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.