Getting Started

What is Genealogy?

GENEALOGY is a form of detective work. It utilizes birth, marriage and death registrations, parish registers, wills, census returns and other sources of records available in libraries, government vital statistics offices and other repositories. In this way, with some good luck and after hours of fascinating delving, you can begin to construct your family tree.

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 traveled, and other 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 aspects of your ancestors’ lives. With this material, the past – your past will begin to come to life.

Excellent Resource for Researching Genealogy

Winnipeg Public Library has developed a very helpful Guide for Genealogy with up-to-date resources from several areas.

  • Manitoba
  • Canada and U.S.
  • Indigenous peoples
  • Eastern Europe
  • Jewish
  • Western Europe

For each area they have presented the following topics:

  • Start here with Family Search “Wiki”
  • Electronic resources available at the Library
  • Useful handouts
  • Recommended websites
  • Books available at the Library

City of Winnipeg guides

How do I Start?

You can begin 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 that will help you in your later research. Also look for items such as photographs, certificates, school reports, a family Bible, etc. Most families have more of these items than they realize.

Joining the Manitoba Genealogical Society can Help

Besides collecting material from your family and searching for information you will realize that there are other people from all walks of life and of all ages who have 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 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 family history, and encouraging the preservation 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 other membership benefits.