Click on each section below to learn more about genealogical research and the resources available in the London Room at Central Library. You also have access to Ancestry Library Edition from inside any London Public Library location.
First, determine the location in which to search (local? other county? outside of Ontario?) and approximately the time period. Based on this, we can help you decide what kind of records are available and which might be most useful for you to begin with.
Starting your Research
If unsure, start with the known, eg. grandfather’s name and approximate birth or death date and where he lived, then search a record that would take you one generation further back. For example, his birth registration or baptismal record would tell the names of both his parents.
Resources at the Library
- Ancestry Library: A very useful database covers the United States and the United Kingdom, including census, vital, church, court, and immigration records, as well as record collections from Canada and other areas. It is an excellent tool to use to find names and dates and locations to get the search started. Tip: click on Search and choose the geographic area, eg. Ontario, so there is a manageable number of databases.
- Books on researching Family History
Where to Look for Local Information
- census indexes, cemetery transcriptions, marriages records (late 1700s to 1869 in book form)
- church records – for some London and Middlesex County churches; also a few from other counties in Ontario. May include births, marriages, deaths, baptisms…
- local indexes: for quite prominent people - analytics to books, genealogy index to periodical sources; for anyone local – scrapbook indexes
- early settlers project
- newspapers – obituaries, marriages, death notices, births. The London Free Press Indexes 1849-1880 (obituaries, births, marriages), 1977-1995 (obituaries, births): London Advertiser 1864-1936 – some births/marriages/deaths have been extracted and indexed.
- selected church histories and school histories
- township histories, eg. Delaware/Westminster Townships, London Township, North Dorchester Township and West Nissouri Township have published histories with an incredible amount of information on families
- historical atlases – 1870’s for most Ontario counties; show names of landowners of individual lots (available online). We also have earlier atlases for Middlesex (1862) and Elgin (1864)
- wills of Middlesex County – we have the index for 1846 to 1980 (wills are at Ontario Archives) and have the actual wills on microfilm for some of the early 1800’s
- Archives index (card file in Closed Stacks in the London Room) – for more information on local people and families
- Census indexes for:
Where to Look for Ontario-wide Information
- Census for all of Ontario – on microfilm; some have name indexes. First try Ancestry for online versions of Ontario census from 1851 to 1921
- Upper Canada Land Index – for early people, i.e. crown lands
- Vital Statistics Index on microfilm: 1869 – 1917 (births)1869-1935 (marriages)1869-1945 (deaths). Subsequent years of indexes on microfilm are available through our interlibrary loan system. The complete records, not just the index,are available on Ancestry Library*; but there is a delay in posting these records.
- Ancestry includes Wesleyan Methodist Baptisms: for most counties in Ontario. Especially useful in the absence of birth registrations, since the information given is similar.
- Catholic Record – 1878-1948
- London & Middlesex Branch of Ontario Ancestors Resources, publications and links for genealogical research for the city of London and Middlesex County, Ontario.
- Browse the shelves in the London Room for the county you need; may find: birth/marriage/death extracts from local newspapers, county histories, church histories, gazetteers, various local indexes...
Where to Look for Canada-wide Information
- online versions for census online at Ancestry for all of Canada: 1851 to 1921
- Books about Passenger Ship Lists
Where to Look for First Nations Information
- Books about researching First Peoples family history
- Records of the Department of Indian Affairs at Library and Archives Canada: a source for Genealogical Research
- Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada Information related to Status.
- Library and Archives Canada - Aboriginal Heritage Library and Archives Canada holds records of the Department of Indian Affairs (RG 10) dating mainly from the late 1800s. The records are usually arranged by band, agency and district.
Where to Look for Worldwide Information
- Ancestry Library database: A very useful database covers the United States and the United Kingdom, including census, vital, church, court, and immigration records, as well as record collections from Canada and other areas. It is an excellent tool to use to find names and dates and locations to get the search started. Tip: click on Search and choose the geographic area, eg. Ontario, so there is a manageable number of databases.
- Our library collection contains many titles to assist with family history research
- Indexes to Notices of Births, Marriages and Deaths
- Ontario Genealogical Society - London and Middlesex County Branch
If you are looking for obituaries from The London Free Press, the OGS library has created two online indexes, entitled Obituary and Death Notice Index which includes around 380,000 obituaries, death notices and memorial records from 1945 to 1950 and 1967 to 2014; and from 2015 and 2016. This is an ongoing project and the index includes the first name, second name, maiden name and surname of the deceased person as well as the age of the person, the year of death and the community in which they died. A copy of the obituary can be obtained by clicking on Queries.
- Indexes to Anglican Church Records
- Indexes to Baptist Church Records
- Indexes to Catholic Church Records
- Indexes to Lutheran Church Records
- Indexes to Methodist Church Records:
Included here are the indexes to the Wesleyan Methodist Baptismal Registers, 1828-1910 which are also available on the Ancestry website.
- Indexes to Presbyterian Church Records
- Indexes to Quaker Records
- Indexes to United Church Records
- Middlesex County Wills in Books and on Microfilm
- Western Archives, Western University
Ancestry Library Edition is one of the most important genealogical collections available today. It has unparalleled coverage of the United States and the United Kingdom, including census, vital, church, court, and immigration records, as well as record collections from Canada and other areas. You can use Ancestry Library Edition at any London Public Library location. This resource is not available outside the Library.