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Genealogy and Family History

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


Family and friends on Dominion Day, VPL #7236, July 1, 1905, Philip Timms.

Books, microfilms, online resources and more
at the Vancouver Public Library and beyond

Civil Registration
Birth, marriage and death records can provide a wealth of information for the genealogist.

Church Records
Church records are an important source of information, particularly for years prior to the beginning of civil registration.

Census Records, 1666-1926
Historical census records are a key source of genealogical information.

The VPL has a very extensive collection of B.C. directories dating back to 1860.

Land Records
Land records are very complex. Here are some tips to help get you started.

Historical Atlases
The VPL's collection of illustrated historical county atlases include Ontario, parts of Quebec and the Maritime provinces.

Military Records
Information to help you track down an ancestor's military records.

Locate historical newspapers in the VPL newspaper collection.

Immigration Records
Information on passenger arrival records for Canadian ports and border entry records for overland arrivals from the U.S.

Divorce Records
Not sure where to look for historical Canadian divorce records? This guide will get you started.

Obituary Research
Obituaries and death notices are very important sources for family historians.

British Columbia Coroners' Records
Information for access files for deaths investigated by the Coroners' Office.

Wills and Estates
The VPL genealogy collection includes published sources on wills and estates in British Columbia, Ontario, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.

Cemetery Records and Monumental Inscriptions
Cemetery records and monumental inscriptions are a very valuable source of genealogical information frequently including dates of birth and death and names of family members.

Websites of Interest

Digital Library Resources