Sunday, January 22, 2012

How can I find someone in Ontario who may, or may not be deceased?

If presumed living...

  • Social Media: Regardless of age people are flocking to social media to stay in touch with far-flung relations. Don't restrict your search to just the person you seek. If you know of any relations, spouse, children, etc. try them all!
  • Search Engines: Try Google and the new genealogy-focused site Mocavo.
  • Telephone Listings: Canada 411, if they have a publically listed phone number it'll be here. There is also an option to do a reverse address search. Some phone providers (like Telus) also offer their own phone listings that may not be available on Canada 411.

If presumed deceased...

  • Death Records: Are only available to next-of-kin or a legal representative until 72 years have passed. After 72 years death registrations are released to Archives of Ontario and can be publically viewed.
  • Obituaries: Obituary Daily Times offers an index of some Ontario obituaries, mostly from the past decade. If you know the last known residence of the person you're seeking check local newspapers, many Ontario newspapers now offer an online index of obituaries from 2002 onward.

If you are unable to locate the person in question broaden your search to include their family. A parent, sibling, or child's obituary might yield new clues. Don't forget to browse some online trees to see if someone else is researching the same family.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Where would I find an obituary from 1908?

Archives of Ontario (Toronto) offers a newspaper research guide. The guide includes a list of microfilmed newspapers that are available in their holdings. Note that most of these newspapers can only be viewed at the Archives.

Library & Archives Canada (Ottawa) has a list of newspapers at Library & Archives Canada. Some of these newspapers may be available through inter-library loan.

Many local archives (such as Norwich & District Archives, Stratford-Perth & Dufferin County Museum & Archives to name just a few) have archived copies of local newspapers available for research. Many of these archives require a visit in person but some offer research services.

There are also some Ontario newspapers that have been digitized and are available through subscription services such as Paper of Record and Newspaper Archive. You can view a list of newspaper titles to see if the newspaper you seek is available before subscribing.