Good to Know
Ancestry provides access to billions of historical documents, millions of historical photos, plus local narratives, oral histories, indexes and other resources in over 30,000 databases that span from the 1500s to the 2000s.
Multimedia collections deliver millions of files ranging from family and gravestone photos to postcards and newsreels.
Canadian collections provide nearly 60 million records from the Census of Canada, and key vital records, such as the Drouin Collection (1621-1967), which includes nearly 30 million baptism, marriage, and burial records from Quebec.
U.S. collections include information from sources such as federal and U.S. censuses; birth, death, and marriage records including the Social Security Death Index; and U.S. border crossing and trans-ocean ship records.
U.K. collections offer censuses for England, Wales, Isle of Man, Channel Islands, and Scotland, with nearly 200 million records: Births and Baptisms (1834-1906), Marriage Licenses (1521-1869), Deaths and Burials (1834-1934), and Poor Law Records (1840-1938) in London, and more.
Other international collections continue to grow with more than 46 million records from German censuses, vital records, emigration indexes, ship lists, phone directories, and more; Chinese surnames in the large and growing Jiapu Collection of Chinese lineage books; Jewish family history records from Eastern Europe and Russia; and more.
To access Ancestry.ca Library Edition, you will need to be on site at the library.
To get started, you will need to have the following:
- Your Library Card number and PIN.
Using the Database
Once you have logged on, you can start with the general search which will ask you for a person’s name, birth year and / or place they may have lived. Enter as much information as you have available. You can also choose to search census, vitals, military or immigration records from the homepage.
Posting and searching the message boards allows you to potentially connect to other family members or researchers.
Ancestry also provides different charts and forms to assist you in keeping track of your research.
Be sure to save digitalized record files and you can email them to yourself so you don’t lose what you have found.
Spelling mistakes in records are common, so be flexible with names you find in the results field. Use wildcard symbols to get spelling variations. For example, use “?” to get spelling variations for one letter in the name like Nielson, you could use Niels?n to retrieve results for Nielson, Nielsen.
Use “*” to get spelling variations for more than one letter after the 3rd letter in the name. With this, Johns* could become Johnson, Johnstone, Johnston etc.
For more information, please visit Ancestry’s support pages.