Tuesday, December 28, 1999

A lot of family member's have told me that my great grandfather changed his name to Freeman. When questioned to ask what his name use to be my response is either he was just French or La something. What I want to know how could I find out what his name use to be?

[From Forebears Research] - If you can go back into a couple of records prior to the name change that is alleged and see if by association you can deduce who he might have been - almost by filtering out each of the neighbours and accounting for each body so to speak then the odd one out, if it's the same person repeatedly, and especially if that name "disappears" when "Freeman" appears, is your man.

Tuesday, December 7, 1999

My g-g-grandfather William Killey (b. 1841 or 1842) was known to be a staunch Orangeman, as was one of his brothers. Does anyone know if Orangemen were particularly powerful as a political or religious group in Ontario or the Isle of Man, and if this group exists still would they have records of my g-g-grandfather belonging or not?

[From Brian McConnell] - Many members of the Orange Association in Canada were active politically and indeed prominent leaders as you will see from information on the Canada Orange Heritage Site. Most Canadians and others seem entirely unaware of this now. It is a part of Canadian history that has been foregotten and is no longer taught anywhere.
    Canada's first Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, was an Orangemen as were three others, the latest being John Diefenbaker. Joseph Smallwood, the leader who led Newfoundland into Canada in 1949 was an Orangeman as was his father. Many Premiers of Ontario and Mayors of Toronto up to the early 1970s were Orange members.
    The author of "The Maple Leaf Forever" , once Canada's unofficial national anthem, was an Orangeman - Alexander Muir.
    The Purpose of the Canada Orange Mailing List is to encourage the exchange of information about the culture, history, and genealogy of Orange members who came to Canada and their descendants. Contemporary politics in Canada or anywhere else is banned from the list.
    I hope this answers some of your questions. The Orange Association is still active in Canada and has men's and ladies lodges in all provinces. However, as with many other fraternal groups its numbers have dramatically declined in recent years. If you have any other questions please do not hesitate to ask or encourage others to view the Canada Orange Heritage Site and join the Canada Orange Mailing List.
    I am the Webmaster of the Canada's Orange Roots . It is an independent site operated by myself with the assistance of information provided by volunteers interested in the heritage of Orangeism in Canada. On the Site you will find links to pages with information about the history, culture and genealogy of Orangeism in Canada.
    I am also the Administrator of the Canada Orange Mailing List which is referred to on the Canada Orange Heritage Site. It is a Rootsweb List open to the public which was begun in November, 1998 and has about 225 members. Some 40% are members of the Orange Association and the remainder are descendants of Orange members who are interested in learning about their Orange roots. To join send the message "subscribe" without the quotes, leaving the subject blank, to: Can-Orange-L-request@rootsweb.com

Tuesday, November 30, 1999

I don't know how to go about finding relatives that can supply me with general info history, medical.

Start with who you do know and request names & addresses of other relatives. When you contact these relatives ask the same question. Before you know it you'll have an address book full of relations. Another tactic is gleaning information from family documents such as obituaries, birth notices and the like. They usually provide names and in the case of some obituaries locations (ie, daughter Jane from Toronto, ON). Then take this information and scour the phone books for any matches.

Wednesday, October 20, 1999

Can you please send me some Ontario information to my e-mail address as soon as possible? Do you have any information packs that I could use for a Ontario report?

Browsing about the various OntarioGenWeb sites will provide you with information about Ontario much faster and much easier.

Monday, October 18, 1999

How do I go about looking in church records for a birth record. I have the general date of birth, the town, but no name. will the church allow me access to their records?

It depends on the church and where their archives are located. Most churches would send their records to a central or regional archive after a certain period of time. You will need to locate the church archive and inquire about your specific church and the time period.

Friday, September 24, 1999

Were unmarried women allowed to own property and hold mortgages in Ontario in 1865?

From MJ Smith -- I know that when my husband's grandfather died in the 1900 hundreds, the property that he owned had to be put into their son's name and the reason we have been given was that a women could not own property at that time! Maybe you could check the local municipality in regards to when this changed!? Some help i hope!!

Wednesday, September 15, 1999

Where did the Loyalists settle in Ontario?

Loyalists, like most new settlers, settled wherever land was available. Primary areas of settlement were along the St. Lawrence River and the shores of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. Large settlements of Loyalists can be found in the areas of extending East from Northumberland County to Quebec, and in the counties of Haldimand, Norfolk, Lincoln and Welland.

Wednesday, September 1, 1999

My mothers uncle went to Canada with the Salvation Army when he was about 14yrs old. He was born in 1879 in Marylebone, London. How can I find when he arrived in Canada. He lived in Ontario and Winnipeg to my knowledge.

The Salvation Army has records and they will assist with the search. You can contact them at:
Salvation Army
The Director, Family Tracing Services
105 - 109 Judd Street, Kings Cross
London, WC1H 9TS
(From Marj Kohli)

Where can i find information about a gt.uncle who emigrated to canada in the 1920's. He lived in Toronto and worked for the Canadian Pacific Railway.

The Canadian Pacific Railway has an archives in Montreal and they will send you records for employees. I received my grandfathers records from them.
Canadian Pacific Limited
Windsor Station
P.O. Box 6042, Station A
Montreal, PQ H3C 3E4
Archivist is Stephen Lyons [514-395-6962]
(From Marj Kohli)

Passenger lists at the National Archives are now indexed between 1925-1935. The database is is now available online at the National Archives site. Follow this link or go to www.archives.ca and click on ArchiviaNet, and look for it on the list of databases. Earlier records are in the process of being indexed, but it may be some time before they're ready. Also there is info available on railway employees - Althea Douglas has a guide book entitled "Canadian Railway Records: A Guide for Genealogists". (From Suzanne Schaller)

Thursday, August 19, 1999

Does anyone know how far in advance of a census 'publication' the information was collected? For instance, if my ancestor's age on a census is listed as 50 yrs.,does this mean he is 50 at the year of the census, or is he 50 at the year the information was collected?

Information was usually collected between March and June of the year stated on the census (1851/1852, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, and 1901) and the ages given were generally how old the individual was between March and June of said year or the age they would be on their next birthday

Wednesday, August 18, 1999

A cousin has found a birth record for an illegitimate child, born in 1897. The mother of the child is the older sister of our grandmother. The father of the child appears to be the mother's father! While I am not naive enough to suppose that incest did not occur in "those days", I question if the father would have named (branded!) himself in a public record. Is it possible that Dad's name was entered incorrectly? I have also received information that there was a nephew with the same name as Dad. Is there any way to find out if he might have been the father? Many thanks.

Tricky. If the family didn't care, and if they figured that the whole town knew about it anyway, then they might have recorded the birth truthfully. But it does sound suspicious. I'd look for more info - like a baptism or christening record, or an obit. I have one ancestor who had a child out of wedlock, and who was excommunicated from her church - and so, there is a record in the church records. (From Suzanne Schaller)

Monday, August 16, 1999

I believe that my ancestor, an agriculture laborer came from England to Ontario and that his may have been an assisted passage. I understand that the Ontario government around 1872 was paying these people to come if they would stay a specific time. Can anyone tell me if there are records existing of these passages and where I can access them.

The government did pay by assisting with the passage. However, I have researched this type of data and have not found any list of people. Usually they were sent over by some group or organization and the organization submitted the report to the government for payment (usually something like, 125 @$2.00/each). This was done with the home children as well. On my web page you will find a letter from a party in 1870 sent out by the Clerkenwell group. (From Marj Kohli)

Sunday, July 11, 1999

In the 1901 census, most first nations people are listed as being "Cree f.b" or "Algonquin f.b." What does f.b. stand for?

The f.b. would stand for Full Blooded or Full Breed (from Joe Wilson & David Agar). According to the Library & Archives of Canada , F.B. referred to a person with a French parent and a Native parent (French Breed). Other forms used include E.B. (English Breed), S.B. (Scottish Breed), I.B. (Irish Breed), O.B. (Other Breed). "Cree F.B" would mean a person born from a Cree parent and a French parent.

Wednesday, June 16, 1999

Monday, May 17, 1999

Monday, April 26, 1999

How can I find the names of the United Empire Loyalists?

Two places -- The UELAC (United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada) and the Land Grant / Land Peitition microfilms. The UELAC documents all known UEL's by descendants who join the organization claiming to be descended from a UEL. You can learn more about the UELAC by visiting their website (see links ). Land Grant / Land Petition microfilms are copies of the actual petitions and grant used to get land in Ontario. Most UEL claimants would state their UEL status in their petition.

Tuesday, April 20, 1999

I don't live in Canada. How can I do my Ontario research outside the country??

LDS Family History Centers are located worldwide. There you can order in Ontario microfilms and other research items to aid you in your search. Go to the LDS Web Site to discover the closest FHC.

Sunday, April 18, 1999

Is there a source for famine orphans, specifically those in indentured servitude where after a period of time (7 Years?) the individual was given land? Famine victim from Ireland o/a 1841-1846?

During that time period (actually from the last 1830's to the early 1900's) most immigrants were required to stop at an island in the St Lawrence river called Grosse Ile (part of the province of Quebec). During the famine period this quarantine island was their final resting place. Records of children orphaned on this island were well kept and can be found in several publications about this island. But being given land for indentured servitude is questionable. If the land was given by the person they were indentured to you may wish to check land records for transfer documents. I'm not aware of any program to provide famine orphans with free land. After 1826 Ontario limited free grants of land to Loyalist or Military/Militia claimants. Could try the petitions to Commissioner of Crown Lands of Ontario 1827-1756 [RG 1, Series C-I-1 at Archives of Ontario, MS 691.

Friday, April 16, 1999

I have an ancestor listed on the 1837 Toronto census as living in York County on "Yonge Street Road from Toll Gate to Montgomery's Tavern". Where can I locate what churches might have been in that particular area in 1837 and do any of them still exist?

You might want to check the book call Toronto Landmarks. It is available on film at your local LDS Family History Center, on the shelf at some public libraries, through inter-library loan, and the Ontario Archives. This book contains Toronto City Directories for 1836-37 and 1846-47 as well as a wealth of other info. The directories will list churches in the Young ST area at the time. Then go to the Church archives that will hold your record

In the 1861 Perth Co. Census the letters Wl are given as place of birth. What do they stand for?

Your WI should be the colony of British West Indies in the 1860's; if it had been current usage, it should be Wisconsin. The USA went to two letter abbreviations recently but I can't remember when. (Wisconsin used to be WIS)

Thursday, March 25, 1999

I have an ancestor who is Huron indian from the London, Ontario area born about 1841. She married my great, great grandfather who came over from England as a soldier with the Kings Royal Rifles 4th Battalion in 1857. Where do I find information about my native ancestors.

To find resources for Native research see the Archives of Ontario publication "Aboriginal Peoples in the Archives". This is a guide to sources located at the Archives of Ontario. And "Records of the Federal Department of Indian Affairs at the National Archives of Canada" by Bill Russell, available through globalgenealogy.com

Thursday, March 18, 1999

I know my ancestors lived in Toronto. What I didn't know was how large it was! How do I begin my search ? I do have a old address but I have been told there is no city directory for the year 1854.

If your ancestors lived in Toronto longer than one year check the city directories for other years. City of Toronto Archives has a nearly continuous run of City directories from 1834 to 1940. Directories were not published for years 1835-36, 1838-42, 1845, 1848-49, 1852-55, 1857-58 and 1864-65. Also available are assessment rolls from 1834 on. It should be noted that information published in a directory for a given year was probably collected the previous year. To locate a person in the Toronto census it is necessary to locate their address in the census year (i.e. for 1861 census, check 1861 and 1862 directories. Suggested reading: Doris Bourrie, CGRS, Researching Canadian Census Records, Heritage Productions, Toronto or www.genealogystore.com . The GenWeb site dedicated to York County & Toronto will also be of help

The Toronto Public Library has a page called Historicity through which you can search old directories with keywords.

Saturday, March 6, 1999

My great-grandfather came from Scotland with the army sometime during the mid 1800's and I would like to find the date.

If you know the regiment you can search British Soldiers' Documents, War Office 97, or search Pension records. Suggested reading: Simon Fowler, Army Records for Family Historians, PRO Publications.

Tuesday, February 23, 1999

Where would one look to find farms that were around in the 40' + 50's? Ont Fed Agri doesn't have that info.

It depends what you are looking for. If you're looking for a list of all farms in Ontario, you're out of luck. If you're looking for a specific farm and know the approximate area where it may be located, check the city directories of surrounding areas, check land records, and most of all check the libraries in the area for a history of that township. Some genealogy societies have compiled land histories that document whom has lived on what plot of land and when. Most of these publications are available in local libraries or through the genealogy society that published them.

Friday, February 19, 1999

Someone born in 1900 drops out of site in 1935. This person is last seen in 1954. You do not know if this person is dead or alive in 1999. How would you start to find out if that person is dead and where did they die.

Start with what you know. Where were they last seen? Who were their immediate relations (parents, siblings)? Track down these relations, through them you may find your missing person. Items such as obituaries, birth announcements, marriage announcements, wills, etc. may mention your missing person and their whereabouts. Try the Ontario Cemetery Finding Aid to see if your missing person is listed in a cemetery record.

Tuesday, February 9, 1999

My great-great grandfather is known to have worked in the lumber camps in the Upper Ottawa River Valley roughly in the 1860's. Were there log books kept at the lumber camps? What other resources are available to trace his time spent in the Valley?

These are well written up ( the camps, I mean) in books in the stacks at Weldon Library (University of Western Ontario). The Wright Bros. had many camps; their records could very well be in the National Archives in Ottawa or with the Historical Society in that area. Perhaps also in the Toronto Reference Library. As for other resources, visit the Carleton CountyGenWeb

Wednesday, January 20, 1999

I would like information on the history and the location of the Buckley bank . my father as a young boy recalls visiting this bank on numberious occasions . It is believed that the bank was within the area that is now regional municipality of haldimand - norfolk

For this bank I would try the Regional reference room at the University of Western Ontario (located in London, Ontario); I would use city directories of the period to find its exact location at the time and then go after the prior land acquisition. Additionally, the Canadian Bankers Association (or its equivalent) might shed some light on this one.

I am searching for my g-g-aunt and think I found her in the 1871 census listed at Rockwood Lunatic Asylum. Is there anyplace I can write to find out if it is her and any info on her?

If this is a provincial hospital, the records are held in the Ontario Archives on Grenville St., Toronto. If it is a private facility, then I believe the records were not required to be kept much beyond 20 years, if that.

Saturday, January 9, 1999

I wish to write to the Dept of Nationa Defence regarding World War II records. What is their address? Thank you.

Personnel Records Unit
Researcher Servies Division
National Archives of Canada
Client Services & Communciation Branch
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0N3
Take Note: If the individual in question has been deceased less than 20 years, only a limited amount of information will be provided. Proof of death & your relationship (you must be next of kin) to that person is required. If the individual in question has been deceased more than 20 years and did not die during their military service, proof of death is required.

Where would I find list of justices of peace early 1900 in simcoe county.

The Simcoe Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society have outstanding resources for much of this province and they are really sharp. Also, info is available on micorofilm from the Simcoe County Archives and covers the period 1876 to 1905 and is called the Vernon Directory. It is possibly available in book form from the library.

Friday, January 8, 1999

I am in England. Where can I find copies of the b,m,d registers of Niagara in 1780 and early 1790s. I know this area was ceded to the USA in 1797 but I think I have both a g-g-grandmother born there and her parents married there. The Mormons do not appear to have microfilms of these. Do they still exist? If I draw a blank there any lists of bmd regsietres elsewhere in Upper Canada available.

Note that Fort Niagara, which is on the east or American side of the Niagara River and therefore situated in New York State, was ceded to the Americans following the American Revolution in the 1770s. It didn't officially change hands until 1797. But nothing else was ceded. In fact, the War of 1812, in which the US invaded Canada, was fought and won by the British in defence of Niagara and Upper Canada. (Thanks to Mark McGarry!). If you're looking for information on the area that was ceded you would be seeking US records, not Canadian records. For Canadian Niagara info, please click here , as for Upper Canada registers, try the Eva Brook Donnelly Museum or the Toronto Reference Library

Tuesday, January 5, 1999

Where would you look for the names of children born, in previous marraige between 1909-1920

Newspapers. Birth Records are not publicly available for this time period. Assuming you know the names of the parents (specifically the father's surname) and an approximate area of where they were living at that time, check all newspapers in that area for any child born with that surname. You might also look for an obituary for one or both parents in case the children were listed as pre-deceased or survivors.

2010 Update: Birth Records are now available up to 1912 (1913 in May 2011) and the 1911 census is also available.