Web maintenance: Aug. 5 to 6

04/08/2021

Bibliocommons, our catalogue provider, will be performing system maintenance and will be inaccessible from Aug. 5 to 6 from 10 pm to 4 am. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Temporary closure: Alta Vista

05/08/2021

Due to upgrades to the front entrance, the Alta Vista branch will be closed from July 26 to August 17. There will be no returns or holds pick-up during that time. Alta Vista branch will reopen August 18 at 10 am.   

Step 3: More services inside most open branches

29/07/2021

Browsing, public computers, newspapers and magazines are available inside most of our 31 open branches, with capacity limits for two-metre distancing. Up to 200 items can also be put on hold.

Starting July 26:

Mask-wearing remains mandatory inside, and outside in line. For more details, go to Current Branch Services.

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Starting your family tree

Starting your family tree is an exciting undertaking; at the same time the sheer number of resources you will encounter can seem overwhelming. Here are a few tips for getting started:

Basic principles

  • Start with yourself and work back generation by generation
  • Document every piece of information you find and where you found it.
  • The key information you need to find for each ancestor includes: full name, residence, occupation, religion, dates of birth, marriage, and death

First steps

Going further

  • Read a general genealogy guide. See our list of recommended titles: Genealogy Guides for Beginners
  • The first records you will look for will be census, vital statistics (birth, marriage, and death), and church records. Check the research guides on this site for tips on where to find these, and other, records.
  • And finally, our best piece of advice: Make an appointment with a genealogy specialist at the library . Library genealogy specialists can meet with you one-on-one to show you how to get started, or help you with research roadblocks.