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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Finding an Ancestor in Ontario before 1858

Susan asked a question about ancestors in St. Mary's Perth County Ontario

My family is the John Edmondson and Mary Ann Oddy. They lived in St Mary's, Blanchard twp. Perth County from 1837'ish. Had 9 children Sarah 1842,Alice 1844, Elizabeth 1845, Annie 1848, William 1849,Thomas 1851, Ruth 1854, James 1857 and John 1858. I am looking for info of any kind.
Susan, I hope you saw my response to another St. Mary's ancestor query. The information about the St. Mary's Museum, the CLRI which is an index to early land records, and early tax and assessment records may be helpful

Also, you should check the online 1851 census for your names. I had a quick look and I see that they lived in a log shanty. That's a very poor and very temporary home, so either they had not been in that location very long or they were quite impoverished. You can see this information on the second page of the 1851 census. Don't overlook that facing page as it tells you things such as who was in school, who was absent when the census was taken, and more. I see that their eldest child is listed as being in school but also noted as being absent.

Interestingly the names recorded in 1851 don't quite agree with your list above. John and Mary Ann are the parents but children in order of birth are William? R., Margaret, Sarah J., Alice, Elizabeth, Ann and what looks like Willin (possibly William which would mean the first child has a different first name than I was able to decipher)

Lucky you, your John is also on the 1851 Agricultural Census for St. Mary's. This will show you his exact land location, how many acres he owned, how many were cultivated, what he had planted, livestock he owned and so on. For more details on the 1851 Agricultural Census see my blog post Finding Ancestors on 1851 Agricultural Census Canada

There is a second adult Edmonson living with him or right next door but I am unable to easily decipher the first name. I'll leave it to you to have that fun! Another fun fact for you to consider is that a William Oddy shows as living very near your ancestor in the Agricultural Census.

I see that a Leonard Edmonson, age 66 is living beside (or possibly in the same house) as your John Edmonson in 1861 census. It may be Leonard whose name I could not decipher in the 1851 Agricultural Census. No doubt he is a relative, perhaps a father or uncle. Again, the Gods of Genealogy are on your side, as your John is found online in the 1861 Agricultural Census

Back to Leonard - he's in the 1851 Personal Census for St. Mary's with his wife Elizabeth. And nearby is William Oddy with family. You'll definitely want to check those individuals out.

I neglected to suggest to Sharon (the other St Mary's query) that she should have a look in the Church Records for St. Mary's but this is something you may want to do. The Edmonson's religion is noted in all the census records so you can have a hunt for the church in St. Mary's that they might have attended.

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