3 Resources for Canadian Genealogy Research
December 31, 2021
Have Canadian ancestors? There are so many online resources for researching your Canadian ancestors, whether they are like mine and hail from Quebec or they were immigrants to Alberta. If you’re just getting started, consider using these finding aids to lead you to learning more about your family history.
CanGenealogy, compiled by Dave Obee, is a list of resources categorized by region or subject. I suggest starting with a search by region and then scrolling down to find links for various records such as census, birth, and land. Near the bottom of the page, you'll find links for genealogy societies. I highly recommend you click on those. Many of those societies will have online databases and membership privileges to benefit your research.
2. Library and Archives Canada – Genealogy Topics
If you've done any Canadian genealogy at all, you know Library and Archives Canada is a must. But beyond just searching for records or databases, have you looked at the educational information they provide? The Genealogy & Family History Topics page includes genealogical topics that can you learn more about such as a particular record set like Voter Lists, Maps, and the 1940 National Registration. You may also want to check out their Browse by Topic page for other genealogically related topics and resources. Don't forget to check their blog frequently to learn more about their collections.
3. Olive Tree Genealogy – Canadian Genealogy
Thank goodness for genealogists like Dave Obee (mentioned above) and Lorine McGinnis Schulze, the woman behind Olive Tree Genealogy. Her Canadian Genealogy page includes links for resources for each province and databases for immigrants arriving via ship before and after 1865. "Olive Tree Genealogy has more than 1,900 pages of free genealogy records to help you find your brick-wall ancestors and build your family tree." Make sure to take the time to click around various links to see all that the website has to offer your genealogy, including resources for Canadian and American family history, how-tos for the beginner, and links to other free websites.
Keep Looking for Canadian Resources
I only went over three websites you need to be well-acquainted with, but there are others including the more familiar, such as FamilySearch.
The FamilySearch Research Wiki Canada Genealogy page is an excellent place to start, but don't forget to click on the map to go to a specific province. These pages provide essential tools for learning more about relevant record types and finding tools such as maps, gazetteers, and genealogy word lists (for those researching Quebec).
Using websites that provide links to other resources can help you ensure that you conduct an exhaustive online search before you make plans to write or research in person other repositories.
Gena Philibert-Ortega is an author, instructor, and researcher. She blogs at Gena's Genealogy and Food.Family.Ephemera. You can find her presentations on the Legacy Family Tree Webinars website.