... Before, you went to Library Archives Canada's site, and then you went to the siloed databases. Like if you wanted "Immigrants before 1865," you search there. And then if you wanted "Russian Immigrants," you'd search there. So it was extremely difficult to find anything at Library and Archives Canada. And what was missing was a central collection search. Well, guess what, there is now a central collection search...
My trip to the archives: how I prepare and what I found
Like you, I spend inordinate amounts of time researching obscure documents at odd hours. (Truthfully, sometimes it's research and sometimes it's getting lost down rabbit holes.) If only everything was online. I read archival finding aids like a Christmas wish list: I want this, and this, and this too. My curiosity is far bigger than my budget (to pay external researchers).
What you need to know to visit the BC Archives today (Sep 2022)
How to read the codes for vital statistic records at the BC archives:I'm excited to share this with you. Despite pulling birth, marriage, and death records (BMDs) back in 2018, I'd forgotten this little trick for reading registration codes and was utterly confused my first day. Now I'm sharing it with you (and my future self, who will forget again). There are two different methods depending on whether the records were produced before or after 1944. We will start with the easier ones: record produced after 1944.
True crime, the Wing Sang Co., and police records: A trip to the City of Vancouver Archives
Once you're on site, my best tip for getting the most out of an archives visit is asking for a quick tour. Most times the archivist will ask you what area, subject, or time frame you're researching. They will also show you how to fill out a record retrieval slip and while I am an experienced researcher, I always appreciate the reminders. Every archive follows archival best practises, which means...
A trip to the United Church of Canada Archives, Vancouver
After census records and vital statistics (birth, marriage, and death records), church records are some of the most important fonds in a genealogist's toolkit. For the Chinese, however, it was a circuitous path to worship and so it appears relatively few Catholic or Protestant records exist. I am working on understanding better how the Methodist Church ministered to the Chinese populations in Canada. My research shows they established missions for non-white congregants and it was the Vancouver and Victoria mission fonds I wanted to explore.
What if the record is wrong?
It may come as a surprise to learn that not all historic records are accurate. Here's my unofficial ranking of genealogy records, with an example.
13 databases for Chinese Ancestry on Ancestry.com
What's available for Chinese genealogy on Ancestry? I look at the records and show you how to navigate them.
Finding the Case Files – Using LAC and Héritage to find Japanese Canadian genealogical documents
In this post, I show you how to use the card catalog to find the case files for Japanese Canadian genealogy.
Genealogy gold part 3: More tips on prairie local histories
I thought you might enjoy the fantastic tips and advice on prairie local history I have received since posting Genealogy gold part 1. On prairie local histories From Beverley: ...they are a great resource and those of us who live on the Prairies have long used them. One caution, if your relatives did not submit… Continue reading Genealogy gold part 3: More tips on prairie local histories
A trip to the archives #3 – the SK edition
This is #3 in my Archives series. If you'd like to start at the beginning, see British Columbia here and Alberta here. Update - 28 Mar 2019 The Saskatchewan government moved to consolidate its 4 locations into one location in Regina. The Saskatoon archives are now closed. In addition, the online database is also offline. I will… Continue reading A trip to the archives #3 – the SK edition