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Genealogy is all about research, keywords, and knowing where to look! It’s also about note-taking and organization. Check out the resources below that will help you chart your family’s history!

In-Library Use Only

Ancestry – Library Edition

Search through billions of census, military, court, land, probate, vital, and church records, as well as directories and passenger lists.

If you are at the Library and connected to our public Wi-Fi: Access Ancestry

PhotoLocal History Collection

The Library contains numerous items about the history of Cranbrook and area including newspaper clippings, phone books, grave lists, and other resources that complement the Cranbrook archives. Set up an appointment with one of our librarians to explore all that is offered!


Open Access Websites & Local Resources

Royal BC Museum

BC Archives – Royal BC Museum

Electronic index to BC’s historical birth, death and marriage registration records. Birth records are available 120 years after date of birth, marriage records 75 years after date of marriage, and death records 20 years after date of death.

BC Cemetery Finding Aid

Offers a province-wide search by name, but is not a complete set of records.

BC City Directories – Vancouver Public Library

Covering the period from 1860 to 1955, this is an excellent resource for anyone researching their ancestors, the history of a home or business, or just wanting a sense of what British Columbia communities were like in the early years.

BC Genealogical Society

BCGS, based in Vancouver, has numerous resources available to help in self-directed genealogical research.


British Columbia Geographical Name Information Service (BCGNIS)

Useful tool to find the name of a current or historical location in BC, such as an early post office.


The CanadaGenWeb Project was established in 1996 as a free central repository for Canadian genealogy. Over the past two decades hundreds of volunteers have contributed their time and expertise to build this 100% volunteer project.

Canadian Genealogy Centre

A gateway to Canada’s genealogical resources provided by Library and Archives Canada. It offers genealogical content, advice, services, and research tools.

Canadian flag.

Canadian Historical Association

Digitized and free-to-download PDF version of booklets written by members of the Canadian Historical Association between 1953 and 2015.


Search the digital collections of libraries, archives and museums from across Canada, as well as access 60 million pages of Canadian digital documentary heritage.

Columbia Basin Institute of Regional History

A non-profit historical society dedicated to furthering the documentation and presentation of this region’s history. Includes photograph database, yearbooks, newspapers, and more for cities in the Columbia Basin.

Cranbrook Archives

Their archival holdings document the history of Cranbrook and the East Kootenay area, and rail travel in Canada. The collection includes material relating to the municipality, schools, hospital, courthouse, businesses, family histories, industry, and local sports.

Cranbrook Cemetery Map

An interactive, searchable map of different plots in the Cranbrook area.

Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet

Cyndi’s List

A comprehensive categorized and cross-referenced index to genealogical resources on the internet. A good starting point for genealogy research by topic.


An international, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping all people discover their family story. Make an appointment with Cranbrook’s local Family Search Centre to access FamilySearch, personalized guidance, and other resources for free.

Family Tree Magazine

Family Tree Kids – Family Tree Magazine

Learn how to become a “family detective” and dig up clues about your ancestry. Games and activities are created just for kids—none of that boring grownup stuff—so children can have fun tracing their roots!

Find a Grave

A database of memorials. Can be searched by cemetery. The site provides tools that let people from all over the world work together, share information and build an online, virtual cemetery experience.

Genealogy Toolbox – Sechelt Public Library

An exhaustive selection of tools and sites compiled and organized by Teresa from Sechelt Public Library!

Historical Photographs Collection

Ever-growing digital collection of historical photographs, hosted and maintained by the Vancouver Public Library.

Indigenous Heritage

Library and Archives Canada provides access to published and archival heritage material that represents First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation experiences and contributions to Canada. One may also view the First Peoples’ Map of BC.

Points to the Past

A collection of over 200 million pages of digitized historical documents made available by Cengage and three BC Universities. Any British Columbian connected to the internet in BC has barrier-free access to these primary sources.


Search nearly five-million digitized pages of news, ads, images and more that showcase BC’s heritage, accessing 125+ years of news archives of The Province (1894-2010), The Times Colonist (1884-2010), and The Vancouver Sun (1912-2010). This online access is made possible through a collaboration of academic, public, and school libraries across BC.

Roots Web

A forum for people to help each other and share genealogical research. It includes many user contributed records and databases as well as message boards. Supported by Ancestry.

UBC Historical Newspapers

An online variety of historical regional newspapers from around the province.

Vital Statistics

BC’s repository of birth, adoption, death, and marriage records. Records of ancestors may be requested via the forms on the site for a fee.