Getting Started

What is Genealogy?

GENEALOGY is a form of detective work. It utilizes indexes of birth, marriage and death registrations, parish registers, wills, census returns and many other sources of record available in libraries, government vital statistics offices and other repositories. In this way, with some good luck and after hours of fascinating delving, you may be able to construct your family tree reaching back perhaps four or more centuries.

What is Family History?

FAMILY HISTORY, however, is more than this. Family Historians want to know about the places their ancestors lived in; their occupations and interests; what they ate and wore; why and how they travelled, and many more aspects of their lives. The records (which throw light on these things, when you know where to find them and how to use them) are rich in information about all these aspects of your ancestors’ lives. With this material, the past – your past – our country’s past – will begin to come to life.

Excellent Resource for Manitoba Genealogy

Winnipeg Public Library has developed a very helpful Guide for Genealogy with up-to-date resources in Manitoba. Check out this link.

How do I Start?

The usual way to begin is by collecting as much information as you can by speaking to your relatives, particularly the older ones, and recording their reminiscences and anecdotes. This is an important and urgent task which will help you in your research later, and save much time and effort. Look, too, for a family bible, photographs, certificates, school reports and other similar documents. Most families have more of these things around than we realize. It is crucial to find them and make sure they are not thrown out as useless clutter.

Joining the Manitoba Genealogical Society can Help

You will not get very far with collecting material from your family and searching for more information to fill the gaps before you realize that there are many other people from all walks of life and of all ages who have the same or similar interests to your own. One of the reasons why Genealogical Societies exist is to help such people get together in order to share their experiences and help each other with their problems. There are many such groups spread across Canada and indeed in many parts of the world.

The Manitoba Genealogical Society Inc. was founded in 1976. Its aims include promoting the study of genealogy and history, and encouraging the preservation and transcription of relevant documents and records.

How do I join the Manitoba Genealogical Society Inc.?

Please check out our Membership page. Full details are available there, including Benefits, a Membership Application Form and costs.

User Fees: Do I have to be a member of the MGS to use the Resource Centre?

No – we have a daily user fee of $10.00 ($5.00 on Wednesday evenings). Non-members can use all the resources in the centre and receive assistance from MGS volunteers.

Student Fees: Do I have to pay a fee if I am a student?

No – we waive all fees for students up to high school who are working on school assignments and projects. They should have a student card for proof. They may use materials in the Resource Centre but do not have any individual membership benefits.