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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

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.

New Jersey Marriage Index, 1901-2016

Posted October 12, 2017

Reclaim the Records has posted images of a paper index covering 115 years of New Jersey marriages on the Internet Archive.  An index by bride's name and groom's name are available for most years.

Irish Historical Photographs

Posted September 29, 2017

The National Folklore Collection at University College Dublin has added 10,000 historic photos from across Ireland to its digitized collection of 250,000 folk stories.  Stories and photos can be searched by place, person or topic.  A great source for adding local colour to Irish family histories.

Great Resource for Australian Genealogy

Posted September 23, 2017

The Digital Panopticon: Tracing London Convicts in Britain & Australia, 1780-1925 provides access to millions of records for more than 90,000 people sentenced to transportation from the Old Bailey in London.  Links court records in Britain to settlement records in Australia.

1921 Canadian Census

Posted September 18, 2017

The 1921 Canadian Census is now available on the Library and Archives Canada website.  Previously access had only been through

New Zealand Online Cenotaph

Posted September 13, 2017

The Auckland War Memorial  Museum has posted a searchable database of  records for over 100,000 New Zealand soldiers serving in World War II.  Families and researchers are able to contribute additional information about each soldier to the database.

Fall Classes at VPL

Posted August, 2017

Genalogy Workshops At Dunbar Branch:

Researching Your Canadian Military Ancestors
Wednesday, November 8, 2017 (2:30 – 4:00 pm)

Mark Remembrance Day by researching your family's historical Canadian military connections. This workshop will introduce a variety of resources and tools for exploring military roots, from New France to the 20th century.

Genealogy for All Ages!
Friday, December 1, 2017 (2:00 – 4:00 pm)

Explore your genealogy with your younger generation! Grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles and cousins are invited to bring young relatives (ages 3-18) for an afternoon of games and crafts focused on sharing family history - and making it fun.

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.