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Genealogy and Family History   Tags: family history, genealogy, history  

Explore your roots at VPL and beyond: resources and services for genealogists
Last Updated: Mar 19, 2017 URL: http://guides.vpl.ca/genealogy Print Guide RSS Updates

Family Histories Print Page
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Introduction

An essential step in genealogical research is checking to see if anyone has already researched your family tree. If you find that someone has already worked on a branch of your family tree, it can provide important information that will be helpful as you continue your research. It doesn't mean that the job is over. It's essential to verify work done by others. It's also possible that more information has become available since the work was initially done. If you do find that someone has already climbed a particular branch on your family tree, though, it can give you a great start.

 

Family Histories in Print and Online

 
INTRODUCTION

You can identify published family histories by searching electronic library catalogues. It may be possible to borrow family histories from other libraries through interlibrary loan.

For Canadian family histories, Library and Archives Canada's AMICUS library catalogue is very useful, as you can search the catalogues not only of Library and Archives Canada but also of other Canadian libraries. Conduct a Subject Keyword search by entering the name of the family you are researching, as in this example: Robinson family. To order a print or digital reproduction of material in the collection at Library and Archives Canada, please visit their Reproduction Requests web page. Note that there may be restrictions to access for some documents.

The Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah also has a large collection of family histories and genealogies. You can search the FamilySearch Catalog by selecting Surnames to find titles that may be of interest. Many have been microfilmed and can be borrowed by Vancouver Public Library card holders through interlibrary loan for a fee. For more information, see Borrowing Microfilms from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Some titles are also available digitally at no charge in FamilySearch's growing Family History Books.

CANADA

Selected family history bibliographies available at the Vancouver Public Library are listed below. For additional titles, search the Library catalogue. Using the Keyword search, enter genealogy bibliography as your key words.

Bibliographie annotée d'ouvrages généalogiques au Canada = Annotated Bibliography of Genealogical Works in Canada, 6 vol. (1987)
by Kathleen Mennie-de Varennes
Ref. 929.1X M54b

Bibliographie des ouvrages généalogiques au Québec, 1980-1990 (1997)
by Jacqueline Faucher-Asselin
Ref. FRE 929.3714 B58f

Genealogy and Local History to 1900: A Bibliography Selected from the Catalogue of the Canadian Institute for Historical Microreproductions, CIHM = Genealogie et Histoire Locale d'Avant 1900: Une bibliographie tiree du catalogue de l'Institute canadien de microreproductions historiques, ICHM
(1995)
by Brian J. Gilchrist
Ref. 929.371X G46g

BRITISH ISLES

Selected family history bibliographies available at the Vancouver Public Library are listed below. For additional titles, search the Library catalogue. Using the Keyword search, enter genealogy bibliography as your key words.

Bibliography of Irish Family History and Genealogy (1974)
by Brian De Breffny
Ref. 929.2X D28b

A Catalogue of British Family Histories, 3rd. ed. (1976)
by T. R. Thomson
Ref. 929.2X T48c

The Genealogist's Guide: An Index to Printed British Pedigrees and Family Histories, 1950-1975 (1977)
by Geoffrey Battiscombe Barrow
Ref. 929.2X B27g

Scottish Family Histories (1986)
compiled by Joan P.S. Ferguson
Ref. 929.2X F35s

Scottish Family History: A Guide to Works of Reference on the History and Genealogy of Scottish Families (1978)
by Margaret Stuart
Ref. 929.1X S93s

UNITED STATES

Selected family history bibliographies available at the Vancouver Public Library are listed below. For additional titles, search the Library catalogue. Using the Keyword search, enter genealogy bibliography as your key words.

Two useful series are available at the Vancouver Public Library:

Library of Congress

The series of titles listed below was published by the Library of Congress beginning in 1972.

Genealogies in the Library of Congress: A Bibliography (1972)
edited by Marion Kaminkow
Ref. 929.1X L69g

Genealogies in the Library of Congress: A Bibliography. Supplement, 1972-1976 (1977)
edited by Marion Kaminkow
Ref. 929.1X L69g Supp.

A Complement to Genealogies in the Library of Congress: A Bibliography , 2 vol. (1981)
edited by Marion Kaminkov
Ref. 929.1X K15c

Genealogies in the Library of Congress: A Bibliography. Second Supplement, 1976-1986 (1987)
Library of Congress
Ref. 929.1X L69g Suppl. 2

Genealogies Catalogued by the Library of Congress Since 1986: With a List of Established Forms of Family Names and a List of Genealogies Converted to Microfilm Since 1983 (1991)
Library of Congress
Ref. 929.1X L69gc

Genealogical Books in Print

This series was published under various titles beginning in 1975:

Genealogical Books in Print (1975)
edited by Netti Schreiner-Yantis
Ref. 929.1X G32

Genealogical & Local History Books in Print, 1976-1992, 2 vol.
Ref. 929.1X G32

  • The first of the two volumes is titled Volume 2. Published in 1976, it is a supplement to Genealogical Books in Print.
  • The second of the two volumes, titled the 3rd edition, was published in 1981. It repeats and supplements information provided in Volume 2, but does not duplicate the content of the original Genealogical Books in Print.

Note: No 2nd edition was published. The 4th edition and two supplements to the 4th edition were published from 1985-1992. They are not owned by VPL.

ONLINE

Start with Google. Using the example of Robinson, a simple approach is to Google "Robinson family tree", "Robinson genealogy" or "Robinson family history". You can experiment by adding first names, spousal names, or geographic locations to your search strategy. You can also search Google Books. In some cases, you'll find full digitized text of family histories. Try one of the search strategies shown above.

RootsWeb provides a variety of tools, including Mailing Lists and Message Boards for thousands of specific surnames and the RootsWeb Surname List has been designed specifically to facilitate the sharing of information.

As useful as the Internet is, it's important not to overlook published sources. Many family histories were written and published decades ago and provide information that cannot be found online.

 

 

Electronic Resources

 

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