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Genealogy and Family History

How to Begin

Choosing a Strategy

Ethnic Research

Canada's experience with diversity distinguishes it from most other countries. Its 30 million inhabitants reflect a cultural, ethnic and linguistic makeup found nowhere else on earth. Some people have been resident here since before recorded history; others have arrived over the centuries.

We all belong to an ethnic group. As you begin to research your family, you will find that the most common resources in North America are for people having an English-speaking or a French-speaking ancestral origin.

But, what if you belong to neither of Canada's two founding ethnic groups? To begin researching, you should check Ethnic Groups to learn about resources that will help you.

Look for genealogy websites, often run by genealogical societies that focus on your ethnic group or the place of origin of your ancestors. You will learn a great deal about your ancestors and the circumstances of how they came to be in Canada.

One of the best things you can do is join a genealogical society that is specific to your ethnic group or place of origin. Society members will help you find the best approach for your research. Their activities, programs, resources and library materials will all be of value to you as you learn more about the backgrounds of your ancestors. If there is not a society in your area, you might find one in another province or even another country that offers services to members from a distance. Search for an appropriate society in either Genealogical Societies or in the Canadian Directory of Genealogical Resources, AVITUS, on this website.

Regardless of your ethnic origin, the basics of genealogical research still apply!