Genealogy and Family History

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How to begin

Are you just starting your family history research? Find out how:

Databases

Many Library and Archives Canada records have been indexed by name. You can access those genealogy databases free on our website in Ancestors Search.

Each database has its own search screen and a main page that explains about the records and how to access them. Some of the databases include links to digitized images.

Sources for genealogy research by topic

Genealogy research involves exploring many different types of records. Visit our Topics page to see a list of research subjects, including census, military, immigration, land and many more. Each of those pages explains what sources are available at Library and Archives Canada and other institutions and how to access them.

Sources for genealogy research by place

Visit our Places page to see the list of provinces and territories. Each of those pages provides information about records available at Library and Archives Canada for that place. You will also find information about sources held at provincial and territorial archives, links to genealogical societies and other online resources for each place.

Other research tools

You can explore more of our website and resources using these research tools:

How to access our records

Have you found a reference to a record held at Library and Archives Canada and don't know what to do next? Find out what options are available on our access the records page.

Links

Visit our Links and related research page to find links to other genealogy reference websites, genealogical societies, provincial and church archives and archives in other countries.

Visit Us

Library and Archives Canada's Genealogy reference room is located on the 3rd floor at 395 Wellington Street in downtown Ottawa, Ontario.

During opening hours, you are welcome to use the room to access our on-site sources.

  • Books with Genealogy in the call number are on open shelves, such as published indexes to newspapers, cemeteries, church records and other sources.
  • Computers are available to use the Internet, the Library and Archives Canada website and free access to www.ancestry.com.
  • Bring your lap top and use our free wireless Internet access.

During service hours, you can speak to one of our genealogy consultants for research assistance. An appointment is not required. We can also log you on to the subscription websites www.findmypast.com and www.bms2000.org.

Hours:

Day Service hours Opening hours
Monday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Tuesday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Wednesday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Thursday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Friday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday No service 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The room is closed on statutory holidays.

Contact Information

Ask us a question

If you can't find the information you are looking for on our web pages mentioned above or in our databases, and you are unable to come to Ottawa in person, you are welcome to contact us via our website. Please use our Ask us a genealogy question form. It prompts for details that will help us answer your inquiry, such as names, dates and places.

We can suggest research strategies and sources, and do basic searches on your behalf. Keep in mind, however, that we cannot undertake extensive research or compile your family tree for you.

You can also use that online form to book an appointment to speak to a genealogy consultant by telephone or Skype. Please include the following information:

  • your question
  • a preferred date and time
  • a preferred method (Skype, or telephone)
  • your telephone number (in case we have trouble reaching you via Skype or email)
  • your Skype name (if you are choosing a Skype appointment)

Note that we may respond by email if we need to provide you with links to web pages that have the information you requested.

Address:

Genealogy Services
Library and Archives Canada
395 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0N4
CANADA

Telephone:

Local calls: 613-996-5115 (select 1+6)
Toll-free number: 1-866-578-7777 (select 1+6) (Canada and the United States)
(10 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST, Monday to Friday, except statutory holidays)

TTY: 613-992-6969 or 1-866-299-1699

Fax: 613-995-6274

If you have a question, comment or suggestion about our services, our web pages, programs, partnerships, etc., you can contact us at BAC.CCG-CGC.LAC@canada.ca. Please include your full name and where you live.

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