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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Walking Step by Step Through a Census Record to Find Clues

Bud in Missouri asked
I need help! Don't know what I am doing and need guidance. Search is for Holman probably Alberta, Edmonton. First name Levi and Daisy around 1904. A McKinley Holman who may also be Ralph b. 5 July 1906 married a Mary PATTERSON, an Edith Holman married David PATTERSON Edith died 21 Sept
1948, buried where? Also a Cecil Holman b. 25 July 1911, and a Leroy Holman
b. ca 1917 said died 1983.

Daisy divorced Holman before 1914 and she did remarry twice ?? James Franklin, and last Don/Dan Frazier . so she would be buried as Frazier. Questions I have is ,migration from Missouri to Canada. What was going on.Levi is said to have died in Canada 13 May 1933, Where? What happened with Franklin and Frazier?

OLIVE TREE ANSWER: Hello Bud. This was a really interesting hunt! I decided to do some searching myself instead of pointing you in the right direction. Since you said your Levi went to Canada, possibly Alberta, my first step was to search the 1916 Census for Alberta, Saskatchewan & Manitoba which is online at


1916 census Bow River Alberta shows:

Levi Richmond Holman 38 b USA immigrated 1899 naturalized 1908, farmer
MacKinley Holman 10 b Alberta
Ceicl Holman 5 b Alberta

Address 26, 16, W4, Lone Butte

This is a partial view of the census page with Lev's name

Notice that there is no child named Edith, who would only be about 8 years old. Perhaps she is with her mother Daisy?

This census is really a great find because it gives us all kinds of new information about your Levi. First - his middle name of Richmond. Second we see that he immigrated in 1899. Because the year of immigration is often MISremembered it is a good idea to add a year or two on either side of the date given. So we have an immigration window of 1898-1900.

Border Crossing Records from USA to Canada begin in 1895 so there is a chance you might find Levi in those. They are also available on

Third Levi is a naturalized citizen and says he naturalized in 1908. Citizenship and Immigration Canada holds records of naturalization and citizenship from 1854. The originals of records dated between 1854 and 1917 have been destroyed but a nominal card index survives. It provides information taken at the time of naturalization. You can request a search by going to Canadian Naturalization Records website and following the instructions given.

Fourth Levi is a farmer which means he likely owned land. His exact land location is given on the census so you can now do two things. Check a map to find out where that is in Alberta. You can also head over to the Index to Homestead Records 1870-1930 and search for Levi.

I admit I was so curious I had to look for myself. There are several records found for Levi. Don't miss L.R. Holman (I suspect he is your Levi Richmond). He is also listed as Levi R., Levi Richard and Levi Richmond. You will no doubt want to send for all of the records to obtain full details.

Also see Daisy Emma Holman. She is in Section 24 Township 26 Range 16 Meridian 4 which is where the family is in 1916. She is there twice. For help with land locations in Alberta see the Dominion Land Survey explanation

So from one census record we find four valuable clues and pieces of information!

Next step was to search the 1906 Alberta, Saskatchewan & Manitoba census records online at

There was Levi, age 27 with his wife Daisy age 18. They are living in Calgary in 1906.

You should also check the 1901 and 1911 Canada-wide census to see if you can find Levi. That is available on at and on the Automated Genealogy website.

You might also try Our Future Our Past for Alberta Digitization Projects online - especially Newspapers. I'd hunt for Levi's obituary and other records of the family.

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