Thursday, July 31, 2014

Canadian Resources at the Family History Library

From SLC Feb 2011

Finding the Records at the FHL

Most genealogists dream of visiting the Family History library at some point in their research.

The library is in Salt Lake City, Utah, where the headquarters of the LDS Church are located.   The church is operated by FamilySearch, the genealogical arm of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS or Mormon Church). It is the largest genealogical library in the world and is open to the general public at no charge. ‘

“The library holds genealogical records for over 110 countries, territories, and possessions. Its collections include over 1.6 million rolls of microfilmed records onsite and access the total collection of more than 2.4 million rolls of microfilmed genealogical records; 727,000 microfiche; 356,000 books, serials, and other formats; 4,500 periodicals; 3,725 electronic resources including subscriptions to the majorgenealogical websites. [source - Wikipedia]

According to a recent FamilySearch news release, the institution  has added over 90 million new online records, including 18 million digital images from 13 countries.

There are five floors at the Family History Library: the main floor where you enter, Level 2 and Level 3 above, and two more floors below the main level: Level B1 and B2.

  • The main floor features the Family History Books, rows and rows of computers, the orientation rooms and classrooms.
  • Level 2 has the US & Canada Census and microfilms
  • Level 3 contains the US/Canada Books and Maps
  • Level B1 features the International Collection including Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America/Caribbean, Pacific Islands and Scandinavia.
  • Level B2 has the British Collection which includes Australia, Channel Islands, England and Ireland, Isle of Man, New Zealand, Scotland and Wales.

There are computers on every level at ready for your next search. The library has access to many of the paid databases (alas, no Scotsland People).

Canadian Records at the FHL

From SLC Feb 2011
From SLC Feb 2011

Click on photos for larger view

The Canadian collection is extensive. There are two full book racks, filled both sides, 8 feet high, running 50 feet (?) of Canadian reference books, histories and indexes. (See pictures above.  Photos taken with permission).

Being a Canadian, researching mostly in Canada (and the UK), I was impressed with the local history books available, especially from the prairie provinces. The Saskatchewan section was every bit as large as the collections in either the Saskatchewan Archives (Regina) or at the Sask Genealogical Society. If you can’t go to source, go to the Family History library.

I found a book entitled The Ghost Towns of Saskatchewan which mentioned the little hamlet of Hatfield where I started school (in a one room school). Hatfield hasn’t been around for a long time.

Microfilm at the FHL

From SLC Feb 2011
From SLC Feb 2011

Click on Photos for larger view

The microfilm floor (level 2) is equally as impressive. Banks and banks of microfilm filing cabinets fill half the floor. Microfilm readers (and more computers) fill the rest. One is allowed to pull their own microfilms and refile them at the end of the use.

There are lots of staff and volunteers on hand to help if you aren’t familiar with using a microfilm reader.

I’ve been enjoying our visit to the Family History Library and feel it is a great resource for those researching Canadian records.

More research tomorrow!
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[Editor - All photos taken with permission.
CLICK on the photos for a larger view].



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