Genealogy search help tips
For an overview of the resources available in the Family History
database, please consult the Family History/Genealogy intro
. For information on how to use the database, see
- Enter your search term into one of the search
boxes, or Browse the A-Z Index for Names or
Places to link to specific fields from which to select,
and then click the Submit button. The first search
box will search all the indexed fields - you can refine your search
by using the other boxes instead.
- Records that meet your criteria are displayed as a report.
- Clicking on the displayed search results leads to more detailed
information about these names.
Searching with names or other
- Type the name, place, keyword or phrase you want to find. The
Name search will automatically truncate names by adding an asterisk
to them, so that a search for Rubin will return
records with the names Rubinof, Rubinoff, Rubinov
- Use the symbols & / ! between words or
phrases to represent Boolean AND, OR, NOT. Include
a space before and after the symbol.
Searching for an exact name or
- To search for an exact name, enclose it in quote marks.
- To search for a phrase that is alone in its field, precede it
with an equal sign (=). For example, =Somme,
France finds only that complete term; it does not
find just "Somme" or just "France" or that phrase embedded in other
Emailing, saving, printing or
requesting items from a list
Once you have successfully found relevant records, you can
perform several actions to work with those records:
- Use your browser controls for standard computer functions like
- Use the Share button and its options to share
the record(s) or images in your e-mail or on social networking
- Click the Select button on as many records as
you wish. Once the records are selected, you can view those
selections by clicking on View Genealogy
Selections at the top of the search results screen or in
the sidebar under Family History/ Genealogy.
- From the Selection list, you can choose to view the full or
brief report of your records in order to save it
to a location of your choice, e-mail or
print the reports, or submit a
request for more information* about these records.
* Please note that, with the exception of the JIAS case records,
all the information available about the people listed in these
family history records is shown here. However, because the JIAS
records are restricted, you must contact CJCCCNA to request
permission to access further information about these names.
Fee structure for copying requests
Please see our pricing information page for
Troubleshooting and FAQ
If you are having trouble with a search, some of the most common
problems and potential solutions are listed below.
I got the message "Unable to recognize as a correctly formed
The program cannot understand the search criteria. Possible
- Typographical errors
- Mismatched quotes or parentheses (e.g. typing
Israel" instead of "Israel")
- Extra Boolean search symbols (e.g. typing labour /
maternity / instead of labour / maternity
- Missing quotation marks around symbols that can be
misinterpreted. For example, search for
If none of these apply, try a simple one-word search. To remedy
difficulties you may also consider using one of the A-Z
Browse Indexes. If this does not work either, please contact us.
I found too many records.
Click the Revise Search link to return to the
search screen with your search terms visible, and then try one of
the following changes to find fewer results.
- If you used an asterisk, omit it and try an exact term
or phrase search instead. For example, search for
=internee camp instead of
intern*. (Note that in many fields the stemming of
search terms with the asterisk is automatic.)
- Try using a Boolean symbol (& / !) between words to
construct more precise queries. For example, to find articles about
musicians, not theatre, search for fiddler !
- If you are searching for a date, do not use a forward slash
between date components (for example, search for 12-12-98) or
surround the date with quotation marks ("12/12/98").
I did not find any records.
Click the Revise Search link to return to the search screen with
your search terms visible, then try one of the following
- Examine the contents of the search form (especially if it is
longer than the screen) to verify that you do not have query
criteria left over from a previous search.
- If you are not sure of the spelling, use an asterisk after the
first few characters (for example, labo*) or
separate several possible spellings with a forward slash (for
example, search for labor / labour). (Note that
many fields have the asterisk automatically appended to all search
- If you did a complex search, try simplifying it to eliminate
confusion. If the search form has Browse Index links, use them to
view and paste items to search for.
- If you are searching for a URL, try typing it all in lower
- If you are trying to find records that contain multiple words
anywhere in the record, separate the words with Boolean symbols
(& / !). Otherwise, you are doing a phrase search, which finds
these words in that order.
- If your search includes Boolean symbols (/ & !) or range
searches (:), put spaces around the symbols.
- Do not use words (and, or, not) for Boolean operators. You must
use the Boolean symbols (& / !).
- Try using / instead of & between words. Using / means
either word can be present (henry / hirsch finds Henry or Hirsch).
Using & means both words must be present (henry & hirsch
will not find just "Henry" or just "Hirsch").
When I try to display records or change forms, I get the
message, "Your current query has expired. Perform the search
The query set file that stored your search results has expired,
so you will have to do your search again. If this message occurs
frequently, please contact
What is a fonds? A series? A subseries?
- A "fonds" is an archival term that refers to a collection of
material created by a person or institution. A "collection"
is literally a collection of material not necessarily brought
together by a single person or institution. Both terms are
used in Canadian archives.
- Series and/or subseries help to organize archival fonds or
collections in a meaningful way so that specific subject matter or
types of material (e.g. photographs) can be found easily. A
single fonds or collection can be made up of several series and
Can I download digital copies of the records I found?
Most of the records associated with the genealogy database
include all the information we have on this subject, either
provided as a printable digital image, or written out as text. You
can print the images from the Full Record view by following the
"view full size image for printing" link.
In the case of the Jewish Immigrant Aid Services (JIAS) records,
for privacy protection reasons only the names and a few other
details appear online. For these records you will have to contact
the CJCCCNA directly to discuss how we can help you access this