Recently Ancestry.com updated their Ontario Births, Marriages & Deaths by adding a few more years to each database. Now you can search
* Ontario, Canada Marriages, 1801-1928
* Ontario, Canada, Deaths, 1869-1938 and Deaths Overseas, 1939-1947
* Ontario, Canada Births, 1869-1913
Personally I was thrilled because the new years for births and deaths allowed me to see my father's birth registration and his father (my grandfather McGinnis) death!
I knew when my dad was born. I knew where. I knew his parents' names. But I didn't know dad was born at home and not in a hospital. That was kind of cool to be able to add that bit of detail. After learning the street name and address I immediately went to GoogleMaps to see where it was, thinking I could make a personal trip to view the home where he was born. Sadly all the houses have been torn down and a shopping mall stands there now.
But the real surprise came with my Grandfather McGinnis' death record. I have his death date and cause of death as written in the family bible. He was not very old when he died - only 58 years of age.
My mom told me that my grandpa was injured at work in the early 1900s, hurt his back and was on Workman's Compensation for many years after that, never being able to work again. Nope. The cause of death was not what is written in our Bible. And I know now why she thought he hurt his back.
The cause of death was uremia and chronic nephritis. It is noted on the death record that he hadn't worked for 9 years because of it. I know that symptoms include back pain and hypertension (which is what is written in our family Bible as cause of death). So it appears Grandpa wasn't injured at work, and the reason he couldn't work was his nephritis not a bad back.
The death record also showed that he had last worked as Foreman at a "Sewerage Company" That must mean he worked for the City of Guelph which was also a surprise.
I had another surprise about Grandpa earlier this year when I found out he was a Fireman in Guelph's first official Fire Department! You can read about that at Museums: A Hidden Genealogical Treasure Trove. As the Ancestry.com commercial on television says "Who forgot to mention that?"
If you've got Canadian ancestors now's your chance to take another look in the Vital Records on Ancestry.com. You may get some surprises too!