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Local History and Genealogy


The local history and genealogy collection of the Owen Sound & North Grey Union Public Library and the research collection of the Bruce-Grey Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society (BGOGS) are housed in the Ioleen A. Hawken Memorial Local History Collection. The collection is located in the Local History and Genealogy Room on the west side of level 4 (Carnegie Room).

While most works in the collection deal with Grey and Bruce counties, other locations which have historical or genealogical relevance to this area are also represented. There are also some guides to doing research in other areas.

In addition, the circulating collection also includes some handbooks on how to do genealogical research and township and county histories. The reference collection also contains some useful genealogical resources.

The library staff are unable to research genealogical or historical questions.

You are welcome to visit the library and undertake your own research.

No appointments. First come, first served for equipment. There is a coin-operated self-service photocopier and a microfilm/microfiche reader/ printer available.

Ask the reference librarian to show you the appropriate resources available in this library. Check our library hours before coming to do research. No reference service available Friday evening and Sunday afternoon.

Genealogy and Local History Resources

Ancestry Library Edition provides access to information of interest to family history researchers. Coverage includes Canada, United States, the UK and more from over 4,000 collections.


  • Belden historical atlases (reprinted) for most of Ontario

Books by and about Local People Cemetery Records

Transcriptions of cemeteries for Bruce & Grey counties prepared by BGOGS volunteers:

  • Microfilmed records (up to 1990) for Greenwood Cemetery, Owen Sound, and St. Mary's Cemetery, Owen Sound


  • 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901, and 1911 for Bruce and Grey Counties plus a few other localities (microfilm)
  • 1861 index all names for some Grey County townships (BGOGS)
  • 1871 index all names for all of Grey County and Bruce County (BGOGS)
  • 1901 index all names for all of Grey County and Bruce County (BGOGS)


  • Owen Sound city directories
  • Gazetteers and directories for counties of Ontario, 1863-1870 (microfilmed)
  • Farmers' and business directory for the counties of Ontario 1853- (microfilmed)
  • Telephone directories (microfilm 1879-1979); print 1966 to present
  • Ontario directories for 1851, 1857 1870-1871 & 1903-1904
  • The mercantile agency reference book containing ratings of the merchants, manufacturers and traders generally throughout the Dominion of Canada ... (1883)


  • Family histories of families with Bruce or Grey County connections
  • St. Vincent and Meaford first families (Harding Collection)

Guides for Research

  • Warrilow, Tracing your Ancestors in Bruce & Grey
  • McFall, Land Records in Ontario Registry Offices
  • Merriman, Genealogy in Ontario : Searching the Records
  • Ronnow, Inventory of Cemeteries in Ontario
  • The Library guide to the LDS Family History
  • Baxter, In Search of your Roots

Land Records

  • Ontario Archives Land Record Index (on microfiche)

Local History

  • Histories of Grey and Bruce counties and township histories
  • Tweedsmuir histories of Grey and Bruce (microfilm)


  • (on Microfilm)Owen Sound newspapers (various names: 1851 - incomplete runs)
  • Wiarton newspapers (various names: 1870-1930 - incomplete runs)
  • Hanover Post 1897-1931
  • Paisley Advocate 1856-1951 incomplete runs 
  • Queen's Bush Quill June 1974-October 1975 
  • Owen Sound Herald 1951-1971 
  • Trilogy October 21, 1974-July 14, 1976

Periodicals [In storage, request retrieval by Public Services Staff]

  • Ontario Historical Society, Ontario History
  • Ontario Genealogical Society, Newsleaf
  • Ontario Genealogical Society, Families
  • Newsletters from genealogical groups in Canada and United States
  • Bruce County Historical Society Newsletter
  • Grey County Historical Society Newsletter
  • Owen Sound Historical Society Newsletter

Vertical Files

  • Newspaper clippings from Owen Sound & area newspapers about places, people and events

Vital Records

  • County Marriage Registers (mainly 1858-1869) on microfilm for Bruce and Grey counties and several other localities
  • Indexes to County Marriage Registers 1858-1869 (for most counties in Ontario) 
  • Reid, Death Notices of Ontario

Search our catalogue to find other Local History and Genealogical Resources

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