The Guelph Public Library family history collection includes both non-circulating reference material and circulating material that can be borrowed with a library card. There are a number of local history books such as “Guelph: A People’s Heritage, 1827-1927, A History of Guelph 1827-1927 and “Guelph: Perspectives on a century of change 1900-2000” as well as area atlases. The collection also includes resources that provide useful information on getting your research started, organizing what you find, overcoming brick walls and writing your family history, etcetera.
The City of Guelph archives which includes private records, school records, photographs, assessments rolls, wills (between 1841-1858 and 1901 and 1903) and other historical records is located in the basement of the main branch of the library and can be accessed by contacting the archivist. Records available on microfilm or microfiche include City of Guelph Council minutes and by-laws, Ontario civil vital statistics, census records, local newspapers, Surrogate court records index (1793-1858), the Tweedsmuir histories and the Goard Fire Insurance Maps (1890-1960).
Ancestry.ca is available without a subscription in the main library and all Guelph branch libraries. Access is available only while in one of the library locations. The library also subscribes to a number of genealogy-related magazines which are available in the main branch for viewing. Access to both the ProQuest Newsstand and the Archeion databases are available through eResoures on the library’s website with a library card. ProQuest Newsstand provides access to the Guelph Mercury and Tribune as well as the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail. The Archeion database includes images and directories related to the history of Guelph.
For additional information, visit the Guelph Public Library website. The Wellington County Branch Family History Collection is also housed at the Guelph Public Library. See our library page for more information on how to access this collection. The Wellington County Branch and the Guelph Public Library often partner to offer workshops on researching family history. Check the branch events page for information on upcoming workshops.
The Guelph Public Library (main branch) is now a FamilySearch Affiliate Library! FamilySearch.com contains free access to over 4 billion historical and genealogical records from approximately 250 countries. While many of the records and databases are free to view from home or wherever you have an internet connection, there are approximately 400 million records that are locked and restricted from being viewed at home. To view these records, users must be connected to an Affiliate Library or a Family History Centre. The Guelph Public Library is now one of these libraries!
In order to access the databases, you do physically have to be in the main branch (100 Norfolk St) of the Guelph Public Library (GPL). It is not necessary to use a library computer; you can use your own laptop or mobile device. Once in the library, connect to GPL’s WiFi system and go their website home page at www.guelphpl.ca. Then click on Digital Library, then Online Resources and select the Genealogy and History category and click on FamilySearch. If you don’t already have a free account, you will need to sign-up for one.
To learn more, click here to read an article from the March 2022 issue of Traces & Tracks. The full March 2022 issue (Volume 22, Issue Number 1) can be viewed in the Member’s Corner.