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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Finding Grandpa's Brothers in Canada

Dolores asked Olive Tree Genealogy for help finding her grandfather's brothers.
 I have been trying to locate my grandfather’s two brothers, is there a list of indentured servants in Canadian the 1890’s and early 1900’s.  Ottawa Valley area
Dolores - I'm not aware of any lists of indentured servants. You may wish to simplify your search by checking the 1891 and 1901 census for these brothers.

You can search Canadian census records on and on Automated Genealogy

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Finding an Ancestor Arriving in Canada Before 1865

Cindy asked Olive Tree Genealogy a question about her Irish ancestors' immigration to Canada.
thank you in advance for your time,  I am trying to find my husbands family.
Robert Moynan born 1821 in Ireland and his wife also from Ireland lived in Farnham and is buried there along with his wife. I am looking for records of emmigration but find nothing.  I do know that some records from Ireland are missing and I don't know if they came as "Poor" any ideas?
 Hi Cindy - I see from your online tree that the family were in Quebec before 1851 when their daughter was born. That's a challenge because prior to 1865 ships passenger lists for Canada did not have to be kept. So finding one is tricky. Some have survived but most have not.

Don't despair though as there are substitutes to finding an actual passenger list, such as shipping company records, Emigration Agent records, Steamship records from ships taking immigrants up the St. Lawrence River, etc.

Read the rest of Olive Tree Genealogy answer at

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Relationship Calculator Revisited

Robert asked Olive Tree Genealogy about a relationship

I recently came across My Grandfathers' brothers sons daughter on Facebook. My question is what relation is/was 1) My grandfathers brother to me 2) My grandfathers brothers son to me and 3 My grandfathers brothers sons daughter to me? Thank you for your help in answering this because I do not have a clue!!

Robert - it can be confusing. All you need to do is read my previous blog post Relationship Calculater to quickly and easily figure out the relationship.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Writing a Good Query Will Get You Better Responses

Nina asked a question but unfortunately didn't provide details necessary for Olive Tree Genealogy to answer specifically.

I have worked in both USA and Canadian records regarding Jackman and Reynolds families.  I know that Richard Jackman married to Mary ? (surname may be Morton, Reynolds, or Miller, but mostly likely was Reynolds.)  Their Bible had John Jackman (for whom I cannot find residence, wife, children), Elizabeth Jackman who md. William Wallace, William Jackman who md. Catherine Monks/Munks, Edward Jackman who did not marry, Ann/ Nancy Jackman or whom I don't have a marriage.  There was another child whose name was not in the bible - Hiram Reynolds Jackman who md. Martha Oliver.
Do you have any information on this family?  What was the surname of Mary who was md. to Richard Jackman Sr.?  Is there any proof available regarding Hiram Reynolds Jackman who had land dealings with Richard Sr. and his sons, and certainly seems to have been another son.  He moved to Michigan after selling his land.  Please help if you can.

Nina - I'm afraid I can't answer your question precisely because there is information missing that is needed

1. You have not provided any dates. I don't know if your family was living in the 1600s, 1700s, 1800s, 1900s.

2. Your locations (Canada and USA) are too broad to give specific answers as to repositories you might want to check. You mention Michigan for Hiram but again with no dates or a more precise location it is not possible to give you specific answers.

Depending what years your ancestors lived and where they were living during those years affects where you should look for more details. For example I can't tell you to check church records for such and such a town/city in such and such a township/county in such and such a province/state/territory.

And since every country, township, county etc has different records for different time periods and keeps them in different locations, I cannot give you anything other than generic answers.

My generic answer would be to consult local church records where your ancestors settled. Consult local land records for deeds, wills and general information on the buying and selling of their land. Consult census records and tax or assessment records. Look for obituaries and vital registrations of births, marriages and deaths.

I can't be more specific because I don't know where or when your ancestors lived.

 Remember there are 3 key items needed when asking someone for assistance - names, locations and dates.  You may want to take a look at an article "Good Query Bad Query" for some suggestions and reminders

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Finding an Ancestor in Canada Requires More Precise Location

Angela asked Olive Tree Genealogy a question about finding someone who moved to Canada.

I am searching for my great uncle, Julius Idavain, born 1/12/1918 in Estionia,  he had brother Edward 1/3/1910 , (my grandfather)   a sister HIlda 2/5/1913  , Edward took ill and later died in New york in 1942,   Julius visited my mother when she was a child,, she was told by her grandfather that Julius had moved to Canada , and used to keep in contact by ltr with her grandfather,   I have searched records for canada but cannot find anything , even on any ship records, . Any ideas ??
Angela - You will have trouble searching for records unless you can narrow down the geographic location. Canada is the second largest country in the world and every province and territory has different records from different years kept in different locations! So unless you know at the minimum a province or territory you're going to have a challenge.

Also, ships passenger records to Canadian ports of arrival are not available online after 1935. Immigration records after 1935 are in the custody of Citizenship and Immigration Canada. To obtain a copy you must meet certain requirements which are outlined on the website.

You could try the Border Crossing records for USA and Canada if you have not already done so.  These are found on

Canada also has strict privacy laws so it will be quite difficult for you to get information for the years you require it. For example our most recent searchable census is 1911. This will give you some idea of how far back you need to go to access many records.