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November 9, 2010

Book Review: Crime & Punishment in Upper Canada

Crime and Punishment in Upper Canada: A Researcher's Guide (Genealogist's Reference Shelf)  by Janice Nickerson is a very detailed, well-researched reference book for genealogists.

Janice delves into the history of the Justice System in Upper Canada (present day Ontario) and walks the reader through the often confusing maze of available records. Her focus in this book is 1791 to 1841 and even that seemingly brief time span provides the genealogist with 243 pages of material.

Each section (topic) has a history and explanation, followed by examples both in text and images, and then Janice's inventory of what records have survived, where they are housed, and what we might expect to find in them.

It is a challenge for genealogists to find early Ontario (Upper Canada) records and Janice's book is a treasure trove. The examples are fascinating reading for historians or those interested in the circumstances of various crimes and their meted out punishments. Case studies are of actual individuals whose court cases were heard or who were charged with crimes.

The inventory list of resources made me drool! I am at a stage in my Ontario research where I need to find more obscure records - those that are challenging to discover. Janice's book has given me so many new leads and so many new avenues of research to investigate that I will be busy for quite some time.

 Crime and Punishment in Upper Canada: A Researcher's Guide (Genealogist's Reference Shelf) is a must-have for any serious genealogist or anyone struggling to find an ancestor in early Ontario.

Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Dundurn Press (September 20, 2010)
Co-published by: Ontario Genealogical Society
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1554887704
ISBN-13: 978-1554887705

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