Genealogy Links

The following is a list of external links about genealogy, grouped mainly by geographic location. When you click on an external link, it will open in a new browser window. To return to this page, close the new window. The links immediately following this paragraph will take you to different sections of this page; the small triangles in the left-hand column will return you to the top.

General Resources

Cindi’s List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet The “mother” of all genealogy websites, created by Cindi Howells. It is a categorized and cross-referenced list of genealogy sites on the internet, containing over 240,000 links in 150 categories.

Family Search Internet Genealogy Service The website of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (aka Mormons, often abbreviated to “LDS” in genealogy circles), who pursue genealogy as part of their faith. They have made available to the general public a vast amount of genealogical material, both on their website and through their Family History Centres where microfilms and other resources are available. On the website you will find a searchable database known as the International Genealogy Index (IGI), which is a tremendous boon to researchers as you are likely to find some ancestors in it, particularly if they were in the U.K. The site also has the U.S. 1880 and British and Canadian 1881 census returns, and the Family History Library Catalogue, a database of all the materials held by the LDS at their main centre in Utah. These materials can be ordered for use at your local Family History Center. Although this is a commercial site, it does have some free databases and many useful articles and resources for the genealogist. Its content was originally weighted towards U.S. records, but they have recently added many U.K. records to their database, including the 1861-1901 census returns of England and Wales.

JewishGen The primary internet source connecting researchers of Jewish genealogy worldwide. Created to assist those researching their Jewish heritage. This is the place to start if you have Jewish ancestry.

Family Chronicle Magazine The website of a well known genealogy publication, included here because there are several helpful resources on the site. These include articles on how to begin your research, tips for research at a Family History Centre, Canadian Vital Records, internet research tips, restoring and dating old photos, the origins of family names, and writing a family history. You can also receive a free trial copy of their publication which is very good.

Canadian Resources

Canadian Genealogy and History Links This is an excellent website of links to a huge variety of internet resources pertaining to Canadian history and genealogy. You can search the site to locate listings, or browse in a number of different categories, including provincial, military, cemeteries, census, and history.

Library and Archives Canada The website of the Library and Archives of Canada, located in Ottawa, has much to offer both history and genealogy enthusiasts. Of particular interest to genealogists is ArchiviaNet, an online research tool. The latter contains the 1871 Census index for Ontario (head-of-household only), a database of the Canadian Expeditionary Force from WW1, the Western Land Grants database, a database of British Home Children, the 1901 Census of Canada, and the 1906 Census of Northwest Provinces. Though neither of the last two is searchable by surname, images of the actual returns are online, and there are ways to find your ancestors if you know in detail where they lived at the time the census was enumerated. Recent additions include Soldiers of the South African War, and photographs of Canadian Nurses.

United Church of Canada Archives Network This web page provides links to the archival repositories of the United Church across Canada. The United Church was formed in 1925 from a union of Congregational, Methodist and (some) Presbyterian churches, so their archives house the founding denominations’ records. The United Church Archives at Victoria University (in Toronto) holds records for all Ontario churches (listed under “Ontario Resources” below).

Presbyterian Church Archives Website of the Presbyterian Church of Canada describing their resources of genealogical interest. They hold the church records for Presbyterian denominations across Canada who did not join the union of the United Church in 1925.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission Established in 1917 to keep the records and maintain the graves and memorials of members of the Commonwealth forces who were killed in the two world wars. Site contains the Debt of Honour Register, a searchable database of the personal and service details and places of commemoration for the 1.7 million service men and women killed in the wars.

Canada411 An online searchable phone directory containing over 12 million listings of phone subscribers in Canada. Searchable by first name, last name, city and/or province. This can be a useful research tool if, for example, you want to know whether people of a certain surname are still located in a particular area.

Ontario Resources

Archives of Ontario The website of the official archival repository for the Province of Ontario. Apart from detailing its holdings, the website has searchable databases and online exhibits that are very interesting and educational.

The Ontario Genealogical Society The website of the Ontario Genealogical Society, whose aim it is to promote genealogical research, set standards for genealogical excellence, and provide encouragement, instruction and resources for people interested in tracing their family history. The society organizes various conferences and has a large number of publications for sale that pertain to research in Ontario.

The Canadian County Atlas Digital Project McGill University has made available on the internet searchable digitized versions of Ontario county atlases from last quarter of the 19th century. The atlases consist of town and township maps, historical text, and residents’ names. An excellent resource for historians and genealogists.

Ontario GenWeb The Ontario branch of GenWeb, which is a worldwide volunteer project to aid genealogists in their research. Contains links to Ontario county and district pages.

United Church Archives The archives of the United Church of Canada, located at Victoria University (part of the University of Toronto) is the repository of Ontario church records of the United Church and its denominational antecedents: Methodist, Presbyterian (some), Congregational, and Evangelical United Brethren. The website has an index to the archives’ holdings of local church records predating 1925 (when the United Church was formed), searchable by place name.

Ontario Marriages A website containing transcriptions of many marriages in Ontario, arranged by year and cross-referenced by bride’s maiden name.

Early Ontario Records A terrific website containing a wealth of transcribed material including various registers of baptisms, marriages and burials, United Empire Loyalist records, the military muster roll of the York Militia from 1813 and records of other military regiments, directories and lists of lot owners from various Ontario locations, etc., etc. Definitely worth a look if your ancestors were anywhere in Ontario in the 19th century.

Ontario Cemetery Finding Aid A searchable “pointer” database of over two million interments in Ontario, providing cemetery name, location and reference number, enabling you to contact the contributing organization.

Toronto and York County Resources

York Region Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society  An excellent resource for those researching York County ancestors. Apart from branch information, the site includes publications for sale, members’ surname interests, an extensive listing of research resources, and selected research services available for a small fee. The latter includes a cemetery surname index search of all published cemetery transcriptions (and some that are unpublished) for York Region, enabling researchers to locate relevant transcriptions.
York County, Ontario GenWeb The website of York County GenWeb, containing resources, information and links for Toronto and other regions in York County. Includes a transcription of the 1837 Home District Directory (an old district that encompassed Toronto and York County, as well as parts of Simcoe, Peel and Durham), a volunteer lookup page, and lots of other good stuff.

Toronto Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society Lots of good information, articles and a list of publications available through the Toronto branch. They recently added a searchable database of 1853 Toronto Tax Assessment Rolls to their site. It contains over 9,000 names of owners and occupiers of property in Toronto in 1853. What makes this particularly valuable is the fact that the 1851 census of Toronto has been lost. The index is linked to images of the actual tax rolls, and best of all, IT’S FREE!

Jewish Genealogical Society of Canada (Toronto) The website of the Toronto branch of the Jewish Genealogical Society. Various resources are available on the site, including the branch’s most recent newsletter, links to other websites of interest, and information about membership and meetings.

City of Toronto Archives The website of Toronto’s official archival repository. Gives information about the archive’s holdings, location, opening hours, and exhibits/special events.

Toronto Public Library Digital Collections A growing collection of digitized rare and unique Canadian materials, searchable online. York minutes (1797-1823) and York and Toronto city directories can be searched in a variety of ways.

1901 Toronto Census Finding Aid A fantastic finding aid to be used in conjunction with the Library and Archives Canada 1901 Census of Canada. If you know what street your ancestor lived on in 1901 (and the house number for longer streets), you can quite easily find them using this tool. A link is provided to the appropriate images of the census on the Archives site. Also covers some rural areas around Toronto.

Pages of the Past  is a paid online archive of the Toronto Star newspaper. The database is searchable by keyword or date; For a fee you can view and download digitized images of the paper back to its inception in 1892.

British Isles Resources

GENUKI  UK and Ireland Genealogy A large collection of genealogical information pages for England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. This is a “must visit” if you are researching ancestors in the British Isles. It has an excellent “getting started in genealogy” section, information about various record sources in the U.K., and transcriptions of some rare old county gazeteers and trade directories from the 19th century for some areas. It’s hard to encapsulate in a paragraph what this site has to offer because the scope is so vast. is a portal to three websites containing genealogical data for England, Scotland and Ireland, appropriately called BritishOrigins, Scots Origins, and
Irish Origins. The websites contain various records in databases, search services (both requiring payment), and some free data. They also provide “how to” articles and links to a variety of genealogy resources. There are some records here that you won’t find anywhere else online, in particular at British Origins. They are the exclusive provider of Society of Genealogists’ records: indexes to marriages, wills, witness depositions and apprenticeship records.

ScotlandsPeople is the official government source of genealogical data for Scotland. Available online records include Old Parish Registers, Statutory Registers, Census Records (1871-1901), and Wills. Needless to say one must pay to view the records, but the charges are quite reasonable.

British Telecom Directory Searchable phone directory for the U.K. You may find this helpful, although apparently a large number of phone subscribers in the U.K. have unlisted numbers.

The National Archives The website of the National Archives of England, Wales and the United Kingdom. The website provides access to its catalogues, enabling you to find out exactly what records they hold. They have begun the process of putting selected records online, most notably the 1901 Census of England and Wales. The census index can be searched for free, and the detailed records accessed for a small fee. They have also digitized over 800,000 wills from the period 1650-1858, at Documents Online. An offshoot of the UK National Archives website, dealing exclusively with family history. It has links to other useful record offices and archives in the U.K.

FreeBMD This volunteer project’s objective is to provide free online access to the Civil Registration Index of births, marriages and deaths for England and Wales. The FreeBMD site contains index information for the period 1837-1903. Over 100 million records have been transcribed so far – all done by volunteers. The project has expanded to include two companion websites: FreeCEN and FreeREG (census and parish registers, respectively.)  is a paid service providing online access to the original indexes of births, marriages and deaths for England, covering the period from 1837 to the present. For a modest fee you can search the indexes and view the actual index page. A good compliment to the FreeBMD website.

Yorkshire Dales Census Transcriptions This site contains census returns for many towns and villages in the Yorkshire Dales, covering the years 1841-1901. Some baptism and marriages are also online, along with local history and the author’s Spensley family genealogy.

U.S. Resources Although this is a commercial site, it does have some free databases and many useful articles and resources for the genealogist. Its content is weighted towards U.S. records, hence its inclusion here. However, they have recently begun adding U.K. records to their database, including the 1861-1901 census returns of England and Wales.

RootsWeb Described as “the oldest and largest free genealogy site”, RootsWeb has a vast amount of data that has been provided by volunteers and is therefore acessible free of charge. There are also “how to” articles, links to other websites, and mailing lists and message boards for genealogists. Although not exclusively American in scope, the emphasis is on U.S. interests. RootsWeb also hosts other genealogy websites, notably Cindi’s List and the GenWeb project.

National Archives and Records Administration The website of the U.S. National Archives has a wealth of information for genealogists and historians. If you want to know what records exist for American ancestors and how to access them, the NARA website has the answer. There are also interesting online exhibits containing digitized versions of some of America’s greatest documentary treasures, including Declaration of Independence, the police blotter listing Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, the first report of the Titanics collision with an iceberg, Rosa Parks’s arrest records, and many other items. An online searchable phone directory for the United States.

American Memory The Library of Congress has put together this fantastic website which they describe as “a gateway to rich primary source materials relating to the history and culture of the United States.” The site offers more than 5 million items including photographs, early moving pictures, documents, sheet music, etc. arranged in over 90 different collections. Searchable in a variety of ways, this vast digital library is a “must see”.

U.S. Federal Land Patents The U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management website gives access to online images of more than two million Federal land title records issued between 1820 and 1908. These records of the initial transfer of land title from the Federal government to individuals contain important information for the genealogist, including the legal land description, when the transfer occurred, and the size of the property.

U.S. Social Security Death Index The Social Security Death Index is a very useful tool if your American ancestor had a Social Security number and their death was reported to the Social Security Administration between 1962 and the present. (there are some earlier records, but the vast majority fall into this time period.) There are presently over 75 million records in the index which is searchable online using a variety of parameters. The following information is provided in the database: Social Security number, given name, surname, date of birth, date of death, last known residence, location of last benefit, and when and where the number was issued. Using the information from the index, you can write to the Social Security Administration and get a copy of your ancestor’s original Social Security application, which contains additional information.

Ellis Island Ellis Island at New York was the main port of entry into the U.S. between 1892-1924. This website offers a searchable database of over 22 million people who passed through Ellis Island and the Port of New York during this period, including those on outgoing and incoming ships. The database includes people entering the U.S. from other countries, U.S. citizens returning from abroad, and members of ships’ crews.