Monday, 6 June 2016

Toronto Genealogy Resources 1840s

 © Penny Allen
For a fellow #AncestryHour tweeter, I did some research into resources on Toronto in the 1840s. 
Jan has posted her question on http://genealogy.stackexchange.com/q/9261/1006 

"I am trying to fill out the timeline of tailor George Hindley, his wife Ann/Hannah Drake, and their family between 1841 and 1847 [in Toronto]"

Here are a few of my suggestions:

The 1843 directory on Ancestry is available free through the Toronto Public Library (TPL).

TPL used to have a very good genealogy page and they partner with the Ontario Genealogical Society – however, I could only find a reference to their library blog 

Jan's thought about researching the directories is a valid one. Why? Because many directories will have an address, names of neighbours (that might be brothers and or sisters) and may also indicate occupations. Some directories also provide an added bonus: a map of the area. 


I asked Jan: 'Have you pinpointed where in the Toronto area they lived?'. Keep in mind that city boundaries changed many times over the years, often morphing into communities unto themselves.
     Toronto had 5 ‘wards’ in 1834 according to Wikipedia and the outlying areas (if they lived in the 'country') could be anywhere from Richmond Hill to Holland Landing (now Simcoe County) north of the city and also communities to the west. Identifying the clergy who served those areas might be worthwhile - there might be personal diaries of these ministers - which might hold details on families they served. Of course, identifying the clergy also verifies the registry where births, marriages and deaths were recorded.
I also searched for information about the various Wards around Toronto in that time period and came across this forum: Map of Toronto 1843:
Historical societies:
  • York Pioneer and Historical Society (a local historical society supporting the communities of Toronto, North York, Etobicoke and King township) 
  • Ontario Historical Society
  • interesting organizations to investigate further research in the Toronto area
If you hadn’t realized, I’m a keener when it comes to looking into books for answers. 

Books you need to do genealogy in Ontario: an annotated bibliography. 1996, 2nd edition 2000
This is one of Ryan Taylor’s, he was a well known genealogist in Ontario (in the ‘80s) who had an important job in the genealogy department at the Allen County Public Library. Unfortunately for the genealogy community he passed away a number of years ago.

In Jan's post, she also mentioned searching for Land Records: 

A couple of other sites you must try:
Oh and have you seen this? T. F. Woods & Co's Canadian Newspaper Directory. Containing accurate lists of all the Newspapers and Periodicals published in the Dominion of Canada and Province of Newfoundland. Published in 1876 in Montreal.

I even looked in Families, the Ontario Genealogical Society journal for references to articles on Toronto in 1843.  The next time I'm at the Society of Genealogists' Library I might be able to find them in their library collection.

Keep an eye out for blogs about Toronto History and mine others' research for information. 
Happy hunting!

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