Tag Archives: Ontario

Ontario Wanderings: Kingston & The Diocese of Ontario revisited

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/


Ontario Wanderings: Wardsville, Ontario and on to Toronto

George Ward is given credit for founding the town of Wardsville, Ontario. Who is George Ward?  He was a pretty amazing man.  Is he a relative or ancestor of mine? I do not know, but just in case I stopped by for a visit.


The Wardsville Cemetery is set off from Hwy 2. It is in Middlesex County in Mosa Twp.  Sometimes you have to go both ways on the highway before you spot what you are looking for. HA!

Wardsville Cemetery

Wardsville Cemetery

Overview photo of the Wardsville Cemetery.

Overview photo of the Wardsville Cemetery.

The cemetery is in a residential area and on a north south axis.  George Ward and family tombstone is in the northwest corner.  I was a little disappointed in that it was not some big monument with military honors; however, it is well documented.

George Ward and other's tombstone

George Ward and other’s tombstone

The next step was to get through London, Ontario.  Since I had been there before I knew how to get around and what streets I needed.  I really like London, Ontario and yes, I crossed the Thames again.

On the eastern side of London, Ontario just as I got onto Dundas and was heading east I spotted a Crabby Joe’s and just had to give it a try.  I had a very nice Scampi dish.  The waitress was very curious about me and my phonelet and what I was doing reading from it and I explained you get the Nook app. I asked her if she knew if Dundas was Hwy 2.  She and her co-workers didn’t.

It is really a rural number so in the city it is known as Dundas and outside of it it is Hwy 2.

My goal was Cambridge and then from there I was going to go and visit a cousin who is descended from McMurray’s.  These are my great grandmother Charlotte Anne McMurray Boardman’s family.  The cousin lived near Halton Hills.

Unfortunately things got confusing. I got lost and mixed up.  Detours for construction messed me up.  I could not find her house and her phone number would not work.  I also didn’t have good maps or planned it well. I had run out of time getting ready for this trip so something was bound to happen.

It was getting late and so I decided to just head for Toronto seeking out Steeles Avenue.

I had no idea that Steele Avenue was as long as it is and it took forever to find my hotel, a Super 8 on the east side of the 400. It is something like the 3rd or 4th longest road in the world.  It is busy, there is tons of construction but it does go straight.  Fortunately, I can deal with that, I was more worried about where I was because I came into it at Milton.  I was still a little lost.

Finally I came on the sign announcing Toronto and realized that I was not even close to the hotel.


I finally found the Super 8 and pulled in and of course it was on the left side of the street. Once I checked in I called and apologized to my cousin. I do not stand people up and I was not happy.  She deserves credit for being gracious and kind about it all.  I apologized some more.  We did have a great chat although the call quality was lousy. We agreed to meet the next day.

This cousin has a family tree at Ancestry.com and she found my Boardman and Brown blog.  It is the Thompson Family Tree but includes McMurrays and I believe you have to be invited to look.

Fortunately, the Super 8 was next to several restaurants, Timmy’s, McDonald’s, a pasta choice, Japanese and Middle Eastern where also in the mix and across the street on the corner was Angelo’s but it closed early on Sunday.

Super 8 North York

Super 8 North York

The problem with Super 8’s is that they are never in really good locations and being unfamiliar with the area I didn’t know where good restaurants would be even though there were the fast foods ones nearby.  They were very helpful and pleasant and my room was good.

Ontario Wanderings: Petrolia, Lambton Co., Ontario

My impression online of Petrolia was a lot different than when I entered the town.  It is not as spread out as I thought and the main street is thick with buildings.  Before I entered the town I stopped to get gasoline so if you are on the road you will be aware that they are two gas stations before entering this town.

Petrolia's sign

Petrolia’s sign

Petrolia's main street

Petrolia’s main street

The main street in Petrolia

The other side of the main street in Petrolia

Petrolia's lovely city park

Petrolia’s lovely city park

Someone had fun and decorated the lamp posts and park with….

Just hanging around

Just hanging around

Sitting around

Sitting around

Group photo

Group photo

Very nicely done…Love it!  I am not ready for fall but there are also pumpkins everywhere!

Ontario Wanderings: London, Ontario – The Anglican Diocese of Huron

Church records are extremely important in Canada.  There where no vital records before 1869 and it took a while for compliance in some areas.  My task was to visit the Anglican Diocese of Huron which is in London, Ontario.  It is located on the Huron University College on Western Avenue.  They do charge a $25.00 fee for research and for copies.  I used my camera.  They also require you sign their registration form.


Parking it very difficult, I went to the visitor parking and the sign told me to go to the Visitor Center but there was no sign pointing to where that was.  It turned out it was in the building diagonal to the visitor parking.  I learned that I did not have a parking pass and she didn’t have any more and I could not park in the visitor parking as a result.  Apparently you need an appointment with faculty?  So I suggest a call to find out if you can prearranged a pass?

The building I parked next too at Huron.

The building I parked next too at Huron with the cross street of  Elgin on Western Ave.

After driving around a little and avoiding the construction as best I could I found a small parking area up near Elgin next to this ugly square building on the west side of the road which apparently was of some importance of which I could not figure out.

The Anglican Diocese of Huron is in the basement of the beautiful church like building with a spire right next to the large red Huron sign.

The Sign for Huron

The Sign for Huron

The Anglican Diocese of Huron is in the basement

The Anglican Diocese of Huron is in the basement

I went up to the double doors and found the chapel and then turn down the hall to the left and found a door to a library (see photo) and they explained that the archives were down the stairs behind me. In the photograph below it is through the doors on the right and 180 degrees.

Almost there go to the right and turn down the stairs

Almost there go to the right and turn down the stairs

The stairs to the Diocese archive

The stairs to the Diocese archive

The Doors to the Diocese

The Doors to the Diocese

I had emailed them about a month ago but they had no knowledge of my visit and the person I had communicated with was not there that day.  The director and the volunteer were very helpful.

This is not a fancy archive with tables to sit down and wait for your order of church registers. This is a small organization.  They are nice and friendly.

No admittance

No admittance through the hall into the back room for visitors

Here you will get the actual church register or you could look at the film but they didn’t seem to have a machine to use.  I had to sign a photographic release form and wear white gloves.

The woman I had emailed with had sent me about quite a few PDF’s of a list of the church registers so I was ready to make my order.  I would point to my list and the registers I wanted and either the director or his volunteer would go and get the register.  It was one register at a time.  I had made copies of them so I had gone over them and highlighted the ones I wanted.

About three pages into the St. Anne Anglican Registers for Adelaide Twp., Middlesex County I found Emma Wards baptismal record and she is definitely the daughter of Benjamin and Sarah Ward, the family I found in the census. I found two girl children of this couple but no others. The birth date was exactly what they had in the register. I was thrilled.  Unfortunately that was all I was able to find.  I tried for the Browns in Lambton, Levi Goss in Chatham which was a longshot he was Methodist not Anglican, the Boardman in Middlesex records, I was looking for death records for Edmund’s parents.  There are indexes to these church registers so you might want to find them first so you can narrow your search.

I eliminated a great many of the records as too soon. I needed the 1850’s and 1860’s and they are rare.

This is good news I have been able to identify my great-grandmother Emma Ward’s family and can now do more work on finding them.  I have taken it back another generation Benjamin and Sarah are my 2nd great grandparents.

Once I had completed my searches I headed to my car and down Western Avenue which eases into Wharncliffe  and further down to Southdale.  From there I headed east to Wellington and found my Comfort Inn on the other side of the street but situated right by a Tony Roma how clever of them.  They even had a $5.00 off coupon to use.

It was a good day, except for the terrible parking situation.