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October 31, 2018

Don't Trust Everything You Read

Take It With a Genealogy Grain of Salt

I've been sorting through old papers for the past two days. Tucked away in a folder in a filing cabinet in the basement was a magazine dated 1988. It's a  Financial magazine, all about making money, investing wisely and so on. This particular issue featured stories of people who had invested wisely and retired early, or were successfully juggling a career with pursuing a dream.

I was puzzled as to why I'd saved it but figured there had to be an article featuring someone I knew. Sure enough there was. The article was a glowing report of a man, we'll call him Sam. Let me preface this with the fact that I knew, and still know, Sam very well.

The article revealed that Sam had a  high-paying career and was also a rather successful emerging artist (I use the word artist to describe actors, writers, poets, painters, sculptors). Sam worked part-time to support his art and his yearly wages which were given in the article were extremely good.

The article portrayed Sam as a very successful person pursuing his dream while earning a more than decent living. A descendant finding this article 50 or 100 or more years from now would be thrilled to think their ancestor was such an amazing person!

But the author of the article only knew Sam for a brief moment in Sam's life. I've known him for a very long time and also know what has happened to Sam over the past 24 years since the article was written. 

The truth is that Sam has made bad choices in his life. The details are personal so I will simply say that his path in life was a downhill one, not the successful one portrayed in the magazine. He is not a successful artist. He no longer has a high-paying career.

He's a very different person from the person portrayed in the magazine article. Reading it made me realize that as genealogists we should not rely on one article or one obituary to paint the full picture of an ancestor's life. These are all subjective views written at a specific moment in time. Take it with a grain of salt. Or at least recognize that it's only one small piece of a person's entire life.

In genealogy research remember it's okay to be sceptical. It's okay to question every document you find. Think about it. Analyze it. Be critical. Don't trust every document you find and read. You'll be surprised at how many errors there can be in one small document.

October 30, 2018

Found WW2 USA Soldier ID Tag Elmer E. Sheriff

Malcolm A. sent this photo of an American dog tag he found in the United Kingdom.

Hi I am a metal detectorist from the UK. Today whilst out searching I found an American dog tag from the World war II. I would love to re unite it with his family if there are any dependants alive. The name on the tag is Elmer E Sheriff. His next of kind was A J Sheriff. The address was 606 Main St. Bellwood. PA. The service number is 0-1104394. Any help would be much appreciated. Thank you. PS I've found out that he died on the 5th November 1976 age 70 in Wickenburg Arianna.  He was married to Virginia Louise Pemberton  in Wickenburg Arizona

Lorine's Research: Friends, an Elmer E. Sheriff enlisting in WW2  can be seen online on the National Archives. His service number is 20323529

Fold3 shows an Elmer E. Sheriff in the Vietnam War with service number shown 0-1004394 (out by one digit).

The 1940 census for Bellwood, Blair Pennsylvania shows a 33 year old Elmer son of A.J. Sheriff (sames as next of kin on dog tag) and Edna. Veteran Compensation Files dated June 1950 show Elmer as born Feb. 3, 1906 in Bellwood and serving in the National Guard.


My brief research seems to indicate that Elmer was an only child and had no children of his own. His wife was married three times according to a memorial on Find A Grave. 

Can any of my wonderful readers find a living descendant so Malcolm can send the dog tag home?





 


October 29, 2018

Finding an Ancestor in Upper Canada (Ontario) pre 1871 - Part 3 of 3

Rory wrote to Olive Tree Genealogy with this intriguing question:

I am reseaching a William Hanley. According to his obituary:

 " Mr. Hanley was born on May 4th 1857 at Buffalo Wellington County Ontario son of the late Richard and Elizabeth Hanley."

 The only village I can scare up is Buffalo Heights but that is in Peel Co. Any assistance is greatly appreciated.
Some queries grab my interest and make me want to dig in and do some sleuthing. This one did. My hunt online was challenging so I thought I'd share with my readers the step by step of what I did and what I found.

DON'T OVERLOOK CLUES 

There's one clue I hadn't followed up on - the birth location Ellen gave when she married. She said she was born in Stratford which is in Perth County. Since she was born circa 1859 I might find her with her parents in the 1861 census for Perth County.

BINGO! Here's what I found on Ancestry.com in Ellice Twp, Perth Co. Ontario in 1861



* Richard Henley [sic], farmer, born Ireland, age 31
* Elizabeth, born UC (Upper Canada now Ontario) age 20
* Wm (William), born UC, 3
* Michel [sic], born UC, 2
* Elin [sic], born UC, 1

They are Roman Catholic. And there we have the family as I suggested. Father born Ireland, mother Canada - agrees with census records I found. My working theory is, I believe, proven correct to a point. We can see that William, Michael and Ellen are siblings and children of Richard and Elizabeth. But we don't have proof that Richard and Elizabeth died. The siblings were living elsewhere in 1871 but their parents may have been impoverished and unable to care for them.

WHAT TO DO NEXT

1. Look for a marriage record for William Hanley. He married in Saskatchewan and finding his marriage record will be proof positive if his parents are listed as Richard Hanley and Elizabeth (Lizzie) Tracey

2. Now there are more clues now to try to find the parents Richard and Elizabeth. We know her surname (Tracey) and we know she was born in what is now Ontario circa 1841. And we have the witness William Tracy at Ellen Hanley's marriage in 1878. He may be an uncle or a cousin. I would research the Tracey family in Perth and in Wellington Counties.

3. Look for the closest Catholic Church in Ellice Township to hunt for a possible marriage record for Richard and Elizabeth, also for baptisms of their children. Since the children are 1 year apart in age, it's very likely that Richard and Elizabeth married shortly before William's birth. So that narrows your timeline for a search.

4. Since Richard is listed as a farmer in the 1861 census, you may be able to find him in land records. Try the CLRI (Ontario Land Record Index) for his name. Often men bought or sold their land to family members so with luck you may learn more about the Hanley family if you can find Richard. At the very least it will give you a precise location for land and the dates he bought and sold it. You could also try a search of the UCLP (Upper Canada Land Petitions) to see if Richard filed a petition.

5. I would also continue researching the siblings of William. Searching the siblings - their spouses and families can often result in an invaluable clue being found. For example the obituary for either Michael or Ellen might provide many genealogical tidbits about their parents.

October 26, 2018

Finding an Ancestor in Upper Canada (Ontario) pre 1871 - Part 2 of 3

Rory wrote to Olive Tree Genealogy with this intriguing question:

I am reseaching a William Hanley. According to his obituary:

 " Mr. Hanley was born on May 4th 1857 at Buffalo Wellington County Ontario son of the late Richard and Elizabeth Hanley."

 The only village I can scare up is Buffalo Heights but that is in Peel Co. Any assistance is greatly appreciated.
Some queries grab my interest and make me want to dig in and do some sleuthing. This one did. My hunt online was challenging so I thought I'd share with my readers the step by step of what I did and what I found.

DEVELOP A WORKING THEORY

This is where I develop a working theory. My genealogy brain, experience and intuition immediately think "Hmmmm.... two Hanley boys living with two families who are almost certainly related... and both boys are Irish Catholic... it's possible that they are brothers and their parents are dead"  This is what I call a working theory. It's a "guess" based on clues and I'm going to now try to prove or disprove my theory.

PROVE OR DISPROVE YOUR THEORY

But first I had a look for a Richard Hanley in Wellington County. There was a Richard and Elizabeth Handley living in Wellington in 1871 census but not in Peel Twp and they were aged 80 and 78, far too old to be the parents of William. As well both were from England, not Ireland and were Methodist not Catholic. I can rule them out.

But what did come up in the Ancestry.com search results was the  marriage of a 19 year old woman named Ellen Hanley. Ellen gave her parents names as Richard Hanley and Elizabeth Tracy. Her birth place was noted as Stratford which is in Perth County but she was marrying in Peel Twp., Wellington County. I wondered where Ellen Hanley was in 1871. I search found her as a 10 year old girl living with the O'Grady family in Peel Twp, Wellington Co. Ellen was born in Ontario and was a Roman Catholic of Irish origin.

EXPAND YOUR THEORY AND YOUR SEARCH

A 10 year old girl would not normally be found living with another family unless her parents were deceased. And thus my working theory expanded to suggest that Ellen was a sibling of Michael and of William.

I liked that Ellen's parents were Richard and Elizabeth and that she was the same religion and ethnicity as William. My search now expanded to records other than census. I checked births, marriages and deaths and other online records.

Eventually I found a marriage record on FamilySearch dated 1893 in Aurelius Michigan for Michael J. Hanley, age 29, born Canada, son of Richard Hanley & Lizzie Tracy. It was a second marriage for Michael.

NOTE YOUR PROVEN FACTS

So now I have proof that Michael Hanley and Ellen Hanley were siblings and were living with other families in Peel Twp, Wellington County in 1871. I still believe that William is their brother. The circumstantial evidence for this is the proximity of William to Michael in 1871, the fact that they were both living with families with the same surname (probably related), and that both had parents named Richard and Elizabeth.

Further research showed that Ellen settled in North Dakota circa 1880 which explains why she is not found on the 1881 census for Canada. In census records in USA she states her father was born Ireland and her mother in Ontario. Her grave is found on FindAGrave.

Michael can be found in Michigan records and the 1920 Census for Lansing Michigan indicates he immigrated circa 1881.  He notes his father being born Ireland and his mother in Canada

William is found in Boissevain Village, Manitoba in 1901 although in this census he is listed as Presbyterian. He appears to have gone to Manitoba circa 1882 but I have not found him in 1881. By 1892 he had moved to Saskatchewan.


To be continued...

October 24, 2018

Finding an Ancestor in Upper Canada (Ontario) pre 1871 - part 1 of 3

Rory wrote to Olive Tree Genealogy with this intriguing question:

I am reseaching a William Hanley. According to his obituary:

 " Mr. Hanley was born on May 4th 1857 at Buffalo Wellington County Ontario son of the late Richard and Elizabeth Hanley."

 The only village I can scare up is Buffalo Heights but that is in Peel Co. Any assistance is greatly appreciated.
Some queries grab my interest and make me want to dig in and do some sleuthing. This one did. My hunt online was challenging so I thought I'd share with my readers the step by step of what I did and what I found.

As Rory discovered, it looks like there's some kind of error or mixup in William Hanley's obit. That's often the case with an obituary. You can't trust it 100% unless the deceased wrote it personally before death! Otherwise it is simply someone else's recollections.

But since Wellington County is mentioned specifically, my intuition was that William did indeed live or was born in Wellington County. Ontario Vital Records did not begin until 1869 so we won't find William's birth registered. Rory could look in church records once William's religious affiliation is known.  Luckily that is found on Ontario Census records so that's where I'm going to look first.

USE WILDCARDS WHEN SEARCHING

As many of my readers know, I like to begin with Ancestry.com. A search there for William Hanley did provide some results. Once on Ancestry I used wildcards and typed Will* H*n*l*y into the search engine. The wildcard * in his first name will find variations such as Will, Willie, Willy, and Wiliam. The wildcards in his surname will find Henley, Henlay, Hanlay, Hanley, Hanly, Henly, and variations with a "d" such as Handley.

I also added an approximate birth year of 1857 +/-2  That will allow for any discrepancy in his age in census or other records. I could have chosen +/- 5 but I like to start with a narrower search and then expand it if I don't get results.

I then added the keyword "Wellington". I don't put this in the location field as I find that very unforgiving and it will not return as many results as putting the location in the keyword field instead.

CENSUS RECORDS

The search terms yielded 3 results - 2 were duplicates so what I had was an 1871 census for a William Hanlay in Peel Twp, Wellington Co.  and a 1901 census for a William Hanley with the wrong birth day/month and year, and living in Ottawa with a wife Alice. I liked the look of that 1871 census so I went to view the image.  It showed 15 year old William, a Catholic of Irish origin, born Ontario and living with the Conolly family.

Interestingly, only a few names away on the image was a Michael Hanley, age 12, also Catholic of Irish origin and born Ontario living with another Conolly family.

To be continued....

October 22, 2018

Clues for Finding an Ancestor's Immigration Record

So Many Clues You Can Follow to Find an Ancestor's Immigration in USA or CanadaA few years ago Olive Tree Genealogy received a request from a reader (Hillary M.) of my AskOliveTree blog.

Because my answer covers so many generic research suggestions I thought it might be helpful to repost it here.
Dear Olive Tree,

I need assistance locating immigration/migration records for my gr-gr-grandfather Henry Arthur Bolton and my gr-gr-grandmother Emily Meyrick.

The problem is, I don't know exactly when Henry immigrated to Canada from England, or when he migrated from Canada to the United States.  In the US census records his immigration date changes; 1900 census states 1875, 1910 census states 1871, 1920 census states 1872.

What I do know is he married Emily Jane Meyrick on October 14 1886 is Worcester Massachusetts.  His marriage record states his parents names as George and Elizabeth.  At the time of his marriage his age is listed as 25. 

He died in Massachusetts May 14, 1942 (My grandmother was 19 years old)
Hello Hillary - The first thing that jumps out at me in your query is that immigration date for Henry. That date does not likely refer to his immigration to Canada but rather into the USA. So if he was first in Canada for a period of time, the year he crossed the border to USA is almost certainly what is being referred to. (immigration years 1871, 1872, 1875)

It is not unusual to have a mis-remembered immigration year. I always advise researchers to allow a  few years on either side of a date given. So I would be searching from 1870 to 1877 or so. Unfortunately Border Crossing records did not exist before 1895 so you are out of luck there.

Also I note that on his marriage record he is recorded as "Arthur H." so you will have to remember to look under both names - Henry and Arthur. As well, you may not be aware that Harry is a common nickname for Henry. I would search under all three names - Henry, Arthur and Harry.

Canadian Census & Ships Passenger Lists
You may find that Henry missed any Canadian census records which were taken every 10 years. You could look for him in 1871 census in Canada but that will probably be your only hope. Also, ships passenger lists to Canada did not have to be kept before 1865. So if Henry arrived from 1869 on you may find him in the online ships manifests found at Ancestry.com

For ships arriving in Canada before 1865 please see Filling in the Gaps which has a complete list of all substitute lists such as shipping agent records, immigration agent records and so on. Each list is linked to the actual records and most can be searched online.

Naturalization Records
Since Henry was born in England and thus was a British subject, you may find that he naturalized in the USA. In fact I had a look in his census records to see what information they gave re his naturalization status. You didn't mention that in your query so perhaps you were not aware that each census from 1900 to 1930 gives details as to whether or not a foreign-born individual had naturalized (shown as NA on the census page), had applied for his first papers (PA on the census page) or had not naturalized (AL on the census page)

Henry's 1900 and 1910 census show he had his first papers. The 1920 census states he was a naturalized citizen. You now have a timeline of 1910-1920 to search for his naturalization papers. You could also search pre 1900 for his application to naturalize. Please see NaturalizationRecords.com for information and links to online naturalization databases.  You can also search Fold3 for naturalization records.


Obituaries and Newspaper Records
Have you searched for an obit for Henry? You may want to try Ancestry.com and GenealogyBank for newspaper records.

English Records

You might try looking in United Kingdom census records for Henry/Arthur/Harry and his parents. I'd try 1861 and 1871.

Have you searched Free BMD for a possible birth record for Henry? If you find a possiblity there and wish to order the full record, please see my blog post Ordering English Certificates of Birth, Marriage or Death online for instructions on how to do this.  In fact  I found a very good possibility for your Henry Arthur being registered in the 3rd quarter of 1861 (between July and September) in Maidstone, which fits with your Henry giving his month and year of birth in the 1900 census as August 1861. You will have to get the details re volume and page number from the Free BMD website.

Search Children's Records

One last idea for you is to search all his children. Look for death records and obituaries in particular. You never know when one child's record may provide amazing genealogical details that you cannot find elsewhere.

October 21, 2018

New JJ Cooke Ships Irish Passenger Lists online

Irish passenger lists from shipping records can be found in Passenger Books of J & J Cooke, Shipping Agents. Sailings from Londonderry to Philadelphia Pennsylvania, Quebec, St. John New Brunswick & New Orleans Louisiana, 1847-1871

Source: Reference D.2892/1/1-14 (see also MIC.13 in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland)

I have recently added twenty more ships to my free online JJ Cooke Ships Passenger Lists on Olive Tree Genealogy

Hope you find an ancestor or two! 


October 19, 2018

Analysing Clues to Help You Figure Out Where to Search Next (pt 2)


Sherri asked about her grandfather's death and I posted the first part of my answer on this blog on October 17th. Here is the second part of my answer:

I have been looking for information for about 5 years about my grandfather who is named Burrell Charles Ball first married to Doreen Roxie Morcombe (from Omemee) and then afterward I think Estelle Ball was his wife.  Burrell’s brother I know was from Emily Twp, Albert and he died a few years back and Burrell died around 1993 but I do not know when, where, how etc. 
Also Russell Charles Ball was their father and I believe he lived in Lakefield but there is little information about any of them.  I know there was a fire in Russell’s Lakefield home where he had Burrell, Albert and Barbara E. Ball (I think).  He was married to Julia Secreta Wood that I believe died when she was young.   Where can I go to find out more information?

Olive Tree Genealogy Answer:

Hello Sherri. Since you did not provide an estimated year of birth for Burell, I had to hunt on the 'net to find some mention of him.  Luckily I happened on one of your message board posts where you stated he was born circa 1920 and, best of all, that he was in WW2.

His military service is a great clue and means there are a number of steps you can now take:

Step One:
Did you know that you can send for his military file from Library and Archives Canada? This will give you lots of detail about your grandfather, and may include his death date and location.

Step Two:
Also you can search the online records of the Legion Magazine's Last Post. These are death notices for servicemen and women. Burell is found - just conduct a search under his name. His death date is given as November 14, 1992 (no location). So if he were my ancestor my next step would be to write to the Legion Magazine and ask if they have any other information on Burrell.

Step Three: 
Write to the Legion Branch (Haliburton) where Burrell was a member. Ask if anyone remembers him or if there is more information available. 

There are other steps you can take even with the few clues you have given me.

Step Four:
Send for Burrell's birth certificate from the Registrar General in Thunder Bay.  This will give you an exact date and location of birth, as well his parents' names and ages. With any luck the info found there will lead you to finding his parents in the 1911 census or in earlier records.

Step Five:
Lakefield is in Peterborough County so I would write to the Peterborough Museum & Archives and ask if they have any information on the family.

Burrell's Parents
Now, turning to Burrell's parents. You don't seem to have found the information available on Russell and his wife Julia. Ancestry.com has Ontario marriage records to 1927 online. The marriage of Russell Charles Ball age 29 to Julia Secreta [sic] Wood age 19 is found in Peterborough County 6 June 1917.  You will want to obtain this record. Julia's middle name appears to be a mistranscription of the actual name given in the image.

 Ancestry.com has very nicely shown that there are other records online for Russell and Julia - namely Russell's birth, 1891 census, 1901 census, 1911 census, Julia's birth and her death. Their places of birth and parents' names are found in the record of marriage record.

Next, since Lakefield was mentioned by you, why not search the online Lakefield Cemetery website? I did, and found Charles Russell Ball, Julia and several other Ball burials. You may be able to match some of them with whatever you find in the census records. This will give you some family groups with dates.

Summary:
Going clue by clue I've now found Russell Charles Ball's birth record, marriage record and burial. Each new bit of information was a clue I used to find another bit. I have also found his parents' names and  their deaths too. Their deaths provided me with their locations of birth.

There is much more available online but I'll leave you the fun of following the trail I started for you.

October 17, 2018

How to Analyse Clues in Genealogy Records (Pt 1)


Sherri sent a query to Ask Olive Tree about her grandfather's death:

I have been looking for information for about 5 years about my grandfather who is named Burrell Charles Ball first married to Doreen Roxie Morcombe (from Omemee) and then afterward I think Estelle Ball was his wife.  Burrell’s brother I know was from Emily Twp, Albert and he died a few years back and Burrell died around 1993 but I do not know when, where, how etc. 
Also Russell Charles Ball was their father and I believe he lived in Lakefield but there is little information about any of them.  I know there was a fire in Russell’s Lakefield home where he had Burrell, Albert and Barbara E. Ball (I think).  He was married to Julia Secreta Wood that I believe died when she was young.   Where can I go to find out more information?

Olive Tree Genealogy Answer:

Hello Sherri. Since you did not provide an estimated year of birth for Burell, I had to hunt on the 'net to find some mention of him.  Luckily I happened on one of your message board posts where you stated he was born circa 1920 and, best of all, that he was in WW2.

His military service is a great clue and means there are a number of steps you can now take:

Step One:
Did you know that you can send for his military file from Library and Archives Canada? This will give you lots of detail about your grandfather, and may include his death date and location.


October 15, 2018

Reading Old Handwriting

This document is the registered probate copy
of the nuncupative will of Elizabeth Nicolai,
dated 21 July 1723.
Thanks to Twitter follower @FPLDGenealogy for passing this link on to me!

" has an amazing paleography exercise area you need to see!"

It is wonderful! There are lessons in reading 15th, 16th and 17th century handwriting as well as 10 interactive lessons. I'm still on Lesson One and enjoying the challenge.

If you have early English documents you will want to give this a try.


There is also an online tutorial for reading Latin, so if, like me, you've long forgotten most of your High School Latin, this might prove helpful. When I was researching my husband's Belgian ancestors, the records were found written in Dutch, Flemish, Latin, and French. I managed to decipher the standard words but it wasn't easy! 

October 14, 2018

Ancestry Family History Month DNA Specials!

Great News! if you've always wanted to have your DNA tested, or your family's DNA, here's your chance!

It's Ancestry Family History Month and there's a sale on AncestryDNA from October 15 at 10 p.m. MT to October 21 at 10 p.m. MT (Here's a time zone converter in case, like me, you are time zone challenged)

$69.00 a kit! That's a great sale.

I'm going to grab a few for family members for Christmas gifts! I've already tested at several companies, including Ancestry but not many of my relatives have.

You can read about my and my husband's DNA journey at:

DNA Genealogy - Friend or Foe?

Understanding Your DNA Results: Comparison Charts

DNA Results Leave us Gob-Smacked!

DNA Gave My Husband a Completely Different Great Grandfather

DNA and Native American Heritage

The Massey DNA Connection


October 12, 2018

Derr Photo Album Civil War Era


This is one of my favourite photographs from my rescued Civil War era photo album.

I call this the Derr Album and the photos that were in it can be viewed on my Lost Faces website. 

Most of the photos were identified, but not this one. It appears to be a older couple and either it is a very early photograph or they are wearing outdated fashion. The man's necktie is not usual for the 1860s. The woman's cap could is an older style. At first I thought it might be a Quaker cap but I'm rather puzzled by it.

The inscription inside the cover of this album reads:  -- and Richard -- Cleveland
 
The inscription on the front page Mr. & Mrs. R. Derr, Ney Defiance Co. Ohio

​Surnames: Derr, Prehn, Bartholomew, Stahl, Bushnell, Austen, Ward, Beavis, Brownlee, Garman, Gray, Green, Carter, Furst, Newcomb, Mott, Beck, Field, Wilson

Locations: Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania

October 10, 2018

Don't Overlook the Online Ontario Land Records

When you think you've hit a dead end or a brick wall, believe me, there's always more out there!

Case in point: On a genealogy group on Facebook, someone posted about the Pettit family, saying they could not find "much on their father Richard Pettit.... or their mother Nancy Lamon" 

So I had a look. There is actually a lot that can be found on this specific family through a simple Google search. One site has sourced details on Richard, his wife and family, and his parents and siblings. The few online trees on Ancestry have errors but they might be used for clues.

But a little known site for those seeking Ontario ancestors is the Ontario Land Registry site. There you can look for Abstract Indexes to Deeds which are the indexed record of every transaction on a plot of land from Crown ownership to the present day. You can often find a record of a will there, or a wife's maiden name.

Henry Petit, also his son Richard (and other family members) are found here
Abstract/Parcel Register Book
MIDDLESEX COUNTY (33), CARADOC, Book 15
CONCESSION 6

We can see that Henry Pettit received a patent for land from the Crown on 26 February 1858. This means he was the first owner of this land and he should also be found in the CLRI (Ontario Land Record Index) which records first time owners. He received 100 acres in the North half of Lot 3, Concession 6.

Continuing to read each line you can see when Henry sold  part of the land, and to whom. You also find that his son Richard is shown as selling some of the land in 1916. There are many Pettit names on these 2 pages for this parcel of land and you can see which Pettit gained possession over the years. This also can indicate relationships. As well you should look for spousal surnames. In this particular case we would want to look for Lamon and Smeath (Henry Pettit married Nancy Smeath)

Richard Pettit is also found here
Abstract/Parcel Register Book
MIDDLESEX COUNTY (33), METCALFE, Book 3
CONCESSION 13

Finding a name of interest in these abstracts means you can obtain the full record by referring to the instrument number beside the name. Remember, as helpful as these are, they are INDEXES.

Sometimes the full record is a lengthy, and often somewhat boring description of the boundaries of the specific parcel of land. Other times it is chock full of amazing details that we genealogists drool over. I once found the name of my husband's long-lost great aunt, her husband's name and more in the full instrument. We had lost all trace of her once she was no longer found with her parents on census records. The instrument details paved the way and led us to many more interesting facts about her life.


October 8, 2018

Online Ontario Newspapers

Some genealogists might not know about Bowling Green State University (BGSU) 's Historical Canadian Newspapers Online: Ontario

They have a very lengthy list of historical Canadian newspapers (with links) for all Provinces but I'm personally interested in Ontario so thought I would share that link with readers.

You can find all kinds of interesting items in local newspapers - beyond the expected birth, marriages, and deaths. There are often articles about accidents, or humorous events, or bankruptcies... you name it, there could be an article mentioning your ancestor.

For example here's an 1879 article (one of many) about my 2nd great uncle Harmon Philip Peer, who made a living out of jumping off bridges and the masts of ships, attached to cables - sort of the first bungie jumper. 


October 6, 2018

Celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving

It's our Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend. How are you celebrating? Ours is a quiet one this year with just my hubby and I.

Long gone are the days when all my children and their families returned home for a feast like this on the left.






I no longer cook a big turkey like this one from 2015. So I feel a bit sad this year. Times change. Lives get busy. Family live far away.

I get it. But I still like to get together with family on this weekend.

I think my husband is looking forward to the peace and quiet though. With 10 grandchildren it can get rather hectic!

We've certainly had our share of fun on Thanksgiving. One year my husband decided to raise our own turkey for the feast. But he let it grow until it was over 50 pounds and I didn't have a big enough pot or oven to cook it in!

On the right are the two birds. One for Thanksgiving and one for Christmas. They had a lovely reprieve that year. 

Wishing everyone who celebrates our Canadian Thanksgiving a wonderful holiday! What are your traditions?














October 1, 2018

Church of Ireland Parish Records Going Online

Good news for those searching their Irish ancestors! Those of us with Catholic ancestors already had our genealogy gift in 2016 - the digitization of the Catholic Church records. Read about those records at 10 Million Irish Catholic Parish Records Coming Online!

Now a grant has been given to digitize the Church of Ireland Parish registers.

The register records date back as far as 1619 and include the Church of Ireland parish registers for baptism, marriage, and burial. There are 1,110 sets of parish records in total and approximately 840 of them contain varying quantities of public records which have not yet been digitized.

I'll watch for news of a projected finish date so be sure to check back to Olive Tree Genealogy blog frequently. Eventually the digitised records will be indexed and made available on IrishGenealogy.ie. See Church of Ireland Press Release