This week we are looking at key resources for researching your family history in Canada. Many of our United States ancestors settled in Canada and then came down to the United States. In the case of one of mine, they settled in the United States, went to Canada, and lived over twenty years and then came back to the United States to take advantage of homesteading in the Dakotas. Let’s look at ideas for Canadian research.
If you are just beginning your research in Canada, a great place to start is Canada Genealogy in FamilySearch Wiki. There are links to article about researching in Canada, provinces, and the usual record types. Researching in Canada is like other places in the world. You need to gather what you know and use that information to help you find locations and people. As an example, I chose to view the province of Ontario. This will take you to a page that gives you a history of the area as well as links to records available to Ontario. Within Ontario, you can filter by a specific county. Like all researching knowing where your ancestors are from, helps you hone in on the correct records. With the links provided on these pages, you can see if the records are available on FamilySearch or one of the subscription sites like Ancestry.
Library and Archives Canada is another great resource. Use this site to understand more about the type of records available. You can do a search for your ancestor across the databases. For those just beginning, click on the how to begin section. They have free family trees to download.
If you have a subscription to Ancestry, instead of searching for your ancestor by name across all records, you could instead look at the records that are available by looking at Canadian records. If you have researched these records before, try again. As new information becomes digitized or updated, there are new records to find.
CanGenealogy is a site compiled by Dave Obee. You have likely read his articles in various genealogy magazines. This site is free and includes links to province records as well as links that Dave refers to in his talks and articles. As an example, I chose Ontario and it led to this handy page of historic Ontario newspapers.
If you haven’t researched your Canadian ancestors in a while, take another look at these keys sites or others that you have found to explore. Happy researching!
With a lifelong passion for genealogy and history, the author enjoys the opportunity to share genealogy tidbits, inspiring others to research and write their family story.