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Local History : Resources at LCA

What is microfilm?

Microfilm reels consist of very small photographs of records. Reels of film take up much less space than original records and also allow researchers to have access to information not in our collection.

Research Tip: Newspapers!

Newspapers are a valuable resource when conducting genealogical and local history research. Articles and announcements in newspapers are often the only surviving historical record of an event. The information they contain is directly from the past and can be extremely useful when conducting historical research.

Resources at LCA

Family Files

We have thousands of files organized by family surname in our collection. Files may contain family trees, family group sheets, letters, wills, newspaper clippings, and letters. The content varies by family since the records come from donations. Contact us to see if we have a file on your family and be sure to ask if there is also a photograph file on your family!

Local Newspaper Collection

We actively collect newspapers from Lambton County. Most are accessible on microfilm in our reading room and the most recent issues are in paper form in our storage vault. Highlights from this collection include the Sarnia Observer (1853-present), the Petrolia Topic (1874-present), and the Forest Standard (1894-present.) We have dozens of other local newspapers from across the county containing birth, marriage, and death announcements, and local history headlines, and some indexes for certain newspapers to increase findability.

Land Records

In our collection we have land records for Lambton County. Land records document the owner of a particular piece of land and can be useful when tracking ancestors or understanding how a neighbourhood was formed. In our collection we have the Ontario Land Records Index on microfiche, land abstracts which are indexes for transactions registered for a property (1830s-1950s) and many of the corresponding land instruments which are the original deeds, mortgages, and wills (1850s-1950s.)

(See this blog post for more information on researching land records.)

Women's Institutes' Tweedsmuir Books

The Federated Women's Institutes of Ontario (FWIO) has had many branches in Lambton County. This organization, originally created to improve women’s skills in the art of homemaking and childcare, started actively recording their local community's history in Tweedsmuir Books in 1940 after Lady Tweedsmuir (wife of the Governor General) encouraged more effort to collect and preserve local history. The content in these local history scrapbooks vary by branch and the curator who created them, but all are great snapshots into a community's past.

In our collection at the LCA, we have many of the original "Tweedsmuirs" for Lambton and Kent County FWIO branches as well as microfilm reel copies of the books in other archives. Contact us to see if we have a Tweedsmuir for the community you are researching.