Where do I find . . . ?

Vital Records

Vital records started being recorded by provincial law in 1869.  Records are available to the public within the date ranges given below; they can be ordered on microfilm through inter-library loan from the Archives of Ontario, or searched online through FamilySearch.org or Ancestry.com (the latter requires a subscription or library access).

Record TypeArchives of OntarioFamilySearchAncestry.com
Marriageca. 1801-1869
1869-1927ca. 1801-1928
1939-1946 (overseas deaths)
1939-1947 (overseas deaths)

After these dates, you must be the subject of the record or next-of-kin, and can order through ServiceOntario.

Land Records

For information about researching land records in Ontario, see this PDF document from the Archives of Ontario.

The branch has an index of Land Registry transactions  on microfiche, arranged both by surname and by township.  These can be viewed at Brodie Resource Library during regular library hours.  Once you find a transaction you are interested in, the records can be ordered from the Land Registry Office.

If you are researching the history of a property, consider a trip to the City Archives, which welcomes visitors.

Burial Records

The branch has a comprehensive database of burials in the Thunder Bay area.  Many indexes and transcriptions are available in our collection of cemetery records at the Brodie Resource Libarary.

The Canadian Grave Marker Gallery, part of rootsweb, hosts photographs of cemeteries in the Thunder Bay District.  These have been made available by the tireless volunteer work of our cemetery coordinator John Coolen and his assistants.

Family Histories and Personal Papers

Our branch has a number of family histories in our collection at Brodie Resource Library.

The Thunder Bay Museum archives also has a collection of personal papers from current and historical residents.  Their collection is indexed online here, and an appointment is preferred if you find something you are interested in.

Local newspapers

The Thunder Bay Public Library has an excellent newspaper collection dating back to 1875 at Brodie Resource Library.  These newspapers are on microfilm.  There are readers with printing and saving capabilities in the reference room.

The library also has indexes that can be consulted on its website, including:

  • Fort William Newspaper, local news (1933-1970)
  • BMD indexes from Port Arthur and Fort William newspapers (1875-2013)
  • Social news indexes (1914-1961; 2000-2014)


Brodie Resource Library has the Henderson City Directories from 1884-2004 on microfilm.