British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa
British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa

New to Genealogy Research Guide

A list of books and other resources to help with your research.
I’m new to genealogy! Where do I start? 
To find an ancestor, genealogist John Colletta says you need three basic facts:
  1. Full original name
  2. Approximate date of birth 
  3. Town of birth 
Start with yourself and your family
Conducting an Oral History Interview. Celia Hitch & Jay Norris. Ontario Historical Society, 1988.

Making Contact with Relatives. Peter C. Amsden. Federation of Family History Societies, 1999.
Sources for Family History in the Home. Iain Swinnerton. Federation of Family History Societies, 1995.
Organizing the information you have gathered using computers for genealogy. David Hawgood. Federation of Family History Societies, 1998.
Keeping Your Family Records. Iain Swinnerton. Federation of Family History Societies, 1999.
Consult a genealogy handbook
The Genesis of Your Genealogy: Step-by-step Instruction for the Beginner in Family History. Elizabeth L. Nichols. Family History Educators, 1992.

Genealogical Jargon for Family Historians. Stuart A. Raymond. Federation of Family History Societies, 2005.
In Search of Your Canadian Roots: Tracing Your Family Tree in Canada. Angus Baxter. McClelland & Stewart, 1999.
Genealogy in Ontario: Searching the Records. Brenda Dougall Merriman. Ontario Genealogical Society, 1996.
British Isles
In Search of your British & Irish roots: a Complete Guide to Tracing Your English, Welsh, Scottish & Irish Ancestors. Angus Baxter. McClelland & Stewart, 2000.

Your English Ancestry: a Guide for North Americans. Sherry Irvine. Ancestry, 1998.

The Family Tree Detective: Tracing your Ancestors in England and Wales. Colin Rogers. Manchester University Press, 1997.
Welsh Family History: a Guide to Research. Edited by John & Sheila Rowlands. Federation of Family History Societies, 1998.
Scottish Roots: the Step by Step Guide to Tracing Your Scottish Ancestors. Alwyn James. Luath Press, 2002.

Basic Irish Genealogical Sources: description and evaluation. Irish Research Group. Ontario Genealogical Society, Ottawa Branch, 1993.
Tracing Your Irish Ancestors. John Grenham. Genealogical Publishing, 1992.
Tracing Your Irish roots. Christine Kinealy. Appletree Press, 1999.

How to Trace Family History in Northern Ireland. Kathleen Neill. Irish Heritage Association, 1993.
Learning about your ancestor’s birthplace
Survey Gazetteer of the British Isles: Including Summary of the 1951 Census. John Bartholomew. John Bartholomew & Son, n. d.
The Making of Scotland: a Comprehensive Guide to the Growth of its Cities, Towns and Villages. Robin Smith. Canongate, 2001.
A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 2 volumes. Samuel Lewis. S. Lewis & Co., 1837.

The British Census and Civil Registration
An Introduction to British Civil Registration, 2nd edition. Tom Wood. Federation of Family History Societies, 2000.
A Clearer View of the Census: Victorian Censuses and Historical Research. Edward Higgs. HMSO, 1996. (Public Record Handbooks, no. 28)
Using a computer and the Internet
FamilySearch on the Internet. David Hawgood. Federation of Family History Societies, 1999.

Finding Genealogy on the Internet. Peter Christian. David Hawgood, 1998.
This research aid was compiled from the collection in BIFHSGO’s former library. In 2016, we transferred our collection to the Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society. More than 20 years of issues of our journal, Anglo-Celtic Roots, can be found on our website. Please respect copyright restrictions and cite your sources.