In Part 1 of this article, I discussed the basic steps to begin Canadian research. In this article, I will discuss the key sources for each of the Canadian provinces (going from the west to the east).

British Columbia (BC) -- Became a province in 1871

Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba

Alberta (AB) -- became a province in 1905

  • Census records, including the 1906, 1911, and 1916 censuses

Saskatchewan (SK) -- Became a province in 1905

  • Indexes of births before 100 years ago and deaths before 70 years ago, available online at the ISC Genealogy Index Searches website
  • Saskatchewan Homestead Records, 1870-1930. Available on the Family History Library film set beginning with number 882996 (index and records), or online at the Saskatchewan Homestead Index website

Manitoba (MB) -- Became a province in 1870

Ontario (ON) -- Became a province in 1867

  • Indexes of births from1869 to 1912, marriages from 1869 to 1927, and deaths from 1869 to 1937. Available online, with varying years covered, at FamilySearch.org in the Historical Records section, on microfilm, and at Ancestry.com
  • Upper Canada Land Petitions 1763-1865, at the Library and Archives Canada website
  • Land records: Ontario Archives Land Record Index, 1792-1876, FHL Fiche 6330425-6330552.

Quebec (QC) -- Became a province in 1867

  • See FamilySearch.org, the Historical Records section
  • Drouin Collection, at Ancestry.com, 1621-1941 (Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish records)
  • Loiselle’s Marriage Index to Catholic marriages, 1621-1960s. FHL microfilms, beginning with film 543,721; and Supplement: beginning with film 1,571,024

Nova Scotia (NS) -- Became a province in 1867

New Brunswick (NB) – Became a province in 1867

  • Vital records, online indexes, including births, 1810 to 1914; marriages: 1847 to 1960; and deaths, 1815 to 1960. Available at FamilySearch.org, in the Historical Records section; on microfilm; and at the New Brunswick Provincial Archives website

Prince Edward Island (PE) – Became a province in 1873

  • See FamilySearch.org, in the Historical Records section
  • Master Name Index, part, 1700s to 1900s. FHL microfilm, beginning with number 1490091
  • Master Name Index, part 2, 1800s to 1900s. FHL microfilm, beginning with number 2135170

Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) – Became a province in 1949

  • See FamilySearch.org, in the Historical Records section
  • Census records: 1911, 1921, 1935, 1945
  • Births, marriages, and deaths from 1891
  • The Newfoundland's Grand Banks website has compiled vital records listings

These basic sources and websites could get you started in your research in Canadian provinces. Good luck in your research!

Comments (50)

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  1. Quite right. The new layout is just impossible to use. Cannot find what I am looking for at all - which I would have done in minutes on the old site. Pure arrogance to delete the tab for the old site. Bring it back and sack the developers.

    chris sutton 13 February 2012
    7:59 am
  2. I have to agree that the new site is not at all helpful. Cant find any of the information I need. Please bring back the old system.

    Gwen 02 February 2012
    11:11 am
  3. This search engine is new to me but easy to use. But I am trying to find an ancestor who is native american but there is no way to search for that. all I have is her Indian name, first middle and last but there is no where to designate what tribe. The results only say white .

    JME 17 January 2012
    9:48 pm
  4. The information I have found out is only as good as the input. Dates I know to be true are not the same on your profile information. I cant find any census information after 1930? Looking for my parents I can only find them as the child to someone but not as an adult with children. I did find both their death recorded

    Paul 07 January 2012
    12:54 pm
  5. The old site was searchable. This one is not. It is like a needle in a haystack and when you remove the haystack, there is nothing. I am not new, if I were I would give up now. Please give us back, our ability to find our people.

    Brenda 13 December 2011
    3:30 pm
  6. Hating what youve taken away from us for searching. Please bring back the advanced search function and let us search for any event in a specific place. I found so much before, and now Ive about given up. Sometimes change is **NOT** a good thing

    Sandi 11 December 2011
    1:19 am
  7. Several days ago I had only 4 blanks to fill in and had excellent results,now I connect in and I have 2 blanks and choose from 5 and up pops thousands of names from who knows where.I find it much more complicated to search. It is not as quick to find info.I prefer the other way.

    Lucy 26 November 2011
    7:26 pm
  8. I cannot find the records you had before the new ones,Francis wallace recorded parents Now Francis Wallace and Mary Dow Boyd as his parents. Mary Dow Boyd was in fact his WIFE. Documents available Careless mistakes throughout

    jennifer tuohey 17 November 2011
    11:15 am
  9. Just found this site -- very discouraging comments. Are you going to do anything about them? I would like very much to trace my fathers antecedents, but am having absolutely no luck. Cant get your filters to work

    Marie 10 November 2011
    9:10 am
  10. I have read most of the comments on here, well at least 300 of them and only found 3 people who actually like this new site. I have to agree with the majority though. You may have put a lot of new and fascinating records online, but unfortunately you have made it harder to search them. It is maddening and very frustrating, especially for those people who dont have all the spare time in the world to spend searching through unrelated records. By the time you have worked your way through the different filters, (which are quite impressive , but also time consuming), you could have used Google and got the info much quicker. Im all for technology that helps, but not for this site which hinders, so what was once my favourite site will now only be used only in emergencies. Take the hint and change back to the old way, you are no longer the peoples favourite.

    Donna 07 November 2011
    8:33 am
  11. Go back why fix something thats not broken...at least with the old system I could find lost relatives, now I cant they seem to be gone forever Im going crazy and getting sooooooooo frustrated with this new site.Tried Ancestry.com.au for a period of time and found people on there but being on a pension cant afford it .So I go to the library and use the library edition which does not cost ,but I can only use for an hour at a time , when this site was the old one ,finish the chores etc and you could spend as much time as you wanted finding those elusive relos

    robyn lee starling 22 October 2011
    11:06 pm
  12. How on earth are we supposed to use a site that cant even find basic information. I entered the marriage of my great grandparents, whose marriage certificate I have, and the result produced nothing Its an absolute waste of time trying to find decendants, youll probably get the same answer everytime as I did...no record found

    Caroon58 22 October 2011
    12:37 pm
  13. Im just back using Family Search after a number of years and I dont remember it being so clunky. There doesnt seem to be any quick way to get out of one area and into another, no header options, except print, not prev or home, refine search, etc? Am I in the wrong program?

    Jerri 18 October 2011
    1:57 pm
  14. Sorry, too confusing.

    Mary Ingram 18 October 2011
    5:32 am
  15. how are you supost to find anything now i am going crazy looking for my family i liked the other way much better this takes forever to find one name then you cant find the children, I know this family had more than one child they are from Spain and Mexico and New Mexico

    Dorothy Vigil 30 September 2011
    8:52 pm
  16. Im looking for any record of my Father, William Vere Moore, DoB1906. Married to my Mother, Velma L. Johnston.My Brother, Barry Vere Moore, Dob September 26, 1933 0r 1932. I was born Dec. 31, 1934 and both my Brother and myself were born in Minneapolis, MN.Any help would be greatly appreciated. There may be relatives somewhere. Nee Erin Michaeline Moore.

    Erin M. Pichowsky 27 September 2011
    8:46 pm
  17. I guess I am in the minority. I actually like the new site better. It must be all in what you are used to. I am a relatively new user. I have tried both sites and have had better luck finding my ancestors using the new site.

    Lynn 19 September 2011
    10:26 pm
  18. What happened to pilot search, loved it.

    Gail Avery 19 September 2011
    7:21 pm
  19. Will there be a reply from Family Search to the questions/comments posted here? Or, are we preaching to the choir?

    Jack 31 August 2011
    3:12 am
  20. I agree with most of the comments I liked the old one better. I cant get this new one to find what I am looking for Why change something that works to something that does NOT work??????

    Alice A. 24 August 2011
    5:53 pm
  21. I really dont like how the information comes out covering places you didnt ask for such as,if you put in Nuevo Leon Mexico,it gives you other states also then why the question.That is more time consuming and very aggravating since researching takes hours sometimes,Pilot didnt do that it gave you only people in that place you punched in.Your new system was not improved you just made it longer to research.Maybe you should of spent more time improving PILOT. I feel lost now.

    Amy Ochoa 20 August 2011
    9:32 am
  22. How can we find the childrens names of a parent we have found? My Grandmother birthed 17 children. I am looking for the names of all of them. The two listed are Jessie Green and Lefford Green. The parents are Charles Green of Cadott, WI.birth 1865 and Ada Green birth 1871.

    Dee Lewitz 17 August 2011
    5:21 pm
  23. I too find this new system very confusing. I liked the old ancestral information attached to the person I was researching. Now I cant find anything. Please return to the old system. It was much easier to use. This is terrible

    Anne Huitrado 16 August 2011
    7:44 pm
  24. PLEASE bring back the original way of searching your site I used to be able to find the Pedigree Chart and now that is impossible. Atleast give me the choice of which way I want to do the rearch like you did before.

    Karen Horniman 09 August 2011
    11:49 am
  25. It takes some getting used to this site. I have just realised that using the batch numbers may hold the same family members, Doh or am i wrong in that.?? It would be helpful to be able to put childrens name in the research to make sure you have the same family. Not a lot of info has been sought on this site,

    Diane 27 July 2011
    4:18 pm
  26. finding this site totaly useless puttin info in that i know to be true and coming up as no listings

    margy weston 25 July 2011
    8:59 am
  27. pse.make it easyer to go thorough it--not everybody is a tech-brain to go along---rudolf

    RUDOLF 19 July 2011
    5:31 am
  28. I AM LOOKING FOR wILKINSON dRIVER FROM ENGLAND KEIGHLEY IN WEST YORKSHIRE THE ONLY INFORMATION I HAVE IS ON HIS SON THOMAS WILKINSON DRIVERS BAPTISM ON 7TH NOV 1816 WHEN WILKINSON DRIVER AND JANE DRIVER ARE RECORDED AS HIS PARENTS. IF ANYBODY HAS ANY FURTHER INFORMATION REGARDING WILKINSON DRIVER I SHOULD BE GRATEFUL.

    ANNE BAMFORTH 16 July 2011
    3:31 pm
  29. CAnt find Levi Agnews (1803-1881) father. Bedford cty Pa.

    Richard W Agnew 11 July 2011
    9:30 pm
  30. I have exhausted my search the father of Levi Agnew b1803, huntingdon cty pa, died 1881, bedford cty pa. Married to sarah kriechbaum 1828. Mother was elizabeth westbrook, died 1871 bedford cty. Any assistance will be greatly appreciated, R W Agnew

    Richard W Agnew 11 July 2011
    9:26 pm
  31. The new site is useless to me. Where are the images? Looking for death certificates Ive found in the old process now report as images not available online. Im an indexer because I want to be a part of this wonderful service but Im incredibly disappointed in this new site.

    Angela Smith 09 July 2011
    2:12 pm
  32. the old site was alot better please bring back old site.

    08 July 2011
    1:43 pm
  33. On using the Drouin Collection at Ancestry.com. for Quebec vitals. This is a marvelous trove of very informative vital records. The entries vary depending on which clergyman makes the entries, but most are rich in details. A burial entry, for example, may list a persons age at death, which cemetery burial is in, cause of death, and if the person was an immigrant where they came from. I have been using this source extensively for my Scots ancestors in SW Quebec. The Protestant ministers almost always list women by their maiden names, even in the birth records of their children and their own death records Marriage records often include parents of bride and groom. Sometimes the witnesses to an event even write their relationship to the persons. Occupations and residences are often listed for all parties. The main problem with using the Drouin records is the slipshod indexing done by Ancestry. The transcribers were often unable or unwilling to read the handwriting and and scan the entire entry. Thus a birth/baptismal record will list the father as the one being born because the transcriber read the first name in the entry (the father) and typed it in as the subject of the ordinance being performed. Names are often scrambled in indexes because transcribers could not read handwriting. If you are willing to read through a large number of these entries to find your ancestors the Drouin records are helpful. Try going through everyone with that surname (use the Ancestry Search tab and enter just the surname, then exclude census listings to have just the Drouin records come up) to make sure the transcriber did not incorrectly label your ancestor. The card index is useful, too, although not nearly as detailed as the original entries. I have occasionally found a card index entry for an ancestor, but Ancestrys search does not come up with the original entry. I emailed Ancestry about the problems with their indexing and search. They said they would look into it. Do not let these shortcomings deter you, however. Drouin records are wonderful.

    Heather Miller 06 July 2011
    7:49 pm
  34. The search page does not respond to refinements. It cannot find any records at all, relating to my 31 years in the U.K.

    Kenneth Porter 30 June 2011
    5:20 pm
  35. dont like go back

    sharon 24 June 2011
    10:55 pm
  36. I agree wholeheartedly. The new site is useless The old site was an excellent resource. I also know there are records in your files but under the new system, they are not available,

    Betty Bellous 22 June 2011
    5:05 pm
  37. I too liked the old search e it better, as for information is there as too have seenn it, ie the pedigrees I know the families are lsited as my couisn did so New version says no. To many bus appartently, I also index fro familysearch, where are those records?????

    carrie 22 June 2011
    2:40 pm
  38. I LIKED THE OLD SEARCH SYSTEM BEST.

    VERONA 21 June 2011
    5:57 pm
  39. hi just found this site and must say I am finding it a little confusing been sitting here for and hour now and found nothing, and I know the information is there because I have seen it . Read the comments and thankfully I am not the only one

    Chris 05 June 2011
    7:28 am
  40. I like the new site..... I find it easy to use and its free.....

    Patricia Valentine 03 June 2011
    9:56 am
  41. If someone at L.D.S would really read these comments, maybe there would be a positive action toward correcting SEARCH ENGINE PROBLEMS. Albert

    Albert Scarborough 03 June 2011
    1:16 am
  42. I am really so upset ~ I have been using your search for years, but now with your new setup I spend hours and hours searching but I get nowhere. It is a very sad thing. I am now stuck and cannot get any further. Is there any way that we can have the old system back, or alternatively, can your system be changed so that if we give you a date and full names and country, your search system can go directly to the information? Please help us. I know a great number of friends and family that have just given up. Please, please help me

    Sonja 02 June 2011
    4:48 pm
  43. Ive been using this site for a couple years and I also thinks these new improvements take longer to load..and just dont care for the set up..

    marilyn sawyer 18 May 2011
    11:27 pm
  44. I took a leave from researching data for a couple weeks, NOW, WHAT A MESS.I had been using the old system with great success, NOT NOW. I am glad my family histories (4) are mostly done, just small details left. The histories started in late 1600s & early 1700s to the with almost everyperson between then and now. This is work that has taken 25 to 30 years research.At first it was photographing old bibles and taking notes. Then moved to computers and then on to the internet sites. Used your old site which was a great help, new one not so much.Progress is suppose to better, NOT IN THIS CASE. I have helped many people find information on thier families, but, NOT NOW.. Now they will need to read the histories I have written. Final note, LOOK AT WHAT YOU HAVE DONE, DOES IT REALLY HELP?

    Rich C. 18 May 2011
    12:02 pm
  45. You cant find what you want anymore,Cant get to look at death certificates anymore.Very very slow to load. You havent improved anything.

    johnell 17 May 2011
    8:07 am
  46. I will just give up trying to use web sites for genealogy.Seems like when ever they get a better idea for faster service I just get more and more computer glitches.

    ryane 14 May 2011
    9:25 pm
  47. I have death certificate numbers for Texas death certificates - is there a way I can use them? I like that you have the Texas death certificates they can give a lot of information. Ive tried the county of a persons death, and by his name - his census information shows but not his death.

    SusanVee 13 May 2011
    8:53 pm
  48. On some Census searches, when I find the person Im looking for, Im able to see other members of the household. Is this feature going to be available on more/all census searches in the future? Thanks, Rob.

    Rob 11 May 2011
    3:27 pm
  49. www.automatedgenealogy.com is a site I use for census and the explanation concerning what the census taker was to ask & why is helpful in understanding the terms used on some census. This site has 1851/2, 1901, 1911 for Ontario, Quebec and a 1906 census for a province other than Ontario & Quebec. Some census years link to the actual census image at the Canada Natl Archives. Ontario Gen Web has a good cemetery site - I google the site address.

    Gladys Boice 11 May 2011
    11:29 am
  50. My computer seems to hang up on this new site and it takes a long time to get into what I am doing...but even then it doesnt let me find what I am looking for...It kind of acts like a system overload.

    Mary 04 May 2011
    8:39 pm

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