Friday, September 1, 2000

What is the difference between town and township?

A township is a division of a county, while a town is a populated area with less people than a city but more than a village. Townships are generally much larger than towns and usually contain many towns and villages within their geographical limits.

Sunday, August 27, 2000

In the time period of 1834-onward until Canada was a nation in 1867, how did one receive designation of a Justice of the Peace. Was this done by application or appointment and if so was it to Britain they made their requests?

[From Cathy] The people that would best answer your question is The Osgoode Society - they are the experts on Ontario's Legal History. The time period you are interested in was one in which many changes happened. They have just published a book answering all the questions you ask. The book is called Magistrates, Police and People: Everyday Criminal Justice in Quebec and Lower Canada, 1764-1837, by Donald Fyson, Professor of History, Universite Laval. See if you can get that on library loan.

Saturday, August 26, 2000

Looking for the birth record of michael mcmann born in December 1858 in Norfolk Co. Canada. Were do I find these records since Canada did not keep birth records before 1869?

It was not required for births, marriages and deaths to be registered prior to 1869 - it does not mean they weren't kept. Vital registrations were not the primary source of a birth record - they were copies of birth records sent to the government. Usually it was a parish record (church record) that first recorded a birth, marriage or death. If you can't find a vital statistics registration, try church records.

Can anyone suggest how best to confirm a 1921 out-of-wedlock birth to now-deceased parents as a result of an adulterous domestic cohabitation in the Port Colborne-Humberstone area?

Birth records for 1921 are still protected under the Privacy Act. To access these records either the person whose birth is in question, their legal representative, or someone who can prove they are next-of-kin would have to apply to the Office of the Registrar General. Or wait until 2018 when the 1921 birth registrations will be released for public viewing.

[From Cathy] It is not clear from your question if the baby in question was put up for adoption. If the child was, then it will be a different answer as the name of the child would then be completely different to that of the parents - that child would have the adoptive name instead. If the child was not put up for adoption, then that child would have the mother's surname, not the father's surname. You would search as you would for any person with that surname and date. However, if adoption was involved, I would recommend going to adoption reunion sites instead such as which has adoptions dating back to the 1920's. It is not comprehensive as only people who voluntarily choose to post the adoptions appear. 1921 is when the Adoption Act of Ontario came into force, so it depends if the adoption (if there was one) occurred before April of that year - it makes a difference as to how to search. It could have been a guardianship if it was before April If you think there could have been a guardianship, then you go to the Ontario Archives (there are no adoption records there). Go to this web page, scroll down to section 8 and following the instructions there on searching.

If I know only that my ancestor was born in Ontario, how can I possibly find out what district the family was in? (This is a family that first went from Ireland to Canada then later moved on to the United States).

See OntarioGenWeb's Beginner's Guide for tips on "where to start" when you don't know where in Ontario you should be looking.
[From Ang] -- Have you checked through the LDS's Canadian Index for their birth? You can get this through interloan or through your local LDS family history center. Depending on the year you can look up births from as early as 1869. Another good place to look is the online 1871 canadian census. Hope this helps.

I'm quite familiar with Vital Statistics in Ontario, however I have a question. My great-great-grandfather was married 29 May 1873 in Ontario. I have checked Vital Statistics for the marriage registration from 1869-1900 with every possible surname spelling and I can't find it. He was also married a second time in Ontario and I can't find it either. Could anyone explain why Marriages after 1869 wouldn't be in the Vital Statistics and where else I might look?

[From Suzanne Schaller] -- When the Ontario Vital Statistics records, which start in 1869, were microfilmed and indexed, the marriages from 1869-1873 were left out. The marriages on the microfilm start in 1873, so there is some overlap between them and the "forgotten" records. So for 1873 you need to check both! The earlier marriages have been indexed and published. The index is not on microfilm, but in a six-volume set of books available at many libraries in Ontario. It's not as easy to use, because you have to check all six books for each name. If you don't have access to the books, maybe someone can do a lookup for you. The name of the series is something like "Index to Ontario Marriage Registrations 1869-1873." Once you find a record in the index, the actual record can be ordered from the Archives of Ontario in Toronto, or through your Family History Center.

I am researching my family from Osprey, Grey County, Ontario. I show them appearing on the 1871 census and not on the 1881 census. I assume they died during this time frame. I cannot find them in any local cemetery. My question is this: I have a 10 year time frame on their death dates. Is there a way to have a lookup done (by the government or by a newspaper) by their surnames as I don't have a death date?

They could have moved... but in answer to your question the government does not do lookups and most newspapers likely don't either. They may engage in a search on your behalf for a fee but you can do this yourself. All deaths from 1869 onward were required to be registered with the government. These registrations are available for public viewing if the death occurred more than 72 years ago and can be accessed at any Canadian library or any LDS Family History Center worldwide. See our page on Death Records

Does Ontario have census indexes for the years of 1891 and 1901? If so, is there one or are there several and how can I find one? I am having trouble locating my grandfather (b. 1882), I've looked in the county he was supposed to be born but the family is not there.

Yes there are several indexes available depending upon the year and area of Ontario. Some OGS branches have indexed the census records for their areas. OntarioGenWeb's Census Project also has indexes.

2010 Update:
LAC now offers indexes & images as does Ancestry

Thursday, August 17, 2000

I am from New Zealand & am trying to trace my great grandfather's ancestors. I have found him in 1861, 1871 1891 & 1901 for Lambton County & Middlesex Counties. I have his death registration information - 1904. His parents, however, are not mentioned. Where would I go to find that information. He was Mennonite & his parents are listed as being born in Ontario.

His marriage registration - they usually list the names of parents. Obituary - it usually lists the names of family, perhaps even siblings that you can trace and see if their records mention the names of their parents. There are many resources besides census and death registrations that can be used to find this information.

Friday, July 21, 2000

What legal document(s), if any, do you need to enter Ontario?

It depends where you're coming from. If you live in Canada you don't need any. If you live elsewhere a passport is needed. Please check with your local travel bureau for specifics.

Sunday, June 4, 2000

Is a child of Canadian citizens, who was born in the US a Canadian citizen?

From Citizenship & Immigration Canada -- In most cases, you are a Canadian citizen if you were born: in Canada ; in another country, after February 15, 1977, but had one Canadian parent. You may be a Canadian citizen if you were born outside Canada before February 15, 1977, and one of your parents was a Canadian citizen. For more information you may telephone a Call Centre: In Montreal: (514) 496-1010; In Toronto: (416) 973-4444; In Vancouver: (604) 666-2171; For all other areas: 1-888-242-2100

Sunday, May 28, 2000

Would records still exist of any search for a person (teenage girl) who disappeared from her home and family shortly after 1891? How may I find them?

[From Forebears Research] -- The Toronto Police Archives (accessible through the Metro Police I believe) should be able to help. If she was a minor, then the Children's Aid currently may know what existed then in this capacity. Beyond that, if she was found dead at some point there should be a coroner's report. There may be some school records from the time that could have useful details although not specifically to do with the search, rather info on her personally.
You should also check the newspapers in the area where she resided in 1891, as well obituaries, wills and other such events of the remaining family members.

Monday, May 15, 2000

Is there anywhere I can get information on St John's Anglican Cemetery, Ida, Lot 12, Con 11, Cavan Township. Can you please tell me what the Ida, means?

The 'Ida' refers to the town that the cemetery can be found in. I would assume from your question that you obtained this information from OCFA -- if so, visit the site as they give contact information for all the cemeteries they list in their database.
From L. Johnson -- Through my own research of family that is buried in any Anglican cemetery,whether it be a churchyard or not I have found the Anglican Archives in Toronto to be extremely helpful...especially if you know the date of death and if the people are buried in the said cemetery.

Sunday, May 7, 2000

I found my ancestor in the 1871 census. There is a specific page number associated with the record. However, there were two other entries for that family name (believed to be his children) which were on page D. What does census page D signify?

[From Suzanne Schaller] -- My guess is that D = deaths. 1871 has a schedule on each township for "Deaths occuring within 1871." I *think* that the index uses D instead of a page number. The index is for head of household & strays, but I think that every entry on the Deaths page is also in the index.

Tuesday, April 25, 2000

What connection did the loyalists have with the American Revolution?

The American Revolution began in 1775 when several British colonies in America (USA) declared independence from Britain. The term Loyalist was coined when some individuals chose to remain loyal to Britain or chose to fight for/with Britain. So their connection would be with the British side of the Revolution.

Sunday, April 16, 2000

Can you send me an application to apply for a birth certificate?

Birth certificates can be ordered from There however you could order only a birth certificate for yourself or your child(ren). If seeking ancestral birth information you should be seeking birth registrations. Certificates are issued by the government based on registrations, cost a fee and require that you provide proof you are the person in question, their parent/guardian, have power of attorney, or can provide proof of death and proof you are next-of-kin.

Registrations are released for public viewing after 92 years and can be obtained worldwide either from Ontario Archives, LDS Family History Centres, or through an Ancestry subscription.

I remember seeing a form on the web that you could order to receive information about individuals living in Ontario. The questionaire was done in the 1940s and included the name of each person in the home as well as their parents name and place of birth. Any help you could supply would be appreciated.

Information about the National Registration of 1940 can be found at Global Genealogy

Thursday, April 13, 2000

Where was the first bank located?

In Toronto. For more see Bank of Upper Canada. The first bank in Canada was located in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Thursday, April 6, 2000

How do I locate an individual after 1901?

The same as you would prior to 1901. See Research By Year.

Where should I look for Robert. E. Stephens father who was born in IRELAND? P.S. I don't have a www. adress but send reply to the A.G.S. in Edmonton Alberta CANADA. THANK-YOU.

Perhaps in Ireland? See Ireland GenWeb for information on research in Ireland. As you don't give any information about Robert or his father I can't give any suggestions on where you might look in Ontario, when & where is important! All replies to Q&A's are put on this website and not replied to via e-mail nor via snail mail.

In the US there is the Social Security Death Index, Does Canada have something similar?

Unfortunately, no. There is no Canadian equivalent to the Social Security Death Index.

Do you have a list of researchers that are availabe to US genealogists?

See the Association of Professional Genealogists website

I want to travel from Windsor to Brampton by car, need the root driving

Please try a website that gives this type of information (such as Yahoo or Google) - OntarioGenWeb is for genealogy (family history)

I have information that a female ancestor living in Grenville Co. was married in Quebec, but the time period was before 1792. I think she may have been married in Grenville Co. Apparently the commanding military officer of the time performed the marriage, to a captain. Can the military perform marriages when there were no clergy and were records kept?

[From anonymous] -- Yes, the Commander could have performed the marriage as he is a recognized authority in any area where there is a command post, particularly if this involves one of his officers. If a record exists for the marriage in question it would be in the collection of State papers related to the governing of Canada by British forces and would likely be obtainable wherever those papers are held in Britain. If you know the exact date and the Commander's name this will also help.

Tuesday, March 21, 2000

If a death record cannot be located in the vital stats microfilms of Ontario death records, where else can one look?

[From Forebears Research] -- I have tried the following: Go into the year and area where you expect it to be and read all the entries. Sometimes it is not spelled or rather not recorded in the spelling you're looking under...but is actually there. I have also concluded after 9 years at LDS that people are simply misinformed sometimes about who and where etc. If you can verify the area in an independent record of the period, it might help - such as a directory or tax or school or anything that positions them alive in that place. I've had some patrons come in where nothing was a match in their pedigree sheets at all!!

Sunday, March 19, 2000

I heard that my ggrandfather may have been one of Louis Franks orphans in Ontario County, Ontario . Also heard from another source that he had run away from an orphanage. Is there a way to get info on orphans in Ontario County? He was French.

From Ruth Grace Cox -- Young immigrants to Canada [including home children]-books may offer more information than you need. Finding individual names may be difficult, however.

Birth of a child whose parents never married due to the fact the father was already married,the child was given up for private adoption. Often childred look for the birth mother /father can it be done over the web How?

Considering the adoption mentioned was private it's highly unlikely you will find what you are seeking online unless you know the names of one or both birth parents. Adoption searches can be aided by the internet but the web should never be your only source. Your best bet would be to find an adoption specific website that goes into detail about this type of search. Start with Cyndi's List

[From Cathy] As a reunited mother, I can tell you that many of us do look. Yes it can be done on the web. The best place to go to is adoption reunion registries on the net. Here is the best one for Canadians - they have a very high success rate of approx 50 reunions a month - and they are free! Their database is searchable online and you can register yourself if you want to. Go here. Good luck (I always thought of my son often which most mothers do - now my reunion is wonderful and life is good!) If you need more help, please visit Looking In Ontario - loads of helpful advice and resources there - all free.

Wednesday, March 8, 2000

Where does one find unpublished cemetery records?

If they're unpublished they're not available. If you're referring to burial records held by the cemetery you'd have to write to the cemetery or visit in person.

Monday, February 7, 2000

What do the initials C.S.B. after the name of a woman on an Ontario tombstone mean???

Some possibilities are - 'Child Single Birth', 'Child Still Born', 'Children ?? Bethlehem'. If this woman died in the latter part of the 1900's it may refer to the Military's 'Civil Service Brigade'. This question has befuddled OntarioGenWeb, a library and several cemeteries!

I have a grandmother who was born in 1921 in Ontario Canada, but I don't know which town. I have her name and month/year (April 1921) of birth but that's it. I think she died in the early 1980s, but again do not know where. I'm not even sure where she is buried. Where can I get more information on her that may help me get further than her name?

For *any* suspected Ontario burials start with OCFA
[From Forebears Research] -- Buy her birth certificate from Thunder Bay. Then use the correct version of her name to try for marriage in Ohio, or check US border crossing films for her parents whose names will appear on her birth certificate. If she died in the US, search the SSDI.

Monday, January 31, 2000

Thursday, January 27, 2000

What is the best method to find children of relatives who hve died in the last 10-15 years?

First you must know when and where your relatives died. If you don't know start with the OCFA to track down burial information. Once you have a date and place you can find an obituary that may list names and places of children. You can then use 411 or telephone listings to track them down. Another option would be to contact the funeral home and request contact with the next of kin listed.

Sunday, January 16, 2000

Where would I find passanger list for various ports?

See the The ShipsList Home Page for information regarding Ships, Passenger Lists and the like.