Genealogy & Family History

Visit the Library to use our Ancestry Library Edition, and supplement your research with these resources and services for genealogists and family historians.

Library Databases

Ancestry Library Edition

Your first stop for all your genealogy searches. This is a made-for-libraries version of the popular database.

Access Information: Temporarily available offsite for West Vancouver residents only.


The new super-site for the genealogy services from the LDS (Mormon) church. Massive digitization projects are underway as their extensive microfilm collection is digitized.

Sometimes when you are looking at records at you'll see an image labelled: This used to  mean that you needed to visit a Family History Centre to view the image. Now you can come West Vancouver Memorial Library and use any of our public computers to view the image. You will be able to save the image on a USB stick or email it to yourself. Note that some digital images may still have privacy, copyright, contractual, or other restrictions which limit access even at the library.

New to FamilySearch? View a tutorial.

On the Shelf


Come in to view birth, marriage and death registrations as well as the following historical newspapers on microfilm: Citizen, Express, Lions Gate Times, North Shore Press, North Shore Press Review, North Shore Review, North Shore Times, North Vancouver District News, Sunday News, Times, and West Vancouver News.

We also have microfilm of the North Shore News (1976 onwards), Province (1960-1988), and Vancouver Sun (1971 onwards).

On the Web

BC Archives - Vital Events Registration Records

Electronic index to BC's historical birth, death and marriage registration records. Birth records are available 120 years after date of birth, marriage records 75 years after date of marriage, and death records 20 years after date of death. Many of the records now have the image file linked at the index level. Microfilm copies can be viewed at the Library. 

BC City Directories – Vancouver Public Library

Covering the period 1860-1955, this is an excellent resource for anyone researching their ancestors, the history of a home or business, or just wanting a sense of what British Columbia communities were like in the early years.

BC Genealogical Society

The main genealogy society for the Vancouver area. They have regular meetings in Burnaby and run the excellent Walter Draycott Library in Surrey. Website has links to their catalogue and other sites for genealogy.

Canadiana Discovery Portal

Search the digital collections of libraries, archives and museums from across Canada, as well as access 60 million pages of Canadian digital documentary heritage. 

Cyndi’s List

A comprehensive categorized and cross-referenced index to genealogical resources on the internet. A good starting point for genealogy research by topic. Many, many links.

Library and Archives Canada - Genealogy and Family History

A gateway to Canada's genealogical resources provided by Library and Archives Canada. It offers genealogical content, advice, services and research tools.

The purpose of this site is to connect people so they can help each other and share genealogical research. It includes many user contributed records and databases as well as messageboards. Supported by

Vancouver Public Library's Genealogy Page

VPL has a comprehensive genealogy and family history subject guide with helpful links to material in their own collection as well as links and ideas for searching elsewhere.