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Local History and Genealogy

Genealogy Databases

The library provides access to several genealogy databases, which are available either from home or in the library. With these databases you are able to search through military or census records, to name to start tracing your family’s history.

Ancestry Library Edition

Ancestry Library Edition allows you to search through immigration, vital records, census, family Histories, court records, directories, and photos to name a few. Ancestry can only be accessed at any of eight libraries. 

Fold3 Library Edition

Fold3 Library Edition by Ancestry provides access to a growing collection of US military records, including the stories, photos, and personal documents of the men and women who served. It contains millions of records from world-class archives. Fold3 can be accessed from home or within any of our libraries.


HeritageQuest Online provides genealogical and historical sources for more than 60 countries, with coverage dating back as early as the 1700s, with a major focus on Census records. Heritage Quest can be accessed from home or within any of our libraries.

The Ann K. and Preston H. Leake Local History and Genealogy Collection

The Local History and Genealogy Collection (LHGC) of the Appomattox Regional Library System (ARLS) in cooperation with local historical societies acquire, organize, preserve, and provides access and guidance to materials that document the social, cultural, political, and economic heritage of Hopewell, Prince George County, and Dinwiddie County.

The library works to digitize primary documents, photographs, and slides. These materials are housed in the Ann K and Preston H Leake Local History and Genealogy Room at the Hopewell Library.

This digitalization project was made possible through the generous gift of Anne and Preston Leake to the ARLS Local History and Genealogy Room We are deeply appreciative of the Leakes’ support for the conservation and dissemination of the history of our local community.

The Ann K. and Preston H. Leake Local History and Genealogy Collection, located on the second floor of the Hopewell Library, consists of primary documents, photographs, and printed books on the history of Hopewell and the surrounding local area. Materials are not available for circulation but may be viewed on-site by appointment.

To make an appointment, call Jeanie Langford, Local History Room Assistant Librarian & Archivist, at the Hopewell Library (804) 458-6329 ext 2008 or email

The Hopewell News

ARLS has digitized The Hopewell News to serve its patrons and to facilitate the effortless use of this primary resource for their research needs. 

The Appomattox Regional Library System has digitized preserved microfilm copies of The Hopewell News comprising the period of 1916-2004. The Hopewell News has been a daily, weekly, bi-weekly, and bi-monthly at various times.. This project was made possible through the generous gift of Anne and Preston Leake to the ARLS Local History and Genealogy Room.

The Hopewell News, locally managed and published by HPC Media, is currently an 8,000 circulation twice-weekly newspaper that covers local news, sports and events of interest to the communities of Hopewell, Enon and Prince George. For over 80 years, the Hopewell News has served the greater Hopewell and Prince George communities.

Quick Search Tips:

You can search the newspaper by using keywords like the name of a person, location or words like “football”. Quotation marks around the subject will limit the search even further i. e. “Mary Jones”. Searches may further be limited by selecting a date range from the drop down menu to the right.

Obituaries are particularly problematic! The obituary may not appear very near the date of death, because the Hopewell News had different lengths of time between publication, as stated above. Military members killed during wartime may not have their obituaries appear for one to three months after the date of death given. World War II was especially difficult in this respect: the obituary of a person killed during that conflict may even appear in 1946, 1947 or 1948.

Hopewell News Obituary Index: Please Call

Microfilm: The Hopewell Library also houses microfilm for the Hopewell News from 1923 – 2004 which may be viewed at the library during open hours. To access this collection, please see staff at the front desk, and they will be able to get you assistance. The Hopewell News has been digitized for your ease of use and the link can be found under the Research tab. For your convenience, there is an Obituary Index for the Hopewell News for this date range. The index lists last name, first name, the date the obituary was published (which is generally not the same as the date of death), and the page in the paper where the obituary can be found.


For more information or for assistance please call us at (804) 458-6329 or email us at