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
Search through billions of census, military, court, land, probate, vital, and church records, as well as directories and passenger lists.
If you are on a Library computer: Access Ancestry
Open Access Websites & Local Resources
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.
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.
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.
A gateway to Canada’s genealogical resources provided by Library and Archives Canada. It offers genealogical content, advice, services, and research tools.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
An online variety of historical regional newspapers from around the province.