Local History Books
One of the very best sources of family history is found in local history books.
Living near Edmonton, Alberta, I have good access to the Provincial Archives of Alberta. They have a huge number of local history books for Alberta. I have been thrilled to find the stories of many of my relatives there. I have purchased a few local history books myself, I and recently donated my copies of the Breton and Carnwood area history books to the PAA.
Online, the free Canadian OurRoots/NosRacines project has many local history books digitized for all of Canada. These can be found at http://ourroots.ca/ You can print or download and save copies of the most interesting pages.
Manitobia.ca which seems to have most of the local history books for Manitoba. Since my father's family were pioneer settlers in the areas of Neepawa and Riding Mountain, there are wonderful stories about them and their kin. I have spent the last 3 days enjoying their stories.
I found myself constantly looking up births, marriages and deaths on the free Manitoba Vital Statistics database http://vitalstats.gov.mb.ca/Query.php The two sites work beautifully together.
And I would sometimes look the families up in the census records to verify what I was finding.
Did I have fun? Certainly. A few weeks ago I listened to a talk called "It's All About the Dash" i.e. What happened between the individual's birth and death dates? Local histories can often answer that question.