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Genealogy and Family History

Explore your roots at VPL and beyond: resources and services for genealogists

Welcome to Genealogy and Family History

Group portrait in front of a building, VPL #19539, 19--, Philip Timms.

Explore your roots at VPL and beyond:
resources and services for genealogists

Genealogical research is one of the most popular and fastest growing hobbies in North America. This guide will assist the first time and advanced family history researcher with the ever-growing amount of resources available in print and online.

Genealogy and Family History Buzz

Everyone who ever sailed on the SS Great Britain

Posted February 13, 2018

The SS Great Britain was a passenger steamship that sailed from 1845 to 1886 mostly between England and Australia.  The database includes information on all of the crew and passengers as well as background on what it was like to sail aboard.

New York Slavery Records Index

Posted February 9, 2018

This dtabase from the City University of New York contains records of slaves and slave owners in New York State from 1525 to the American Civil War.  It can be searched by name, locality, birth year and more.

Upcoming Genealogy Classes at Dunbar Branch

Posted January 2, 2018

Researching Your Irish Family History
Saturday, March 17, 2018 (10:30 am – 12:00 pm)

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day 2018 by exploring your Irish roots. This workshop will introduce key records and how to find them using Vancouver Public Library resources and the Internet.

Register at:

Learn about Indigenous Genealogy with Library and Archives Canada

Posted December 19, 2017

Learn about resources, related to indigenous genealogy, held in Library and Archives Canada's (LAC) vast collection! This workshop will provide you with a greater understanding of LAC's holdings, how to use LAC's website and genealogy resources, as well as tips and tricks to help you delve into your indigenous genealogy. Beginners welcome.

 Wednesday, February 28, 2018 (2:30 pm – 4:00 pm)
Central Branch

Register at:

New Library and Archives Canada Service at the Vancouver Public Library

Posted November 15, 2017

The Vancouver Public Library is very excited to announce the launch of Library and Archives Canada (LAC) service at the Central Library. Monday to Friday during LAC service hours, library patrons can speak to the national institution’s expert staff, receive assistance for research, request documents from Ottawa, and access key genealogy databases such as Find My Past.

Nearly 12,000 Genealogy Facebook Pages

Posted November 10, 2017

Facebook is an excellent to network with other family historians and get information and advice for your project.  Genealogist Katherine R. Wilson has compiled a list of 11,700+ Genealogy/History Links on Facebook.  The list spans the globe and is organized by location.

Colonial North American Project at Harvard University

Posted November 8, 2017

Harvard University has begun the process of digitizing images of the archival and manuscript materials in the Harvard Library that relate to 17th and 18th century North America. The online project so far includes 150,000 images of diaries, journals, notebooks and other rare documents.

FamilySearch to Discontinue Microfilm Loans

Posted June 26, 2017

FamilySearch’s progress in digitizing microfilm and the decreased use of microfilm technology  has led to this decision.  The last day for ordering microfilm will be August 31, 2017.

For more Genealogy and Family History Buzz, please visit the Archives.

New Titles at VPL

Here is a select list of genealogy-related titles recently added to the library collection. You can also view the full list via the library's catalogue.