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Genealogy and Family History

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


For various reasons, you may at some point wish to engage a professional genealogist to do research on your behalf. A common reason is that records are not available online or through interlibrary loan and you are unable to visit the repository because you live at a distance.

Hiring a Professional Genealogist


If you are unable to visit the Vancouver Public Library in person to use the genealogy collection, you can get basic assistance by telephone, email, or by mailing a written query. For more information see the Vancouver Public Library’s Contact Us page.

Vancouver Public Library staff can provide guidance in understanding how to find and use genealogy resources and can help with quick look-ups. They are unable to undertake in-depth family history research on your behalf. If you require extended help researching the Vancouver Public Library’s genealogy collection, please contact InfoAction, the Library’s fee-for-service department. In response to your query, InfoAction will provide an estimate before any work is undertaken on your behalf.


For assistance in searching records at other repositories, a number of options are available.

  1. Contact a local genealogical society. Many societies offer cost-effective basic genealogical research services.  

    To find a Society in a particular location, Google one of the following search strategies including the name of the place of interest as seen in this example using Shropshire, England:
    • Shropshire genealogical society
    • Shropshire family history society
    • Shropshire genealogical association
    • Shropshire family history association

    The Cyndi's List genealogy portal provides an extensive list of genealogy-related Societies & Groups. Many Canadian societies are listed on the Library and Archives's Genealogy and Family History Genealogical Societies page. A local genealogical society may also be able to provide referrals to local private researchers who can do detailed research.
  2. Check websites of libraries and archives. Some maintain lists of researchers available for hire, e.g.:
    Archives of Ontario – Freelance Researchers List (bottom of page)
    B.C. Archives – Independent Researchers 
    Library and Archives Canada – Hiring a Freelance Researcher
  3. Check online directories of professional genealogists on the following websites:
    Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives 
    Searchable listing of researchers in England, Scotland and Wales

    Association of Professional Genealogists 
    U.S.-based site with international listings

    Board for Certification of Genealogists
    U.S.-based site with international listings

    Bureau québécois d'attestation de compétence en généalogie
    Quebec-based researchers

    International Commission for the Accreditation of Genealogists 
    A searchable database of accredited genealogists based in Salt Lake City
  4. Look in popular genealogy magazines. Many freelance genealogists advertise their services in these magazines.

    The Vancouver Public Library has current subscriptions to the a number of genealogical periodicals published in Canada, the United States and the British Isles.

Websites of Interest