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Genealogy Tutoring

Need help with Ancestry Library Edition? Have questions about starting your family tree, breaking down genealogical brick walls, or want to know more about records available from FamilySearch**? Teresa, our Genealogy Tutor, is happy to meet with you for one-on-one assistance, in person (per Covid protocols) or via Zoom.

Other appointment times can be arranged on request. For more information or to book an appointment, call 604-885-3260.

Ancestor Hunters

Interested in your family history? Want to learn how to find your forbears? Whether you’re just starting out or have been working on your family tree for years, everyone is welcome to come to join our group of dedicated ancestor hunters, which meets the fourth Tuesday of each month, 10:00am-12:00pm, in the Community Room.

To register, please call 604-885-3260 or send an email to


Ancestry Library Edition provides genealogical and historical research capabilities. With more than 5 billion names in over 4,600 databases, includes census, military, court, land, and probate records; vital and church records; directories; and passenger lists. Access Ancestry Library Edition (In-library use only)

British Columbia Historical Newspapers – Discover history through the experiences of the people who were there. Check out 125+ years of digital news archives from 3 of B.C.’s oldest and most respected newspapers: The Province (1894-2010), The Times-Colonist (1884-2010), and The Vancouver Sun (1912-2010) also provides genealogical and historical research services. As a FamilySearch Affiliate Library**, the Sechelt Library gives its patrons in-library access to approximately 400 million digitized original records. To learn more about delving into these collections, make an appointment with Teresa by calling 604-885-3260 or leaving your information at the Circulation Desk

Points to the Past – Searchable primary source material: maps, photos, newspapers, manuscripts, pamphlets, portraits, sermons, poems, and more. For research, teaching and learning

**While is always free to search from home, some record collections aren’t available to be viewed because the licensing agreement terms forbid it. In many cases, however, those contracts do allow the record images to be viewed at a FamilySearch Affiliate Library, a partnership opportunity made available to public libraries, historical societies, and other institutions

Ancestry Free Index Collections

FindMyPast Free Collections

FamilySearch Collections (to sort by most recent, click twice on Last Updated)

Genealogy Toolbox

Teresa’s Genealogy & Family History Toolbox

Powerpoint Presentations

Searching the updated FamilySearch website presentation – Teresa Eckford (Sechelt Library – 28 Oct 2021) (right click and select Save Link As to download pdf)

Introduction to Family History Research presentation – Teresa Eckford (Sechelt Library – 22  Oct 2018) (right click and select Save Link As to download pdf)

Saving your Memories presentation – Teresa Eckford (right click and select Save As Link to download pdf)

Family History Month (2017) event: Trace your ancestors with Ancestry Library Edition – Teresa Eckford  (right click and select Save As Link to to download pdf)

Getting Started

FamilySearch Getting Started – A series of activities that will help you get started, or watch the YouTube video

FamilySearch Guided Research (resources by country)

How to Build A Family Tree (National Genealogical Society) – offers questions to ask to get started, and discusses several types of resources

How to Begin (Library and Archives Canada) – Step-by-step, more information than you ever realized


Further Resources
British Columbia

Sunshine Coast Museum and Archives  – The SCMA has a large collection of historical resources for the Sunshine Coast, including exhibits, oral histories, newspapers (digitized online), photographs, and a small library (available only by appointment). See the following pages on their website for local genealogy-related information: Societies and Support, Research Places, Links and Records, Cemeteries

Sechelt Community Archives – The Sechelt Community Archives, an institutional member of the Archives Association of British Columbia, opened to the public in 1997. Its collection includes fascinating photographs and documents of historical Sechelt and district, and the Sunshine Coast in general. Genealogists, history researchers, college and school students will find a wealth of information, including: biographical data; First Nations history; pioneer family histories; photographs; local newspapers (clippings and microfilm); neighbourhood histories

BC Historical Newspapers – Hosted by the University of British Columbia, this digitized collection features local newspapers, dated 1859-1995, from across BC. Access to the microfilm used to create this collection generously provided by the Royal British Columbia Museum and British Columbia Provincial Archives

British Columbia Archives Genealogy Search – Provides access to indexes, and in some cases, record images, for Births (1854-1903), Marriages (1872-1943), Deaths (1872-1998), Colonial Marriages (1859-1872), and Baptisms (1836-1888)

BC Genealogical Society – The main genealogy society for the Vancouver area. They have regular meetings in Burnaby. The website has links to their catalogue and other sites for genealogy

Genealogy resources, Chapter 7 in Stolen Land and Broken Promises – compiled and published by the Union of BC Indian Chiefs

Guide to Indigenous Ancestry – Vancouver Public Library

Métis Nation British Columbia – Apply for Citizenship

First Peoples’ Map of BC – Presented by the First Peoples’ Cultural Council, this map illustrates the languages of the first peoples of west coast of BC

British Columbia Geographical Name Information Service (BCGNIS) – to find the name of a current or historic location in BC, such as an early post office

Genealogy and Family History at Vancouver Public Library – Information about VPL’s genealogy related databases, collections, and classes

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

Historical Photograph Collections (Vancouver Public Library) – Ever-growing digital collection of historical photographs, hosted and maintained by the Vancouver Public Library

Genealogy and Family History at Surrey Public Library (Cloverdale Branch) – With one of the largest family history collections in the country, the Surrey Public Library’s Cloverdale Branch offers free-to-use in-house online databases (Ancestry Library Edition, Heritage Quest Online, FindMyPast), microfiche and microfilm readers/printers, classes, and programs

The Nauticapedia – nautical heritage site with information on Canada’s Pacific nautical history and heritage and other topics of general maritime interest curated by local author John MacFarlane. Includes biographies


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.

Ancestors Search – Library and Archives Canada collection of databases, including: birth, marriages, death; census; immigration; land titles; military. Review the “Instructions to Enumerators” which will give context to how the data was collected and for what reason.

Indigenous Genealogy – Resources from Library and Archives Canada.

Digitized and Described Indigenous Heritage Content – Library and Archives Canada

About the Archives – National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation

Access your Records – National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation

Métis Nation Citizenship information – Métis Nation

Métis Genealogy – links to a variety of resources for Métis and Indigenous genealogy

Indigenous Peoples in the First World War – profiles and research sources for World War I

Facebook for Canadian Genealogy – “Here you will find a list of Canadian genealogy and historical pages and groups on Facebook, in English and French,that may help with our research. The list also includes archival centres and museums that offer genealogical and historical resources. I encourage you to share this list with others, but please credit me, Gail Dever. Suggestions for additions to this list or broken links should be sent to:”

Canadian Historical Association Booklets – Digitized and free-to-download PDF version of booklets written by members of the Canadian Historical Association between 1953 and 2015. Of especial interest is the collection devoted to Immigration and Ethnicity

Free Birth, Marriage, Death Indexes – Canada“These searchable indexes provide specific BMD information, and often scanned images of the actual birth, marriage, and death certificates themselves. These free online collections have hundreds of millions of records in them in total.”

Second World War: Researching the Canadian Fallen: Resources – A list of resources for those researching ancestors and relatives who served during World War Two, from genealogist Ken McKinlay

Historical Atlases / Place Names

Historical Atlas of Canada – Though still being developed, this site enables users to explore the data and themes presented through interactive mapping. Map Tours help users navigate a number of these themes easily and effectively

In Search of Your Canadian Past: The Canadian County Atlas Digital Project – A searchable database of the property owners’ names which appear on the township maps in the county atlases (forty-three atlases in total). Township maps, portraits and properties have been scanned, with links from the property owners’ names in the database

Maps, Charts and Architectural Plans Collection – From Library and Archives Canada, this search guide provides access to approximately 40,000 item-level descriptions from the “old map card catalogue.” About 4,000 items from the catalogue, now in the public domain, have been digitized and may be consulted online


Family Tree Kids – from Family Tree Magazine (UK) “Working on a school project about your family history? … You’ve come to the right place! Family Tree Kids is a site where you learn how to become a “family detective” and dig up clues about your ancestry. Our games and activities are created just for kids—none of that boring grownup stuff—so you can have fun tracing your roots!”