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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Genealogy Isn't Always Easy So Dig Deep!

I dislike anonymous queries. Most often I don't respond to them. But this one caught my attention because I believe many genealogists are struggling with a similar problem.

So I've decided to respond to it. I'm going to break this query into 4 sections (questions) and respond to each in turn.

Q 1:
.... I still can't find out when my GGGrandfather Robert Scott born 1804 in County Mayo Ireland died 9 Jan. 1893 in Chatham Ontario ,came to Ontario Canada lived in Norwich Oxford County where he had 10 children with his wife Ann Carroll .


ASK OLIVE TREE ANSWER: Dear anonymous, You are very lucky that your ancestor had 10 children. By tracing each of these children and finding their obituaries or death notices you may find evidence of when their father came to Ontario. When you are stuck it's a good idea to broaden your searches to other family members

Q 2:
The James Allison records are just letters and orphens who came to Canada in the 1840's.

ASK OLIVE TREE ANSWER: Not sure how/where you got this idea but it's not correct.The James Allison Records cover the years 1823-1849. They are not just letters and orphans! James Allison was the emigrant agent at Montreal. His job was to see that destitute immigrants arriving in that city had food and transportation to their settlement areas (usually Upper Canada, which is now the province of Ontario)

The records include such items as lists of passengers on steamboats from Montreal to Upper Canada, provisioning lists of immigrants including such comments as "expecting to get to her husband in Merrickville"

Q 3:
I have looked in your site and can't find anything. WHAT file would give me info on when these two Ann Carroll born 14 May 1815 in Ireland don't know where and died in Portage La Prairie Manitoba on 1 Jan. 1916 at the age of 101 years old . These two person have been a mystery to me as there is no info on them as to when they came to Ontario Canada & who they came with (siblings & parents) . I have them in census from 1851- 1910 but not before 1851 is there any info on persons of this time period.

ASK OLIVE TREE ANSWER: This is a challenging time period and you do not have a very narrow timeframe in which to search. Basically you are saying that between 1815 and 1851 (almost 40 years) is when they arrived in Ontario. You will need to narrow that down.

Regarding my site Olive Tree Genealogy, it requires reading what is there and clicking on various links that might take you to a database of interest.

For this early time period in Ontario you may have to search OFFline as well as ONline. Thus you may need to read the instructional information on my site in order to learn WHAT is available for this time period and WHERE to find it. Often we have to learn what is available before we jump in to searching frantically for an ancestor's name.

The fact that you misunderstood the scope of the James Allison records suggests to me that you skimmed over my site's pages far too quickly.

Q 4:
Your help in directing me to the sites for immigration between 1800- 1831 would be gratefully apprectiated. already have checked out 18 sites

ASK OLIVE TREE RESPONSE: It's interesting that you have kept track of how many sites you have been to! I'm sorry to tell you that is not a lot of searching! It's a drop in the bucket when you consider how challenging a time period early Ontario records are, and how many different sites and physical repositories you will probably have to consult in your quest.

As for immigration between 1800 and 1831 I can definitely direct you, but I'm curious how you suddenly got down from that 1851 year to 1831?

In any case, if you visit Filling in The Gaps you will see a 2-column chart called "Finding Ancestors on Canadian Passenger Lists"

You want "Ships Passenger Lists Before 1865" on the left side. You must understand that there are *no* comprehensive ships passenger lists of immigrants arriving in Canada prior to 1865. Until that year, shipping companies were not required by the government to keep their passenger manifests.

What I have done is to list EVERY possible alternative source, such as Steamship Records, Emigration Agent records, Shipping Company Records and so on.

I cannot stress enough that at this time NO OTHER LISTS OR RESOURCES ARE KNOWN TO EXIST.

There may be others which have not yet been discovered - buried in a dusty basement of an Archive or in ledger books buried amongst other physical items. But the important point is that this list online has ALL AVAILABLE RESOURCES for Ships Passenger Lists to Canada before 1865 listed and linked to. A few are only found offline but most have been published online as special projects.

You can of course also consult land records for your ancestor as most settlers immediately bought land. Find out when he bought his (if he bought any) and that will narrow your time frame for immigration.

You can also consult early (pre 1851) tax and assessment records to find out when he was living in Upper Canada.

You appear to have overlooked the 1842 census which actually gives the number of years the person had been in the province. Look for your ancestor there.

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