2006 Temple Square SLC

Last year in October 2013, I took the Sources for Tracing Pre-mid-Nineteeth Cemetery Ancestors course offered by the British Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah, which is sponsored by the International Society for British Genealogy and Family History. http://www.isbgfh.org/

The course was excellent and one of my teachers appeared on an episode this last year of “Who Do You Think You Are?”  I was very excited when I saw Paul Blake on the show.  http://www.tlc.com/tv-shows/who-do-you-think-you-are

I started to build on my Boardman and McMurray/Jackson family lines on my mother’s side and I posted my findings on this blog.

Family History Library 2006

Family History Library 2006

This year in 2014, I will be attending the Institute again in Salt Lake City and taking Scottish Research: The Fundamentals and Beyond, by Paul Milner.  So I am currently in the process of preparing to attend this course and getting ready for the trip to Salt Lake City.  I also plan to take advantage of the opportunity to do more of the family research at the Family History Library.  It will be a very intense week of classes and researching.  So I will be getting back to posting on this blog some time in November 2014 about my findings in Ontario and more.

The Line at opening to the Family History Library

The Line at opening to the Family History Library

This will be my sixth trip to Salt Lake City and the Family History Library.  https://familysearch.org/locations/saltlakecity-library  This library and their online website for their records has contributed greatly to my research successes.  https://familysearch.org/search  I do know of people who go there even more than six times.

2009 3rd Floor Family History Library

2009 3rd Floor Family History Library

At the National Genealogical Society Conference held in Salt Lake City in 2010 Family Search announced that they would digitize their whole collection and it would take 100 years but they had created ways to improve digital transfer so they could do it in 10 years.  I was amazed.  Every time I go to their website it changes and gets better and better and sometimes more complicated.

2013 British Institute

2013 British Institute getting ready…

2013 British Institute Class

2013 British Institute Class

Well it is time to get back to planning for this trip.  One of the requirements is to read a book on Scottish History, so I best go and get my two chapters in.

The History of Scotland,” by Peter & Fiona Somerset Fry, reprinted several times 1997.

Posted by: bonmac | October 3, 2014

Ontario, Quebec, New York Wanderings…

The rest of my trip to Ontario, Quebec and New York is being featured on the blog:  The Man Who Lived Airplanes http://macdonellfamily.wordpress.com/

I visit the Glengarry area of Ontario again.  This time I head to Montreal and you can read about my findings and adventures.  From Montreal I head south to New York State and have some really interesting experiences while visiting that great state.

Postings on this blog will probably not happen till the end of October or beginning of November.  I am still working on documenting this trip and also preparing for my trip to SLC and the British Isles course I am taking.

Go over to the other blog and enjoy!  Bonnie

Jean Talon Market Montral

Jean Talon Market Montral


My route to Kingston was from Tweed to Napanee.  From Napanee I headed east to Kingston on Hwy 2.  I was familiar with Kingston from my last visit in 2012 when I attended the Ontario Genealogical Society Conference held there.

Kingston's Water Tower

Kingston’s Water Tower Almost the same photo as 2012

See my posts dated June 22, 2012, June 21, 2012 and June 20, 2012 on the blog The Man Who Lived Airplanes for my trip in 2012 to the Kingston area.  Use the Archive list box or find the Kingston category.

As usual travel can take more time than you think. and it was fast approaching 1 pm and I was not yet in Kingston.  I stopped at the Denny’s in Napanee (or was that Great Napanee) to get some lunch. It is important to have a full tummy when you do research.

My original plan was to check in and park at the Confederation Place Hotel but I didn’t have time so I sought out on street parking.  This time I was across the street on Wellington Ave.  A big semi was backing into the lot on the other side of the street. I yelled “NO” when he got too close to my car.

Anglican Diocese Sign

Anglican Diocese Sign

You enter the Diocese archives through the bookstore in the back.  They have open hours and this was Thursday so I was good.  This is an awesome bookstore but I didn’t have time to dally.

Through the Bookstore

Through the Bookstore

Down the stairs

Down the stairs

Lisa Russell is the contact person and she greeted me as I came down the steep stairs. I paid my $15.00 for the day. This Diocese has indexed their records so you use the index first and then with that information you obtain copies from the registers.  Some registers have been  photocopied so you get a copy of a copy.  I had made three spreadsheets of baptisms, marriages and deaths of my Brown family.  I worked through them writing down what I found on the index as requested by Lisa who gave me a very thorough review of how to use the index.  http://ontario.anglican.ca/wp/the-anglican-diocese-of-ontario-archives-adoa/

The Diocese Archive Room

The Diocese Archive Room

Lisa began pulling the copies of the registers from my list.  You don’t usually get an original register but this time I did at least get to look at one.  Lisa is very fast and had all my copies to me within minutes.

I returned to feed the meter and while I was walking back I called my friend Elaine Brown to make arrangements for dinner at the Keg which was an easy walk from the hotel.

I didn’t find all the Brown information that I wanted.  I double checked and Richard Brown my great-grandfather is just not there in the baptisms.  So I have not been able on this trip to find his baptismal record.  I did baptisms, marriages, deaths and burials.  I will refer to my findings in other future posts.  I have eliminated the church records of this diocese and the St. John’s of Petersborough.

I was done about 4 pm and had arrived around 1:45 pm.  I paid for my copies at $.50 a sheet.  Fortunately no one else came to do research so I was able to work quickly and efficiently with no interruptions.  I was happy.

I thanked Lisa and headed out, wishing her the best.

This was my second visit to this archive and it was a good visit. The picture below is of Lake Ontario the eastern end of it.  I have almost circumnavigated this lake except of the area on the south side that is in Ohio.

The Wharf at Kingston

The Wharf at Kingston almost through my hotel window…

It was not hard to find the Confederation Place Hotel on Ontario Street. I checked in and moved my car to the underground parking.  It made it so much easier to unload and take my stuff to my room which was #511 and it was on the harbour side with a view of Lake Ontario. If you read that they had a bit of a problem with the underground parking that is all taken care of now.  It was a bit tricky to get into the garage and out but make sure you get the instructions.  It was a wonderful view of the lake, wharf with the boats and the park.  I watched the sunset and sunrise from my window.  I did take pictures through the window but there was a lot of reflection.

Ontario Street

Ontario Street – Confederation Place Hotel

About 5:30 pm I headed to the Keg for dinner.  I did not know it was one of the best restaurants in town.  It is very fancy in there and they take good care of you.  My friend Elaine and I had a grand time.

The Keg Restaurant in Kingston

The Keg Restaurant in Kingston

My journey had come to end for my mother’s side of the family the Boardmans, Wards, and Browns an associated surnames.  The Browns did go through Montreal when they arrived and most families probably did.  Of course I have had successes and also still have tough problems on my ancestry to solve but I do know now what the lay of the land is like and it will help me in my searches.  It was a big job this trip but I am happy and content.

It is now time to head over to my other blog and share about the remainder of my journeys and adventures on The Man Who Lived Airplanes blog. http://macdonellfamily.wordpress.com/

Posted by: bonmac | September 28, 2014

Ontario Wanderings: Tweed & The Heritage Center

On my last trip to Hastings County in 2012, I had been told that the Tweed Historical Society’s director was very knowledgeable about the families in Hastings County.  I decided to put it on my list to visit. After I visited St. Thomas Anglican Church and Cemetery and took my Bay of Quinte picture I headed up Hwy 62 which seemed like forever.  The Crookston Road finally came up (Hwy 38) and I went further east.

Tweed is by Stoco Lake in Hastings County.  There Heritage Center is right there on the main street in the southern part of the town and not too hard to find.  They were having a sale out on the lawn.

Tweed Heritage Center

Tweed Heritage Center

I entered the building and was not prepared for the multitude of items held in this archive.  The building was packed and it was also a labyrinthe of rooms filled with more artifacts.


Evan Morton is the Treasurer and Curator and he was the one that responded to my email.  He was very busy talking to his volunteers but he said hello and immediately responded with showing me a binder with the surname of Brown.  He had some cards in a file box and other items that looked like references to various sources.  He spent some time digging but the Brown families he had were of the Tweed area, mine where mostly in Rawdon.

Morton Archives

Morton Archives


He took me back to the Morton Archives room which is really two large rooms.  I gave him one of my Boardman and Brown Booklets and we discussed my Brown family.  They were able to get me an obituary notice for a Margaret J. Vance who married a John Wood.  She is a daughter of Mary Johnson Brown who remarried to Thomas Vance.  So my family connected to the Tweed area because she is buried in the White Lake Cemetery above Centre Hastings on Hwy 62.

Only one of may stacks of one room

Only one of may stacks of one room

My visit was far too short but it was friendly and fun.  I am sure there are many many treasures in this archive and artifacts to explore.  I highly recommend that you stop by and explore.  I had to push on to Kingston.

Posted by: bonmac | September 28, 2014

Ontario Wanderings: St. Thomas Church & Cemetery

William Brown my 3rd great-grandfather, his son Thomas and other Browns were buried in St. Thomas Anglican Church in Belleville.

This church has a sad history.  Apparently the first church burned and even the 2nd one burned,  My innkeeper told me that if you go inside you see the pillars they installed to hold up the walls thus preserving the outside structure. My understanding is they wanted to do some construction and when they began digging they discovered that instead of 80 burials there were something like 607 or more. The McGill University and the Bay of Quinte Branch of the OGS published a book of the burials.

This website has a nice description of the cemetery The Toronto & Ontario Ghosts and Hauntings Research Society.  http://www.torontoghosts.org/index.php?/20080822389/Eastern-Ontario/Belleville-St.-Thomas-s-Church-Cemetery.html

Find A Grave also has some information about this cemetery: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&CRid=2321029 but not much in the way of pictures or names.

Source:  Quinte Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society, Birth, Marriage & Death Records of St. Thomas’ Anglican Church, Belleville, Ontario 1821-1874, Quinte Branch – OGS. McGill University is also involved. 

Finding any tombstone or burial of my Brown family would probably not happen.  I still wanted to see this cemetery and the church.

St. Thomas Anglican Church, Belleville, ONT.

St. Thomas Anglican Church, Belleville, ONT.

St. Thomas Anglican Church

St. Thomas Anglican Church

The Cemetery Overview

The Cemetery Overview

There are stones that are upright and on the ground.  There are tombstones impeded into some brick walls and there are tombstones along the walls of the church.  The cemetery is in the back of the church and you can access it by driving down Bridge Street going east from Pinnacle and then turning into the driveway along Bridge street. I have more pictures and will share these in a later post when I return home from my trip.

The light was a little better so I headed back down to the area near Boathouse restaurant and the marina that was south of it.

Bay of Quinte and a marina

Bay of Quinte and a marina

Bay Bridge Road

Bay Bridge Road

After having walked through and collected photographs at the Stirling Cemetery in Stirling it was not hard to drive to Belleville because I had traveled that route several times when I was there before in 2012. You take Hwy 14 to Hwy 62 and go right into Belleville. They were still working on the highway there and construction did slow me down.  Be careful of the impatient locals they will ride your back bumper.

Belleville's Clock Tower

Belleville’s Clock Tower

Finding Bridge Street in Belleville was easy you just keep going till you get to the downtown area.  I turned from Pinnacle to Bridge and the Inn was on the northeast corner with the cross street of Anne.   I pulled into the back area where the parking was, I had received instructions from the Inn and with those I was able to find my room.  The proprietor Sandra greeted me and told me about some of the options I had.

Inn by the Rose Garden

Inn by the Rose Garden

I found my room on the second floor, yes there were stairs, but they were nicely laid out.  I counted 4 rooms on the second floor.   It was lovely and very comfortable.

Back at the car I headed to the Boathouse Restaurant on Front Street.  I know why I like the place it has knotty pine walls and looks out on the little marina.  As I ate dinner I saw about four sail boats come in and one rowing team and they were so fast I didn’t get my camera ready in time to take a decent picture. I had dinner there in 2012 and had enjoyed it for it was in the spring and there was  a lot of activity.

Boathouse Restaurant

Boathouse Restaurant

I lost the light so I would have to do the St. Thomas Cemetery and try for my Bay of Quinte photographsin the morning.

My room was a good size and comfortable with  lovely curtain treatments and decorations and very elegant. On the first floor in the dining area there was a kitchenette with a coffee maker, refrigerator and dishes.  We settled on 7:30 am for my breakfast.

Once again it had rained in the night and there had been some wind for a few pots had been blown over on the veranda.  I was up early and made my very strong coffee but it was good.  It was a little inconvenient to go down these very long stairs to get my refill.  I felt like I was sneeking around.

My host was very pleasant and chatty.  She answered my many questions and we had a grand time talking at breakfast. The quiche she made was delicious.  She owns the Inn and decided after her caretaker retired to move into the house herself.

It was time to be on my way.  I had much to accomplish this day.  I said goodbye and this time I used the circular drive to pull my car in and pack up.

I highly recommend the Inn by The Rose Garden in Belleville.  It is very close to the downtown area.  Just down the street from it is Glanmore. The rates are extremely reasonable for a B&B/Inn and she takes credit cards.  I wish I had stayed there my first trip for I could have walked to the main ibrary and more.

Posted by: bonmac | September 27, 2014

Ontario Wanderings: Stirling Cemetery a return visit…

About  June 19, 2012 I visited the Stirling Cemetery in Stirling, Hastings County, Ontario and took some photos and walked this cemetery.  I wrote about it at this link.


On September 17, 2014 I once again visited this cemetery in Stirling. Before I went walking in this cemetery I knew I needed to get some food.  The Odd Cup in Marmora I couldn’t find but maybe I didn’t go far enough?  Anyway I ended up at the Mad Dog in Stirling near Hwy 33.  I don’t remember it being there before.

Stirling has a nice library and a genealogical historical society area of that library.

Stirling Public Library

Stirling Public Library

Downtown Stirling

Downtown Stirling

Once back at the cemetery, I started by trying to use the maps that had been copied into the cemetery book that I referenced in the above post in 2012.

Looking north of Stirling

Looking north of Stirling sorry it is dark

The book is set up with a listing of the buried by section.  Each person has a number counting from 1 to 300 or so burials.  The names and numbers of each individual do not correspond to the maps.  So instead of reading this row by row across the cemetery it is done by section.  The information as to where the count is started and ends is brief and unhelpful.

The circular section A no longer exists because the road is no longer there.  I tried to find the Browns buried there and in order to do this I made a spreadsheet with names etc.  I used the maps as a guide and simply walked the cemetery till I found them. It is a hard business to do that so it was good I had lunch. Be advised that there is not direction on the maps in this cemetery book.  You have to turn the taking the right side of the map and turning it up and this might help get hem so that they are oriented correctly.

Much to my happiness I did find all my Brown tombstones except for about two and I am okay with that.  I found Philip Brown’s stone.  He is my great grand-uncle.  Unfortunately I could not find his wife Margaret’s inscription or stone.  There is room on the large stone that is Brown and maybe if I can get it done without too much cost I can get her and him a name plaque to be added.  Something like in memory of the Brown family who came…..cool!

Me with Phillip Brown's and others tombstone

Me with Phillip Brown’s and others tombstone

When I return to my home I will share more details of this cemetery.  I wish I had time to photograph it in total so I could add it all to Find A Grave but it was hard enough to find the stones that I was looking for.

The most important part of this is I now know who these people are in the family tree for the Browns and I plan to do more in-depth posting on the lineages down from the four brothers George, Thomas, Phillip and Henry who I believe I have completed see my post dated August 29, 2014.

Posted by: bonmac | September 26, 2014

Ontario Wanderings: Peterborough & Trent University

It was time to bust out of Toronto and head for Peterborough.  The Anglican Diocese of Toronto suggested that I look at the St. John Anglican Church Recorders which were very old and they might have what I am looking for. There were microfilms at the Trent University Archives in Peterborough and I decided that was easier and on my way then trying to figure out how to get down into downtown Toronto.

There is also the Trent Valley Archives and the Kawartha Ancestral Research Association in Peterborough.  I decided that I could probably do the University and the Trent Valley and still make it to Belleville.  It was pushing it but I was game.

Well it took forever to get out of Toronto.  I was on Steeples for miles till it turned in to Hwy 4.  Then I continued to follow it out till I got to Hwy 115 and turned north to Peterborough.  Hwy 115 is a nice two lane highway and it was a relief to not have someone right on my bumper.

The highway took me around the town of Peterborough so I had to backtrack on Lansdowne still I found my way to Waters Street and that took me the St. John’s Anglican Church.

St. John's Church Plaque

St. John’s Church Plaque

St. John's Church Petersborough

St. John’s Church Peterborough

St. John's Church in Petersborough

St. John’s Church in Peterborough

From there I headed up Waters to the Trent University and found the Bata Library on the western side way in the back area by the bookstore.  You enter the western side of the campus and follow the road an keep going a good mile before you find the rest of the campus.  It is very spread out.

Bata Library, Trent University

Bata Library, Trent University


Be careful, you are required to pay and display your parking ticket.  Once again it double charged me. Grrrr….

The Archives are in the basement of the Bata Library.


Archives at the Bata Library Tren University

Archives at the Bata Library Tren University

When I entered the archive room I told the archivist that my name and they knew nothing about my visit. They were amiable and helpful.  They had me sign some forms and handed me the St. John Anglican microfilms.  I was to go upstairs to the Media Room and read them there where they had the microfilm reader.

St. John's Church Records

St. John’s Church Records


The Media room was on the 2nd floor well past the reference desk on the other side of the dark green wall.  The microfilm readers are behind the big microfilm cabinets in the corner next to the copy machines in bright light with a really uncomfortable chair.

I started with reel number 1 and studied the entries.  I had to use my magnifying glass because they were the black on white writing.  Sad to say I did not find Richard’s baptismal record nor did I find any Brown surnames.  Richard is my great grandfather on my mother’s mother’s side. So based on that information my theory that 2nd great grandfather George Brown had been there in Petersborough was probably not correct.

Since I did not find a baptismal record for Richard Brown my great grandfather in the St. John Anglican Records I decided not to go to the Trent Valley Archives because they would charge me $25.00 for researching and I didn’t really think I would find anything of use?

Once I had spent time scrolling through the church records I returned them to the Archives room before their lunch break from 12:30 to 1 pm.  I then stopped for a sandwich at the coffee stand in the library and headed back to my car.

My next stop was Marmora where I had been before and it is on Hwy 7 or the Trans Canadian Highway. Once there I would head south to Stirling.  I would be back in familiar territory Hastings County.

Note:  I have misspelled Peterborough and hopefully I have fixed it all.

The next day Tuesday September 16th I was going to the Ontario Genealogical Society holdings at the North York Branch of the Toronto Library system.

I needed a Staples to print out more of my booklets, this time the McDonald booklet based on my blog The Man Who Lived Airplanes.

Heading east on Steeles I kept an eye out and spotted one just after Keele and before Tandem.  It was on the left side but at least Tandem had a light. It took me a good hour to print off six copies.  I can’t make them before because they take up too much room and are heavy.

Once I was done with my task I headed out and lo and behold I spotted at least two more Staples on my way to Yonge Street. There was even one just across the street from the North York Library. Why is that, you can’t find what you are looking for and then once you do you see it everywhere.

It was not to hard to find Park Home Avenue and turned right off of Yonge. They have a parking garage. Just as I entered this car was right on my tail.  I had trouble at the ticket machine….yeah again and didn’t get a ticket. Something about pushing the button.  I was now worried I would get another ticket on the rental car and I didn’t want that.

It turns out that it read my Visa and all I had to do was put it into the machine at the exit and it would charge it.  There was even a lost ticket box.  The funny thing was no one in the North York Library the receptionist nor the Security guard had any idea about the Parking garage and how it worked.  Another thing is that they may have a security speaker box on the parking floor and if you find that push the button and ask your questions.  I did that and it really helped.

The North York Library is on the main floor of the city center area.  The Novotel Hotel is also part of this shopping center. I had thought of staying there but it is not cheap.  The library is in the northeast corner.

North York Library

North York Library

To find the elevators to the 6th floor where the Canadiana Room is located this is what you do.  You go into the doors from the shopping area and walk down till you get across from the main doors, go to your left and inside the library and then turn to your right and you will find the elevators.  Do not go down the hall to the single elevator it will not let you up to the top floors.  The receptionist at the initial desk when you enter knew nothing.

The Reference desk area

The Reference desk area


Microfilm of Newspapers

Microfilm of Newspapers

Looking down at the library

Looking down at the library

The Canadiana Room is on the 6th floor and it is divided by the stairs with tables and computers on one side and the reference desk.  On the other side is the microfilm and readers.  There are some stacks but not everything and you may have to order from their closed stacks.

I was interested in Renfrew County, Horton Twp. cemetery records and Hastings County Cemetery records.  The reference librarian filled out some order forms for me and went to retrieve them.  I went over to their stacks (book shelves) and did some investigating.

It was about 10 minutes later and he returned with my order.  I spent the time studying the contents of the files.  I was not finding what I wanted in the Horton Twp files but then I wasn’t expecting it the dates I want are for people whose tombstones are probably long gone.

I wanted to take a look at the Stirling Cemetery Book and again I got irritated with the maps not matching the contents and just do not understand the format of this book.  I decided I would figure it out when I returned to that cemetery in Hastings County the next day.

My worry about my car and a ticket propelled me to leave probably earlier than I really wanted to.  If I had been able to figure out about the parking situation earlier I would have been able to stay longer.

I was a little disappointed that there were no volunteer OGS – Ontario Genealogical Society) members there and wonder if they even have them cover at the library?

The area for the Canadiana Room is very small and I had been looking forward to wandering a large amount of stacks.  It didn’t happen.  I am a member of OGS and plan to continue being a member.

In many ways I ran out of time planning this trip and in some ways the visit the to the Archives of Ontario and the North York Library reflect that lack of really digging in.  I did leave both a Boardman and Brown and The Man Who Lived Airplanes at the North York Library.  The Archives is no longer accepting family histories.

Once I was back on Yonge Street I just headed to Steeles and then headed to the Super 8.  It was too complicated to try to find a nice restaurant to have a nice dinner.

Yonge Street in Toronto

Yonge Street in Toronto


Looking back at Toronto

Looking back at Toronto

When I returned to the Super 8 I decide to try one of the three restaurants and chose the Japanese and was pleasantly surprised.  I got the special a shrimp stir fry on rice and it was good. It was a little early so I stopped at the McDonald’s for a hamburger for later.  I had a microwave so I could warm it.

I was done with Toronto and was looking forward to heading east to familiar territory and where I had been on my last trip in 2012.

Before I leave Toronto I do want to state that it has a lot of other archives to explore.

1.  The main Reference Library in the downtown area.  http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/  This goes to the genealogical area of their website:  http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/history-genealogy/

2.  They also have the Anglican Diocese of Toronto  http://www.toronto.anglican.ca/ or go to the archives page:  http://www.toronto.anglican.ca/about-the-diocese/departments/archives/

I emailed to them what I was looking for and they suggested the St. John’s Anglican records held at Trent University in Peterborough were the oldest they had in the Peterborough County area.  I was looking for a baptism for my great grandparent Richard Brown because he was not showing up in Hastings County.

3.  The UEL or United Empire Loyalist Association is located in Toronto. http://www.uelac.org/

The next two depend on where and whom you are researching.

4.  The York Region Branch of the OGS  http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~onyrbogs/

5. The Toronto Branch of the OGS – http://torontofamilyhistory.org/

I am sure there are more and one could spend a lot of time exploring.

Posted by: bonmac | September 24, 2014

Ontario Wanderings: The Archives of Ontario

On Monday, September 15th my task was to visit the Archives of Ontario.  This is the main Ontario archive for the whole province.  http://www.archives.gov.on.ca/en/index.aspx

It was located on the campus of York University so this is why I choose to stay at the Super 8 on Steeles. If you analyze the locations of the hotels in the area they are either near Hwy 400 or on Steeles or above 407. In any case, you still have to drive at least two miles or more to York University to visit the Archives of Ontario.  Steeles is a very very very busy road.

Now I am not a resident of Toronto.  I don’t know how to use the buses or the Metro. I am told they are very good. I saw evidence that they were building a new metro station out on Steeles but was told it was supposed to be built years ago.  I think I will stay out of Canadian politics…

In any event getting to York University was not that hard and then turning down Keele was easy.  After this is gets tricky. There was so much construction on the York University campus that getting around was difficult.  Ian Macdonald Blvd was closed off and I didn’t know how to get to the Archives or even see the big green building.  So I wandered around the campus till I found the Information Kiosk.  I believe it was on Pond Avenue probably south of the Student Services building where I pulled in.  It is not a building this Information center it a  small mobile home like structure and there is a drive up window.  It has only a one lane road that curves around. I followed the signs and was very surprised that it was this drive through type set up. The nice lady made a map for me and explained how get around the construction.

At last I was able to find parking and it was right across from the Archives of Ontario the big green building. The parking was on Vanier Lane.  The area to the left is where the construction barricade is.

Archives of Ontario on York Campus in Toronto

Archives of Ontario on York Campus in Toronto

There is a series of doors and I entered over to the left into that door and it opened into the reception area. and the reading room for the archives was to my right through large heavy glass doors.  I told the receptionist that I had pre-registered (online) and she gave me a researcher card and had me fill out a form. She then explained where the bathrooms where, the lunch room and the lockers.  They are to your left as you face the receptionist desk.  She went over the rules with me.  I had read them online at their website.

The lobby area

The lobby area

The receptionist then give me a key on a ribbon for the locker which is a good thing.  I could put it over my neck. I have lost locker keys and it is not fun trying to get one open. I was surprised to find descent sized lockers for storage most are not.  I didn’t have much to put into the locker put I collected what I would need and piled it on.  They let me wear my velour jacket into the room and it has deep pockets with zippers so I was a bit surprised.

You enter the reading room through the big glass doors which is to the right of the doors as you enter and the receptionist area.  There is a front desk and the young man helped me to get oriented, get WiFi and gave me a little overview.   There is another desk in the back area of the room with another librarian.  They change throughout the day.

Media Room

Media Room

The desk areas

The desk areas looking to the front area where you enter

I decided to set up at one of the tables in the main area so I could get a good view of the room.  It was lovely and well laid out with large tables with electrical plugs, a metal trough for putting the boxes in something I have not seen before.  It is when you are looking at original records usually in boxes.  The microfilm is over to the right with many drawers filled with records.  The microfilm reading room is to the front of the room behind a big round wall with a lot of pictures on it and it is dark which is great for viewing the microfilm. They had the new microfilm readers that are connected to monitors and it even gives you instructions on how to thread the reel, I asked for help being my first time using one of them.

The website for the Archives of Ontario has a ton of information on it and can be a little daunting.  You just have to keep at it till you learn how to get around. I would start here:


Once I had been shown how to use the new microfilm readers I was on my way. The only thing about them I don’t like is that when you hand roll a reel you can control it better.  As I used this new reader set up I got used to it.

The room is beautiful, new, modern, clean, airy, lots of light and on the first floor which was amazing.  I was impressed.

I started with looking for Levi Goss’s tavern license in the township papers for the Western District which is what it was called at the time, followed that with the Heir and Devisee case that was under Phillip Brown’s name that I had found in the index on the Archive’s website.  I will share my findings in future posts after my return home.  Let’s say that I did good.

I had to retrieve my sandwich from the car so I headed out to the parking lot which was just across from the Archives and discovered a ticket on my dash. Sigh!

When I pulled in to park I did not see a ticket dispenser.  So I stopped and really looked this time.  It was there in the corner not to far from me but very badly marked in a blah gray color.  I missed it earlier.  So I went over to buy some more time and when I put in the amount I wanted it doubled it and then it would not cancel.  Grrrr…So now I had too much meter time and a ticket…AUGH!  Fortunately, I was able to pay this ticket online but they do not have a place for comments.  The information printed on the ticket is only the company that provides the paper for the ticket.  It is not who you pay.  If you do not pay the ticket within 10 days you have to pay the higher fine.  So I was very glad they allowed payment online for I did not have an envelope or didn’t know what to do about a return address and it just was getting too complicated to mail in a check.

Tim Horton’s does sandwiches so I retired to the lunch room and ate a portion of the club sandwich I had bought that morning and took a break to get my head back to what I was doing.  The sandwich was good.

I returned to my research trying to find estates for Edmund Boardman, Benjamin Ward, William and Thomas Brown with no luck.  I was not surprised they were probably poor. In the US if you have less than $300 they usually don’t probate a case, of course each state is different and I suspect that Canada is the similar. I tried for newspapers but they were not early enough for William or Thomas Brown.  I did not have a date for Edmund Boardman my 2nd great grandfather so that made it tough.  I also tried to look up some cemeteries which were on microfilm and it was not well laid out so I gave up.  I really like the books better.

My cousin was suppose to come but it was getting to be late in the day and I decided at about 2:30 pm that I had done as much as I could so I packed up and left.  I used my researcher card to check out.

It took me a good 20 minutes to get back to the Super 8 Motel because of the traffic.  Angelo’s restaurant was open so I headed over there and had some Haddock.  It was just a little walk to the next corner.  While I sat there eating it started to rain but not too badly and I was able to get back to the hotel without getting too wet.  Just like Seattle, HA!

My cousin called me later that evening and thought I had not gone to the Archives and I said I left about 2:30 pm and she was just getting there so we missed each other again. AUGH!  I guess it was not meant to be.  I told her I would call her when I got home and we could chat for I had set up long distance on my phone for Canada and I might as well use it besides I wanted to ask her many questions about the McMurrays and email doesn’t always to it.

Today definitely had some bumps….Sigh!

NOTE:  When I return from this trip I will be off to Salt Lake City and will be visiting the Family History Library.  They have a lot of the Canadian information like land and more on microfilm so I can follow up if I want.  Archives of Ontario also has an interlibrary loan program. I could take advantage of that but it means  a trip down to the main Seattle Public Library in downtown Seattle where they have the microfilm readers.  So I knew I had options.

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