The basement door is to the right of the staircase.
  • Languages: English, plus (at designated times) Spanish, Korean and Chinese


  • 1-410-465-1642


Hours Open to the Public: No appointment necessary; "walk-ins" welcome!

  • Monday
    • 9 am - 2pm
      • Fourth Mondays Polish
  • Tuesday
    • 9 am - 2 pm
      • German
    • 7 pm - 9 pm
      • First Tuesdays Korean emphasis
      • Second Tuesdays Chinese emphasis
  • Wednesday
    • 9 am - 2 pm
      • German
    • 7 pm - 9 pm
      • Second Wednesdays Hispanic emphasis
      • Fourth Wednesdays Hispanic emphasis
  • Thursday
    • 9 am - 2 pm
    • 7 pm - 9 pm
      • Italian
      • First Thursdays African-American emphasis
  • Friday 7 pm - 9 pm By appointment only
  • Saturday 9 am - 12 noon

Holiday Closings for 2020:

  • May 25, Memorial Day
  • July 4, Independence Day
  • Sept. 7, Labor Day
  • Oct. 31, Halloween
  • Nov. 25,evening Thanksgiving Eve (closes at 2pm)
  • Nov. 26, Thanksgiving
  • Dec. 18-3 Jan, Christmas break (Reopens 4 Jan)

The center will be closed when Howard County schools are closed due to inclement weather or when school evening or Saturday activities are cancelled due to the weather.

 Check the status of schools at

If Howard County schools open late because of the weather, the Center may also open late; call 410-465-1642 before coming to make sure that staff members are present and say that the Center is open.

Get Help at Our Center[edit | edit source]

Any time that the Center is open, one of the volunteer staff members should be able to help you with most family history situations.

We highly recommend that you bring a flashdrive and a notebook with you to the Center to be able to take home what you find and keep notes on what you accomplish and what you would like to do next.

Appointments can also be arranged and are especially useful if you would like help with a specialized topic. Request an appointment by sending an email to Specify if you would like to come on a weekday, an evening on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, or Saturday, or exceptionally, on Friday. Choose any family history topic, and at least one of our Center staff members may be able to help you. Some options are:

  1. Getting started with family history
  2. Online resources such as FamilySearch,, Find My Past, My Heritage, and Geneanet
  3. Creating a family tree at FamilySearch Family Tree
  4. Putting a photograph, document, story or audio file on FamilySearch Family Tree
  5. Copying slides onto a flash drive
  6. Genealogy software such as Ancestral Quest, Legacy, and Roots Magic
  7. Adoption research--finding information about birth relatives
  8. Information about DNA testing
  9. Records at the Library of Congress, Maryland Archives, and National Archives
  10. Countries such as Canada (including French Canadian, Ontario, and Saskatchewan), China (including Chinese character records for Japan and Korea), England, Germany (including old German script), Ireland, Italy, Korea, Poland, Romania, Russian language, Scotland, Swiss-Italian (Latin) Switzerland, Ukraine, etc.
  11. Most U.S. states, including specialties such as California Gold Rush, Mennonite, early New England, Pennsylvania Dutch (German Baptist Brethren), Quaker, etc.

Center Resources[edit | edit source]

Databases and Software[edit | edit source]

The center's Family History Center Portal page gives free access to premium family history websites which generally charge for subscriptions, including institutional versions of, Find My Past and My Heritage, plus, Fold3 and several other premium services.

Hardware and Equipment[edit | edit source]

Microfilm and Microfiche Machines in the Columbia Maryland Family History Center

The center has ten personal computers with high speed Internet access, four laser printers, five microfilm readers, two microfiche readers, and a photocopier/scanner for microfilm and microfiche. There are also two flatbed scanners, one of which can capture 16 35mm slides at a time and copy the images to a flash drive. There is also a multi-purpose copier/printer/scanner that can copy pictures and documents directly into the user's gallery in FamilySearch or to a flashdrive.

Reference Library at the Columbia Maryland Family History Center

FamilySearch Catalog: This center has about 3,500 microfilm and fiche from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. (See a list of our holdings by clicking on "Long term Microfilm and microfiche" below)

Reference Library:[edit | edit source]

The center has more than 3300 genealogy books, more than 1500 long-term microfilm, and more than 1800 microfiche. To search one of our center's collections, click on the link to open the spreadsheet, then add a search window using <CNTL-F>. Enter a search term, such as "Jefferson County". The search window will display a count of the number of "hits" found on that search term. Use the up and down arrows in the window to move between hits. The "hits" (lines in the spreadsheet containing the search term) will be highlighted.

Books in the Columbia Maryland Family History Center[edit | edit source]

Books Here

Long term microfilm and microfiche in the Columbia Maryland Family History Center[edit | edit source]

A more complete description of some of the microfilms and microfiche can be found by going to FamilySearch Catalog Search.

Staff Research Help[edit | edit source]

Several of our staff members teach college classes in family history research. Others have decades of experience with their own family history research and with helping others.

What's New in FamilySearch?[edit | edit source]

Boy Scout Genealogy Merit Badge[edit | edit source]

Merit Badge Counselors

  • Davis Gardner, 410-461-5596

Resources in the Local Area[edit | edit source]

Howard County Genealogical Society Website
Howard County Historical Society Website
Howard County Library Website
Genealogy Courses at Howard County Community College Continuing Education, Non-Credit Courses Website (History & Culture/Genealogy)
Maryland State Archives Website
Maryland Historical Society Website
Mid-Atlantic Germanic Society Website
Anne Arundel Genealogical Society Website
Baltimore County Genealogical Society Website
Daughters of the American Revolution Library Website
Library of Congress Website
National Archives and Records Administration Website

Fun Links[edit | edit source]

Donald Duck Family Tree
Greek Gods Family Tree
Roman Gods Family Tree
Stars Wars Family Tree
Norman Rockwell Family Tree

Other Links[edit | edit source]

  • FamilySearch Research Wiki: What It Can Do For You!: A comprehensive video presentation explaining the Wiki, navigating it, and some especially useful pages. Case studies demonstrate using the Wiki for genealogical research. Editing and adding articles to the Wiki are covered.

Includes biographies of first 108 Pilgrims and a place for living descendants to register.

Keep checking back as the project continues to document all US Marriages 17th - 20th Century.

Help for Temple and Family History Consultants[edit | edit source]

In-service Newsletters[edit | edit source]

In-service Newsletter Page

"How-To" Files[edit | edit source]

  1. How to set up an account for young Church members ages 10-12
  2. TeamViewer Instructions
  3. Changing Language settings in FamilySearch
  4. HP 4890 Scanner Instructions (for 35mm slides)
  5. Canon microfilm/microfiche reader instructions (with the FHC-SCAN computer)
  6. Record Development Flow Diagram
  7. and
  8. How to document marriages from the IGI
  9. Ordinances Ready Priorities
  10. Convert an Image to Text Using Google Drive. Images can be png, jpg, tiff or any common graphic format. You may also convert PDF files to text.

Research in Maryland[edit | edit source]

Volunteer at the Center[edit | edit source]

If you may be interested in becoming a volunteer at the Columbia Maryland Family History Center or if you have suggestions for our website, please send an email to