Researching Your Family History Series (2022/2023)


 Researching Your Family History Series

Guelph Public Library

100 Norfolk Street, Guelph

2:00-4:00 pm


Have you been wanting to learn more about your family history? Interested in starting to build your own family tree but don’t know where to start? Have you started to research your tree but hit a brick wall and aren’t sure how to break through it?

Join members of the Wellington County Branch, Ontario Ancestors as they partner with the Guelph Public Library’s Archivist to deliver a series of workshops to help you discover your family’s story. Register for one or for all the sessions at Registration will open approximately 6 weeks prior to each session.


September 17, 2022 – An Introduction to Family History Research – The Basics

Join this session to learn the first steps in researching your family history including where to begin, how to gather family stories, determining what records are needed and how to record the information you find. This workshop also includes a demonstration of Ancestry Library Edition which provides access to billions of records and is available in all County and Guelph libraries without a subscription and at no cost! As the Guelph Public Library is a FamilySearch Affiliate Library, an overview of the FamilySearch resources will also be provided.


October 15, 2022 — A Closer Look at Family History Records

In this session, the various types of records which can provide insight into our ancestor’s lives will be discussed. Documents such as civil registration and vital records, census data, parish and cemetery records, wills and probate, land and property records, maps and atlases, military records, immigration and naturalization records will be discussed. Reference will be made to records from Canada, Ireland and England.


November 19, 2022Finding your Ancestor: Canadian Military Records and Sources

Most of us have ancestors who served in the military either during a time of conflict or a time of peace. You may have photographs or medals or heard stories about your ancestor’s experiences but have wondered if there are more details available that would help you to better understand his or her time in military service. But where do you start? What records and resources are available? What information could be contained in the records? How can they be accessed? Were detailed records really created during a time of crisis?

In this workshop, the records and sources available for finding your Canadian ancestor in military records will be discussed.  These records often hold valuable information for the family history researcher and can lead to new discoveries as well as providing insight into military service in a specific time period. During this session records and resources pertaining to the War of 1812, the South African War (1899-1902), the First World War (1914-1918), World War Two (1939-1945), and the Korean conflict will be reviewed.  Discussion will also focus on militia records and sources and Permanent Force records 1871-1914.


February 18, 2023 — Researching Family History through Newspapers

Newspapers can provide a wealth of information for family historians. While we typically search for details related to a death in an obituary, many other family details can be found in newspapers articles such as notices of court actions, probate notices, social columns, coroner’s inquests, missing persons, church news, community events, etcetera.

In this workshop, participants will learn why newspapers are important in researching ancestors, how to determine what newspapers to look for and where to find them online and offline. A number of tips and resources to help make your newspaper research successful will be explained.


March 18, 2023 – Researching Your British Home Child Ancestor

Beginning in 1869, over 100,000 children were sent from England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales to Canada as part of a child migration program. It is now estimated that 1 in 10 Canadians are descended from a British Home Child although many are not aware of this heritage.

Are you interested in learning more about British Home Children?  Perhaps you recently learned that an ancestor was a British Home Child.  Join this workshop to learn what led to the development of the child migration program, how children became involved and the major organizations involved in sending children to Canada. What happened once the children arrived in Canada and the resources available for researching British Home Child ancestors will also be discussed.

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