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September 16, 2010

12 Months of Finding Ancestors: Upper Canada Sundries (Part 3 of a 12 Part Series)

Welcome to Part 3 of a 12 month series about finding and using less obvious genealogy records to find ancestors. The Upper Canada Sundries are an invaluable genealogical resource but many researchers have never used them.

The Upper Canada Sundries, aka Civil Secretary's Correspondence  are found at LAC (Library and Archives Canada) and at the Ontario Archives. They consist of 32 volumes on 14 reels of microfilm and are an assorted collection of, as the name implies, correspondence.

The main responsibility of the Civil or private Secretary to the Lieutenant Governor was management of correspondence. The Secretary ensured that it was acknowledged, referred onward or filed. Closely related were the duties of receiving and acknowledging Addresses, petitions, memorials and applications for office; transmitting Messages and public documents to the Legislature; and referring petitions to the appropriate public offices for opinion or advice prior to submission to the Executive Council.

Although the province of Upper Canada did not come into existence until 1791, supporting documents of earlier date have been incorporated into some series of its records.

The Sundries are filed chronologically. There is no name index but the wealth of genealogical information makes them worthwhile to browse through. They contain an assortment of such genealogical items as undated petitions, marriage certificates, land records, letters, petitions for land, testimonies during wartime, military records, petitions for mercy for those charged with treason, etc.

Following is one example which I found during a lengthy search of the Upper Canada Sundries. It concerns the daughter of my Loyalist Ancestor Isaac Van Valkenburg aka Vollick. It reads as follows with my notes inside square brackets [ ]:

This will testify that Albert Hainer a Private in the late Corps of Rangers [referring to Butler's Rangers, whose disbanded soldiers settled the Niagara area of present day Ontario], is married to Catharine Folluck [sic. More commonly written as Vollick or Follick], the daughter of Isaac Follluck, likewise a soldier in said Corps and that she comes under the description of a Loyalists Daughter, and is entitled [can't read next word] U.E. [Unity of Empire, a title applied to Loyalists once they were accepted by the Council and officially declared a Loyalist] and that said Albert Hainer now has five children.

Dated Newark, 14 May 1796.

Source: FHL 1683290 p. 137 of Civil Secreatry's Correspondence, upper Canada, Upper Canada Sundries 1791-1800 RG5 A1 Vol. 1A pp41-556.

It has some pretty amazing genealogy information! I have more proof that my Loyalist ancestor Isaac was in Butler's Rangers, that he had a daugher Catherine who married Albert Hainer before May 1796 and that Albert and Catherine had 5 children by that date. This document also tells me that Albert was also a soldier in Butler's Rangers and that Catherine's father has been approved as a Loyalist (as per her being allowed the title of U.E. after her name)

This leads me to more research - I would now hunt for petitions for both Isaac Vollick, his daughter Catherine and her husband Albert Hainer. They should all have applied for land as Loyalists and their petitions should be found in the Upper Canada Land Petitions.

And thus a new avenue of research opens for me. (As an aside, I have already done this research and have found many petitions for all members of the large family Isaac Vollick brought with him from New York.)


Laura Flanagan said...

Although I do not have any Canadian ancestors (that I know of). I find it interesting to read about records and ancestors from Canada. It gives an insight to the history of Canada.

Flowers said...

This is interesting, and a good reminder that the obvious sources aren't always the best.

PaperQuilter (aka Liz) said...

Could the difficult word actually be two words? "to lands" ?
Thank you for the pointer to an interesting set of records, something to investigate next time I'm near the LAC.

CanPharm said...

In Canada we don't have any ancestor. But that was the great blog about all about the ancestors. And also their history. That is great.

DuSyl said...

Wow, Cousin great neat work! I am too decended from this pairing. There daughter Dorothy married David Putman, also Dutch, in Niagara, Canada in 1807. Dorothy put in for her piece of Land with husband David. Are you also aware that there are 2 Dorothy Hainers? 1st cousins. Brothers Albert & Richard/Derrick mom's name was Dorothy. They both named a daughter Dorothy. Thus producing 2 Dorothy Hainer.

Read through the Loyalist of Ontario.

Olive Tree Genealogy said...

Hi Aurelie - I'm not descended from the daughter of Isaac the Loyalist. I'm descended from his son Cornelius. Sorry for the confusion!

Toni said...

I need to make an extended trip to Canada! I have Loyalists on both sides.