Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Family History in Canada, eh?
I was surprised to find a Canadian wing to my own family history, though once I did, it stirred dim memories of having visited some distant uncle or other in Montreal when I was a kid.
Anyway, searching records from Canada is fairly easy, so you might as well have a look. The national government hosts an Ancestor Search at the Library and Archives Canada website. (and you can also recherche d'ancêtres en Français, if you please).
This lovely and easy to use family search tool appears to contain several million records (though the overall scope is not well described). These include vital records -- births, marriages, deaths, and divorces -- census records, military rolls and casualties, immigration, land grants, and many other sources as well.
Coverage seems strongest in the late 1800 and early 1900's, though some files extend back much further, and I'm told a few even venture into the 17th century (1600's).
Like I said, it's an easy system to use, so have a look at your family names, and see what you find. If something turns up, check out the Canadian Genealogy Center (sorry...Centre!) to explore next steps in your search.
Don't forget to also check for your family history at Ancestry.com and NewspaperArchive.com. Yes, these are subscription databases, but they are also among the most powerful research tools available for looking into family roots.