Tuesday, April 1, 2003

Please supply me with an email address of someone who can give me a price for a cemetery transcript

OntarioGenWeb cannot supply e-mail addresses, just direction in where to look for what you're seeking. The Ontario Genealogical Society has worked tirelessly to transcribe nearly all of Ontario's cemeteries (you can search a partial index of these transcripts at OCFA - be sure to read the FAQ on how to use the index and how to obtain a copy of the transcript from OGS)

I think I would like to purchase The Canadian Gen. Index 1600-1900. Please advise.

Several vendors including Global Genealogy (Canada - http://www.globalgenealogy.com) and Genealogy.com (USA - http://www.genealogy.com) offer this on CD-Rom. It's also available on subscription service through Ancestry.com and through other vendors - just do a search on any search engine.

I don't have enough information to know how to start my search. I know the family surname, my ancestor's first name, his mother's first name, that they were probably farmers and that my ancestor was born in 1861 and was fluent in both French and English. He emigrated to western New York state. I believe he used the passage following the great ridge in western NY. Where would be a good place to start my search in Canada?

You do have enough information! You have his name, birth year, name of spouse and where he ended up... much more than most have to start a search. Before you start searching in Canada you should finish your research with New York State - it could give you clues or an exact location. For instance, when did he migrate to NY? Did he go with anyone? Siblings? Have you found their obituaries? Do you have your ancestor's obit? Do you have his naturalization/citizenship records? Canada is huge. Unless you have an approximate location it will be like searching for a needle in a mile-high haystack.

For more help in knowing "Where To Start" there are several websites dedicated to educating "newbies" as well as numerous books (In Search Of Your Canadian Roots by Angus Baxter, and Searching for your Ancestors by Doane & Bell are two excellent books every genealogist should check out). OntarioGenWeb also offers A Beginner's Guide.

Do you know where I could find a recent (ie 2000 or later) map of Ontario that shows all the counties/districts?

The Ontario map we offer on the maps page shows all the counties/districts pretty much as they are today. It does not show municipalities which is what you'd get if you were able to find a current map showing this information (Rand McNally offers maps of this sort in book form but only for Southern Ontario).

I have looked into Land Records for my ancestors and need to know what to do with the "instrument numbers" that I now have. Is there somewhere that I can access these items? What will be shown on these? Some are deeds and some are wills.

From Lorine Schulze: Abstract Indexes to Deeds are by specific property. So for eg you might look up Conc 1, Lot 26, anywhere Township, Someplace County. You will see list, line by line, with Instrument #s on the left, dates, brief synopsis of the type of land transaction, names of parties involved, etc.

When you spot a record of interest, you copy the Instrument # and then obtain the full record (deed, indenture, will, etc) Many are on microfilm.

Usually there is a long description of the exact piece of land (outside boundaries), plus names of all persons involved in the transaction. There will be witnesses and a date. You may also find names of other people, such as heirs, or children --- it all depends what the transaction is. Wills are just that - wills that have been filed with the land records.

Some of the instruments I obtained in my searches of land records contained first names of wives - which had been unknown to me before finding them mentioned in the land records. So it's a valuable resource!

See http://olivetreegenealogy.com/can/ont/land.shtml for more help and explanations

I have a certificate of Baptism for my father from the Presbyterian Church in Canada. I am trying to decipher his place of birth (the writing is hardly readable and it is an original certificate from 1901). I know it is from Ontario and to the best of my ability is says Ron Twp (which I presume is township).The signature is from Rev CA Ferguson at St Andrews Church Ron. Searching the other sites I can find absolutely nothing for this, can you help?

Have you tried the Ontario Locator? It specializes in this type of dilemma. You could also try Canadian Geographical Names which is the official website of Canadian place names. Never heard of a place just called "Ron" though so you might want to double-check the handwriting and see if it could possibly be something else. Is it possible he wasn't baptised in the place of birth? Perhaps he was born outside of Ontario. Where were other family members born? Where were his parents married? Where did he grow up? These places may provide a clue as to which part of Ontario "Ron" may be located - that could be important!

[From Terr] -- This could be a short way of writing alonger name due to space limitation. e.g. Region of Niagara.