Genealogy is one of the fastest growing past times in North America these days! With the addition of many resources online and available around the World, it makes the study of our ancestors and enjoyable way to spend time. Once you start, you will get very excited with each piece of information you find that gives you an insight into your ancestors lives.
But where do you start? These are just a few tips to get you off on the right foot when starting off in genealogy and when looking for your ancestors in Ontario:
The OGS has the following pair of books by Dr. Fraser Dunford: The Beginner’s Guide to Genealogy and The Beginner’s Guide to Ontario Genealogy. Also, Brenda Dougall Merriman’s Genealogy in Ontario: Searching the Records gives details about the sources a family historian seeks.
The OGS website has tons of information online – you should feel free to search and utilize all that it has to offer. Specifically – the TONI index, Canadian Genealogist back issues, Families Journal back issues, the online library, the databases, the branch sites, other resources and the page on How to Research and Write your Family History.
There are also several very good genealogy websites and blogs that you can peruse and sign up for newsletters. A few of the websites have source information online for you to view for free. They will also often have links to other happenings in the genealogy community – like conferences and webinars.
If you wish to educate yourself by taking a specific course or obtaining a certificate, you can take courses online through the National Institute of Genealogy studies based out of the University of Toronto.
The OGS also runs a webinar series over the course of the year and as a member, you can sign up for these courses for free. Sit in the comfort of your home and listen to the experts talk about a variety of topics.
Before you jump in, its best to start with what you know and to systematically record what you find out. Having a research plan, with questions that you would like to answer, can help you use your time wisely and efficiently. Check out the section “How to Research and Write your Family History” for more information.