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Books by Dave Obee

Dave has been writing books on genealogy and local history for 15 years. His 2011 book, The Library Book, was judged to be one of the top history books in British Columbia that year.

His books are available directly, or through other organizations. Four are available on this site as free downloads.

Available from Dave:

  • Contact Dave by if you are interested in ordering these books.


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    Counting Canada
    A Genealogical Guide to the Canadian Census, by Dave Obee. This 224-page book is the most comprehensive guide available for researchers using the Canadian census. It covers the history of the census, offers advice for effective research and notes the potential pitfalls. This could be the most important book on Canadian genealogy this year. It includes ten maps, 100 illustrations, plenty of Internet links and a comprehensive bibliography. C$30.00

    Destination Canada
    A Genealogical Guide to Immigration Records, by Dave Obee. This 160-page book is the most comprehensive guide ever written about resources for Canadian immigration research. It covers passenger lists and many other sources, including naturalization records and newspapers. It includes six maps, 60 illustrations, more than 100 Internet links, and a comprehensive bibliography. C$30.00

    British Columbia 1871:
    A List of Residents Based on the Work of Edward Mallandaine

    Compiled by Dave Obee. This is a 115-page index to residents of B.C. as recorded in the first half of 1871 -- just before it became a province. This information was gathered at the same time that a census was being taken in other parts of Canada, so it complements that resource. British Columbia 1871 is based on a directory put together by Edward Mallandaine, a Victoria architect. It puts all of the names from the directory into two lists -- Greater Victoria and everything else. There are also maps to make it easier to find the locations mentioned, as well as a bonus -- a list of undelivered letters at the post offices in New Westminster and Victoria. This will be an essential aid for research in the early days of British Columbia. C$15.00

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    Royal Oak Burial Park
    A History and Guide. This is the second edition of a comprehensive look at the largest municipal cemetery in British Columbia. It includes a history of the Victoria cemetery as well as section-by-section biographies of about 400 people buried there. All burial locations included in the bio section are identified with GPS co-ordinates. C$15.00

    Western Canadian Directories on Microfiche and Microfilm
    Third edition. Expanded and updated -- twice the size of the second edition. This guide lists local directories that have been reproduced in microform, and lets researchers know what to look for. It includes entries for directories covering Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, and the Yukon between 1860 and 1995. Directories are an invaluable resource for the years between censuses, as well as for the later years, where census records are not available, and this guide will help you find them. Regular Price C$9.95 SALE C$5.00

  • Contact Dave by if you are interested in ordering the books listed above.

    Available elsewhere:

    Fifty! With a Fabulous Future: A History of the North Vancouver District Public Library
    A history of the largest public library on the North Shore, tracing its beginnings from the provincial government's library service of a century ago, through the years when volunteers brought books to the community, to today's modern system.This book has been honoured with a Heritage Advocate award. The book was launched at the library on December 6, 2014; the honour came at a council meeting on February 22, 2016. Available from the North Vancouver District Public Library. Copies of the book are available at the Lynn Valley Main Library as well as the Capilano and Parkgate libraries.
    C$30.00

    The Library Book
    A History of Service to British Columbia. This is the definitive history of libraries in British Columbia, and is published to mark the 100th anniversary of the B.C. Library Association. The 264-page book includes the highs and lows of library service, from the fur trade and Andrew Carnegie to Vancouver's remarkable central library and ebooks. It is richly illustrated with 300 photographs. Available from the British Columbia Library Association. C$50.00

    Finding Your Canadian Ancestors: A Beginner's Guide
    Written with Sherry Irvine. Canada's size and diversity also influence its records, which are similarly varied and at times complex. Finding Your Canadian Ancestors guides you through Canadian genealogical records, first by record type and then according to province. The authors detail both government and ecclesiastical records as well as records related to special groups such as Aboriginals, Acadians, and Loyalists. They give special attention to online resources, including the extensive holdings of Library and Archives Canada. Available from Amazon.

    Making the News
    A Times Colonist look at 150 Years of History. This comprehensive history of Victoria and Vancouver Island is based on material published in the Times Colonist and its predecessor newspapers since 1858. It is lavishly illustrated with photos from the newspaper files and local archives. OUT OF PRINT

    Free downloads:

    Back to the Land: A Genealogical Guide to Finding Farms on the Canadian Prairies
    Second edition. This is a vital reference for researchers working on the Canadian Prairies. It includes a basic summary of how to read land descriptions, as determined by the Dominion Land Survey. There are also maps of the three Prairie provinces showing townships and ranges as well as -- new in this edition -- the boundaries of the electoral districts used in the 1901 census. Other maps have been enhanced to offer more information and better clarity. The second edition offers more information on finding land information, and how to use it once you have it. There is also an index of townships, giving the matching sub-district in the 1901 census, and the census microfilm number. Also new in this edition is a coil binding, to make it easier to use the book.
    FREE DOWNLOAD of Back to the Land -- PDF format, requires Acrobat Reader

    Federal Voters Lists in Ontario 1935-1979
    By Dave Obee. This is the first comprehensive guide to using Ontario's federal voters lists in family history research. The book explains what the lists were for, how they were compiled, and how they can be used. The lists are available on microfilm from the National Archives of Canada. The book has samples of what researchers will find, as well as a 33-page guide to the numbers for all of the federal constituencies in Ontario. Federal Voters Lists in Ontario 1935-1979 will make it possible to get the maximum benefit from this underused resource. Coil binding.
    FREE DOWNLOAD of Federal Voters Lists in Ontario 1935-1979 -- PDF format, requires Acrobat Reader

    Federal Voters Lists in Western Canada 1935-1979
    This is the first comprehensive guide to using federal voters lists in family history research. Dave explains what the lists were for, how they were compiled, and how they can be used. There are samples of what researchers will find, as well as a 30-page guide to the microfilm numbers for all of the federal constituencies in the four western provinces as well as the territories. Federal Voters Lists will make it possible to get the maximum benefit from this underused resource. Coil binding.
    FREE DOWNLOAD of Federal Voters Lists in Western Canada 1935-1979 -- PDF format, requires Acrobat Reader

    Lethbridge 1891: A settlement becomes a town
    Published 1999. Lethbridge 1891 includes a day-by-day account of life in Lethbridge in that year, as well as a census index and three other sources of names: a list of school students, a list of people who contributed to relief after the Springhill mine disaster, and a transcript from Henderson's Directory. There are also samples of the ads that appeared in the Lethbridge News.
    FREE DOWNLOAD of Lethbridge 1891 -- PDF format, requires Acrobat Reader


    Dave's books by the year:

    2016 -- Royal Oak Burial Park: A History and Guide, second edition

    2014 -- Fifty! With a Fabulous Future: A History of the North Vancouver District Public Library

    2012 -- Counting Canada: A Genealogical Guide to the Canadian Census

    2011 -- The Library Book: A History of Service to British Columbia

    2010 -- Destination Canada: A Genealogical Guide to Immigration Records

    2008 -- Making the News: A Times Colonist Guide to 150 years of History
    2008 -- Royal Oak Burial Park: A History and Guide

    2007 -- Finding Your Canadian Ancestors: A Beginner's Guide (with Sherry Irvine)

    2005 -- British Columbia 1871: A List of Residents Based on the Work of Edward Mallaindaine

    2004 -- Destination Canada: A Guide to 20th Century Immigration Records, second edition
    2004 -- Federal Voters Lists in Ontario 1935-1979

    2003 -- Back to the Land: A Genealogical Guide to Finding Farms on the Canadian Prairies, second edition
    2003 -- Western Canadian Directories on Microfiche and Microfilm, third edition
    2003 -- Federal Voters Lists in Western Canada 1935-1979

    2001 -- Western Canadian Directories on Microfiche and Microfilm, second edition
    2001 -- Back to the Land: A Genealogical Guide to Finding Farms on the Canadian Prairies
    2001 -- Destination Canada: A Guide to 20th Century Immigration Records

    1999 -- Western Canadian Directories on Microfiche and Microfilm
    1999 -- Naturalization and Citizenship Indexes in the Canada Gazette 1915-1951
    1999 -- Lethbridge 1891: A Settlement Becomes a Town


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