Taking the time to Browse Part 1: Family Search

Indexed collections on various websites can take you many generations back in a relatively short period of time. In our excitement, we can sometimes forget about \”hidden\” collections. There\’s a whole host of record sets that haven\’t been indexed. If you stick to name searches, you\’re never going to get hits from these collections. They can take awhile to find what you want. You may have to slog through quite a few images to strike gold. Anyone who\’s searched through reels of microfilm at your local Archive can tell you it can be a long and tedious process. But what if the one nugget of information you find beaks down a brick wall? All that eyestrain will be worth it.

For the next few posts, I\’m going to highlight ones for Canada from sites such as Family Search, Ancestry, and a few other smaller sites. This week I\’ll be discussing Family Search.

There are 99 uniquely Canadian Collections on Family Search\’s website. Here\’s the thing though: Only 80 of them are indexed. That means there\’s 19 collections that you won\’t see results from in a name search! That\’s a lot of information you could be missing. Here\’s how to find them:

On the Search screen, you\’re going to click on Canada on the Research by Location on the right.


If you are looking at records from a certain province, then click on that province. Or you can just click Canada to get all the records.

The next screen will give you a name search section, but scroll down the page to the section Image-Only Historical Collections.


They have 18 BMD collections, 1 Census, 1 Military, 12 Probate and Court, and 2 Miscellaneous collections that are not indexed. Here\’s the complete list. Click on the collection, then the Learn More link to get detailed information on each one.
Probate and Estate files. Images count: 783,176
Naturalization documents from Victoria and Cranbrook Counties. Image count: 23,240
Wills and indexes from across BC. Image count: 127,172
Records of land granted or bought from the provincial government and from the Hudson\’s Bay Company. Image Count: 4,567
A larger collection continuing on from the one above. Image count: 540,745 
Land purchases of land not surveyed. Image count: 2,408 
Indexes and Land Records for the Railway Belt and Peace River Block. Image count: 286,123
Records from ports in British Columbia, Newfoundland, and Nova Scotia, as well as a few foreign ports. Image count: 23,381.
Taken from RCMP periodicals, newsletters and books. Image count: 9,476
Indexes of information from HBC records and the Manitoba 1870 Census. Image count: 30,729
Baptisms, marriages and burials from around Manitoba. Image count: 6,567
One of 3 collections of death registrations for the province. Image count: 76,812
Continuation of the above collection. Image count: 16,806
Books of transcriptions submitted from the churches to the Province. Image count: 7,459
Marriage registrations from around the Province. Image Count: 119,291
Early records of marriages. Image count: 141,775
Indexes and Registers. A work in progress. Image count to date: 792,235
Registers from around the province. Image count: 3,754
The third of the death registrations collection for the Province. Image count: 80,741
Baptisms, marriages, and burials from around the Province. Image count: 6,071
Indexes and registrations from around the Province. Image count: 35,026
Parish registers from around the Province. Image count: 16,188
Provincial death registrations. Image count: 27,717
Provincial marriage registrations. Image count: 21,950
Probate files. Image count: 1,395,009
Images of the Index books for Halifax County. Image count: 23,008
Genealogy notes of families from the Queen\’s County area. Image count: 30,314
Covers several parishes around the Province. Image count: 126,354
Baptism, marriages and burials from around the Province. Image count: 22,448
Indexes to the records submitted by the churches to the Province. Image count: 1,300,530
A work in progress. Image count to date: 4,956,093
Coverage varies by parish. Image count: 278,512
Indexes and records. A work in progress. Image count to date: 310,188
A hodge podge of land, voter, biographical, and municipal records. A work in progress. Image count to date: 1,506,449
Indexes, Docket Books and files from the Supreme Court and King\’s Bench. A work in progress. Image count to date: 203,047
As you can see from the image counts, there are several MILLION images not yet indexed. Think of all the information you could be missing by not looking at these. And, as Family Search starts digitizes more and more records, this list will only grow.

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