Frequently Asked Questions

We are a primary source for French Canadian research and have a large selection of other data depending on the source. For example, state vital records, church records, and funeral home records would include all records and not just French Canadian.

Yes. AFGS is an affiliate of the Family History Library. There are a number of volunteers who can help you to research different nationalities.

Most vital records are in English. Quebec microfilm records are mostly in French or Latin. Normally, someone is at the library that can translate for you.

Volunteers are available to help with your visit.

There are volunteers who will show you the steps to access the microfilms and how to search within them.

Library – Our vast list of resources including AFGS and other books and publications and other research materials, microfilm, CDs and computers can be found under the Services/Library link and in the Suggested Reading section under the Visit link on this website.

Film Room – View approximately 6,800 microfilms and some microfiche on file for your viewing. This is made up of many collections, first and foremost is our prestigious Drouin Institute microfilms, as well as other collections listed in the Film Room Holdings section.

Research – Request research for French Canadian ancestry, vital records, or copies of microfilm records.

Databases – Access our database of surname variation or link to the Rhode Island cemeteries database. Members receive online access to indices and additional databases.

Obituaries – Access nearly 200 volumes with 500 pages in each volume from all over the country.

Computers and Wi-Fi – Learn about our computers and databases.

King’s Daughters – Celebrate the anniversary of the King’s Daughters arrival in Quebec.

Family History Center – The American-French Genealogical Society (AFGS) is a Family History Center affiliate library. The designation means Society members and the public will have greater and more convenient access to the wealth of genealogical resources available through Family History Library.

Acadian Heritage – Our aim is to highlight genealogical sources, historical events and places, language, food, music and joie de vivre typical of this group, to shed light on what may be a difficult area of your family history research.

DNA/Genetics – FamilyTreeDNA is offering AFGS members occasional discounts for DNA tests. By placing your order at the American-French Genealogical Society (AFGS) ordering page on FamilyTreeDNA you help the society earn money.

AFGS has free Wi-Fi available. Notebooks, laptops, tablets, handheld scanners, cameras (no flash) are allowed in the library. Cell phones may be brought into the library, however, please be considerate of other researchers and either turn off the phone or place it in silent mode. Cell phone conversations are not allowed in the library.

Sorry, but no items can be plugged into our computers.

Yes, however if it is a large group (over 5) we would appreciate notification ahead of time to make sure that we have researchers to help.

Please contact Janice Burkhart, Society librarian, to discuss the materials you wish to donate. We will not accept donations of books, computers, or other materials without prior approval.

The Franco-American Heritage Center has an elevator, and all levels of the building are accessible.

Smoking is prohibited throughout the AFGS Franco-American Heritage Center. building.

AFGS members have full use of the library. For non-members the fee is $5.00 per visit.

Yes, just click on the Join AFGS link at the top of the home page. You also may download an application form to mail in.

We have an online store where you are able to order items, or fill out the form online, print it and mail it in.

The https://in our website address means we are using a system which is simple and straightforward. (Your browser must support secure ordering.)

Food or beverages including bottled water are not allowed in the library area. The lunchroom is located off the main lobby adjacent to the lockers. There is a refrigerator and microwave available for your use. While we do not offer food or beverages on site, there are restaurants nearby.

We will make every effort to accommodate members who live outside of the Rhode Island area. Please contact AFGS at least one week before your arrival. Tell us the dates and times you plan to be here and a phone number where you can be reached while you travel

A number of places are available. Please view for a list of available hotels in the region.

AFGS is located in the Blackstone Heritage Corridor and a number of interesting places are available including the Museum of Work & Culture.

For a list of other sites of interests throughout Woonsocket and Rhode Island’s Blackstone Valley, visit

If there is a question you would like to ask which is not covered here, please email us at