Genealogy BannerUse our guidebooks for genealogists to learn the “how-to’s” of genealogical research. Most of these books are available for borrowing, although those in the reference collection are for in-library use only.

In the Local History Room, we have a comprehensive collection of Bradford, West Gwillimbury and Simcoe county historical documents, maps, registers and family histories. These items may be studied in the library only.

Our collection of Bradford newspapers can be viewed using the microfilm reader in the Local History Room.


We have created a helpful Library Guide to Genealogy (pdf) which provides easy access to the genealogy holdings within our collections. Subject headings can be clicked to find all materials in the online catalogue on the selected subject.

Genealogy Club

This free self-help group that provides sharing, help and information related to family history searches. Each member shares their gains & pains; family history discoveries, obstacles, challenges, and brick-walls. Get assistance with interventions, suggestions, ideas, and strategies for individuals to employ. Find out about upcoming events of interest, new resources, and web-links.

The Genealogy Club’s meetings are held on the fourth Wednesday of each month in the Boardroom from 7 – 9 p.m. There are no meetings in July, August or December..
No registration is necessary, just drop in.

Digital Collections

Access the online resource Ancestry Library from our computer lab. The 1921 Canadian Census is now available through Ancestry.

Our Online Collections in Genealogy give you access to the Toronto Star archives Pages of the Past; and the local history digital archive. Use these resources from anywhere, with your library card barcode.

The library also subscribes to Your Genealogy Today magazine (formerly known as Family Chronicle) which may be found in the first floor Reading Room.

External Links

Here are some links to useful online history sources:

The Ontario Geneaological Society (OGS) supports the work of researchers interested in family history. Their site offers a calendar of OGS branch meetings, an active blog, and message boards.

Online County Atlases provided by McGill University – Professional genealogists have recognized the importance of these atlases for many years. McGill’s Rare Books and Special Collections Division is fortunate in owning copies of many out of print atlases. The County Atlas Digital Project has completed the ontario map, totalling 43 atlases. At this site you will find a searchable database of the property owners’ names which appear on the township maps in the county atlases. Township maps, portraits and scanned properties are also accessible from this website.

Library and Archives Canada

The Genealogy Link provides information on how to obtain different genealogical sources, ie birth or immigration certificates. It also contains the 1871 census, which lists the name of the heads of household, their age, county or province of birth, occupation, ethnic origin, and religious domination. Other members of the household with a different last name are also listed. At the library, we have a copy of the census that lists all the occupants.