Library and Archives Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Institutional links

Genealogy and Family History

Genealogy Links

FamilySearch

FamilySearch [www.familysearch.org/] is one of the major genealogy organizations. This organization has been gathering genealogical information relating to many countries for more than 100 years. Its website is accessible for free without subscription. It holds many online databases which are often indexed by name and also maintains 4,500 history centers in 70 countries.

FamilySearch is affiliated to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Family history is an important part of the belief of this Church and this is why its members are sharing genealogical records internationally. Members also believe that family history is not restrained to religion so you do not need to be a member of the Church to search their records.

Library and Archives Canada has in the past worked jointly with FamilySearch in regards to the 1881 Census of Canada. Library and Archives Canada is offering this database on its website.

What’s available for Canada

FamilySearch holds copies of many Canadian records on microfilm. Consult their catalog [www.familysearch.org/#form=catalog] to find out the extent of this collection.

FamilySearch also offers multiple online databases for Canadian records [www.familysearch.org/search/collection/list#page=1&countryId=1927164] such as census, births, marriages and deaths.

We recommend that you do a global search using their search engine [www.familysearch.org/].

Tips to use their search engine

  • Search by parent’s name only if you click on “advanced search” and then on “relationship”.
  • Search with just a year date or a location, without putting a name.
  • Search with given names only, with a very specific area and time-frame.
  • Search with only the surname with a location.
  • Search to find any number of illegitimate children born to a person. You can do this with only the mother’s name, her given name and/or maiden surname, and then choose the “parent” option in the Relationship box.
  • For names that you are unsure how to spell, use the wildcard [*) in front of the surname and spell the last part of the surname as you know it. You can also search using more than two wildcards [*).
  • To find sources from Canada, the database enables you to search by location. By clicking “USA, Canada and Mexico” you will afterwards be able to choose only to search Canada. By doing this, you will see all the databases available for Canada. You can then narrow your search by date or collections.
  • By clicking on “All records collection” you will be able to browse their collection alphabetically. This will help if you are searching for a particular record such as the 1881 census.

Tech Tips

FamilySearch offers a section providing technology tips [www.familysearch.org/techtips/] for genealogists and family historians. This section will help people take advantage of the latest technologies available to help building your family tree. Users are also asked to contribute by sharing their own experiences. You can find information about social media, how to store pictures, mobile applications, research online and many more.

WIKI

FamilySearch has launched a Wiki page [https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/Main_Page]. This page allows people to contribute information and knowledge, share great research tips, find out what records are available for a specific area and much more. It offers a search box which you can enter a specific keyword. You can also search by countries or view popular articles.

Indexing projects

FamilySearch has created a worldwide Indexing project which enables any person to volunteer to help index records. To index, they do not ask any special skills. People can do this from the comfort of their home. From the instant that you register, an email will be sent providing instructions and helpful information such as training tutorials, resources guide and much more. Join and contribute to a project that provides free searchable indexes for people around the world.

Many Canadian records are included in this project. Currently, Library and Archives Canada has a partnership with FamilySearch to index the 1825, 1831, 1842 census and also Canadian Passenger lists.

Should you wish to contribute to this project [www.familysearch.org/volunteer/indexing], please visit their website for more information.

Family Search Catalog

FamilySearch has scanned many books available online [www.familysearch.org/#form=books]. Their collection includes family histories, county and local histories, periodicals and much more.

FamilySearch holds in their collection many Canadian records on microfilm [www.familysearch.org/#form=catalog&catSearchType=subject]. These microfilms are accessible to view at many FamilySearch Centers located around the world. Please note that FamilySearch has assigned its own reel numbers to their copies of Library and Archives Canada microfilm, such as our census returns and passenger lists. You can search their holdings by place name, last name, title, author, subject, call number, film number and keyword.

How to use the FamilySearch Catalog

To identify FamilySearch microfilm numbers in their catalog search page, use the Keyword [beta) box and enter the words shown below:

For census: Census Canada [with the relevant year).

For immigration:

For Quebec City:

Quebec City Passenger Lists

For Halifax:

Halifax Passenger lists

For all Canadian ports:

Passenger lists Canada
Immigration Form 30A
Border entry Canada,

For British military records:

For War Office 97: WO 97
For War Office 76: WO 76

To identify other military records, enter "Great Britain War Office" or "Great Britain Admiralty".