Sunday, July 27, 2008

I found someone in the 1871 census index and I want more information on this person. Now what?

Don't assume that what you see in the index is all there is - this index only shows heads of households and strays, so to get the rest of the family's names, you are going to have to order the microfilm. This is worth the extra time and effort! It will tell you the names and ages of every family member, as well as place of birth, religion, occupation, and other information too. See if you can order it by Inter-Library loan through your local library or Family History Center.

What are the census film numbers for Interlibrary Loan?

The National Archives published them in a book called Catalogue of Census Returns on Microfilm. Actually, there are two books; one covers 1666-1891 and 1901 has a book all to itself. Both are available online

Is there an index to the census for a certain township, for a certain year or for all years?

See our page on Census Records page for information on full-year indexes. For local census indexes, if an index exists, and we know about it, it'll be listed on our books page.

The census record I found is for Monck County, Cardwell County or Bothwell County. I can't find these counties on a map!

Monck, Cardwell and Bothwell were three counties created for municipal purposes by "borrowing" townships from other counties for the purpose of enumeration and political representation. You can find out more about these three counties in Research By Area.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Can I buy cemetery transcriptions? How much would it cost?

Yes. The Ontario Genealogical Society has compiled and is selling cemetery transcriptions of most of Ontario's cemeteries. Prices vary depending upon the size of the cemetery but most branches have their publication lists available on their branch website.

Many OGS branches now offer their cemetery transcripts on CD-ROM, for smaller cemeteries you can purchase a CD for usually $20 or less and get several transcripts (sometimes an entire township!). Because this medium allows a considerable amount of information in a tiny package many previously unavailable transcripts (too large for print!) are now available for purchase on CD.

Also keep in mind that transcripts can be a lasting record for older headstones that have deteriorated. If you know an ancestor was buried in a cemetery but cannot locate the headstone consult the transcript to learn if a stone was present at the time of first transcription (for some OGS branches this would be the mid-1970’s).

Can you give me the address for a certain cemetery?

Most cemeteries are rural (not in cities) and don't have a postal address. If you're seeking an address to write to a rural cemetery there won't be one. Even some city cemeteries don't have postal addresses. But all known cemeteries have location addresses (for rural cemeteries, this may mean Con 1 Lot 29 of such-and-such Township) that will allow you to find the cemetery for a visit.

If you're seeking an address to a cemetery and it's not on the county page, the county host still might be able to tell you, if you email and ask. Or you can try CanadaGenWeb's Cemetery Project, or the Ontario Genealogical Society. Your OGS branch will be able to tell you where a cemetery is, and they may even do a better job of locating it than the GenWeb host because if they have transcribed the cemetery, they have actually visited it (and the GenWeb host hasn't necessarily been there!). You can get the address for a particular branch of OGS from the OGS website.

Who can do OCFA lookups?

Visit OCFA and read the FAQ for information on how to contact contributing organizations (the ones who submitted the cemetery indices). Then write to the organization and include an SAE and 2 IRC's. Most will do the lookup for you for a nominal fee. Whenever possible, before writing, find out more about the organization. Most have OCFA policies that are explained on their websites, and these policies may state that the fee is required before they will do a lookup. Also, you should look for a publications list, because you might find that purchasing the entire cemetery transcription is only a few dollars.

Also read OCFA: What it is and how to use it, an article written by a member of the Perth County Branch OGS in response to OCFA queries.

My wife's relatives came through Quebec City in June of 1860 from Norway. The story has it that one of the children, Anna Jordal was buried on an island that they landed on. What island might that be?

Grosse Île

I sent a message to a GenWeb volunteer and haven't heard back, why?

Keep in mind that everyone involved with GenWeb is a volunteer and gives their time freely when they can spare a few moments. This may mean a few days will pass before a reply is sent out. You're not being ignored, we're just busy!

If a full week has passed and you haven't received a reply, send your message again. If another full week goes by without a reply contact the OntarioGenWeb coordinator, state whom you were trying to reach, when and what happened.

Also keep in mind that during the holiday season (Dec/Jan) and summer months (Jun-Sep) GenWeb volunteers may be on vacation and away from e-mail for several weeks.

Is a 'Funeral Director's Proof of Death Certificate' from Ontario is the same as same as Death Certificate? Does it have the same status, importance?

No, they are not the same. A Funeral Director's Proof of Death Certificate is issued by the funeral home that held the funeral. A Death Certificate is issued by the government. It's presumed that the one issued by the government would hold more weight but both could be considered a record of death.