Tried and true genealogy research techniques tell us to start with what we know—and to make previously done research and indexed records a priority. But more records are being indexed almost daily, and it is hard to keep track of what’s out there. This list was compiled for a session at the Ontario Genealogical Society’s
Continue reading Big indexes to consider for every Ontario ancestor
I’m pleased to announce that after a one-year hiatus, “Summer Camp” will return this year, starting with a get-together on Sunday evening, June 7, and running until Friday, June 12.
Genealogy Summer Campers are on the move every day of this innovative week long program. Each day, participants will travel as a group on public
Continue reading Genealogy “Summer Camp” 2015
As mentioned in the previous post, the Archives of Ontario holds more than 2,600 collections or fonds of private documents—some amazing, fascinating things that I love to dip into from time to time.
The Toronto Customs House fonds (F 214) is one of these private fonds. The Archives Descriptive Database tells us that the Lt.-Gov.
Continue reading Toronto Customs House Records
While most family historians are comfortable—or at least familiar—with libraries and their filing systems, archives are very different matter. Many of us will have never visited any archives before we became family historians.
Libraries, museums and archives have complementary roles. Generally, libraries collect published material (books, microform, published sound and visual recordings, and digital publications).
Continue reading The Archives of Ontario… How do I find what’s in it for me?
This past weekend, I spoke at Gene-O-Rama, the annual conference of the Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society. My topic for the keynote lecture was “Inheritance Interrupted: World War I reflected in Ontario Estate Files”.
Over the last few months, in preparation for the talk, I’ve dug pretty deeply into records spanning 1914 to
Continue reading Inheritance Interrupted: Estate files during WWI
In contrast to the last couple of posts, where I’ve attempted to lead you step by step through a set of records, this time I’m writing about records that mystify me. I can’t give you a straightforward route into them, because I haven’t found one. I have used chancery court records, and I’ve been lucky
Continue reading A Stab at Chancery Court Records
In part one, we started with the 1895 death of prominent Toronto tobacconist Joab Scales and located his name in the indexes produced by the York County Surrogate Court. When we were unable to decipher the illegible grant number, we consulted the court’s register to find it. We took the newly found grant number 11255
Continue reading Finding an 1896 estate file in York County: A step-by-step example, part 2
Most Ontario counties have published indexes to estate files for the period 1859 to 1900, and some indexes go beyond those dates. But York County is an exception to the rule. It was the most populous county, containing the City of Toronto, and the prospect of creating a modern index was, and is, daunting. Those
Continue reading Finding an 1896 estate file in York County: a step-by-step example
Very pleased to find a box from Dundurn Press at my door last week—the first copies of my new book Inheritance in Ontario: Wills and Other Records for Family Historians.
The book covers wills and related records from 1763 (well before “Ontario” existed) up to current records. For novices and researchers new to Ontario records,
Continue reading Hot off the press: Inheritance in Ontario
This is the third and final episode, in which I speculate wildly on the reasons for the animosity between Toronto bookseller Magnus Shewan and his niece Margaret Fraser. If you’re new to the story, it will all make more sense if you read Part 1 and Part 2 first.
In the last episode, we read
Continue reading The Legacy of Magnus Shewan or “The will in the way”, part three