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The Ontario Name Index (TONI)

Click here to access TONI (The Ontario Name Index).

When I started working on my family tree in the mid 80s, The OGS Cemetery Project had been going for some time and there were numerous cemetery transcriptions available from the Branches. As I could not afford to buy every likely resting place of my ancestors, I would spend time at each conference browsing the various transcriptions looking for likely family members. No, I didn't stand at the table writing down the information; I bought what I could afford. But I also thought that it would have been much easier with a central index to all the transcriptions, so I could figure out which to buy. Eventually the Ontario Cemetery Finding Aid (OCFA) started to do that, followed later by the OGS Ontario Cemetery Ancestor Index.

The Ontario Name Index (TONI) will provide the same facility but on a larger scale. It is not limited to cemetery transcriptions but will include anything that includes an Ontario name. Indexes, particularly name indexes, are the most valuable thing a genealogical society can produce. TONI will be a mega-index to aim people in the right direction to locate information about their person of interest in Ontario. The location may be a Branch document, a web site, a microfilm, a family history, an archive, etc. TONI is an indexing program and NOT a digitization program. Unlike some of our commercial and non-commercial colleagues, we are not limiting TONI to digitizing sources and indexing them. TONI will be on the public part of the OGS website so that anyone can access it. 

TONI includes:

  • converting and importing the existing electronic indices at both the Branch and Society level i.e. Ontario Cemetery Ancestor Index or Ottawa Branch Name Index;
  • digitizing and importing existing hard copy indices;
  • indexing existing electronic and hard-copy documents and importing them, including family histories, Tweedsmuir histories, items in the e-library, etc. Branch publications such as cemeteries, census, newspapers and other transcriptions that they have done; and
  • Indexes to digitized documents produced for other organizations as part of the scanning project could be included with permission of the owner.

What do we want to include in TONI? Any source that contains a name in Ontario. You know what documents you have looked at and think about how an index would have helped you locate those documents faster and easier.

All Branches and Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are invited to take part in the TONI project.

TONI was officially launched at the the Ontario Genealogical Society's Annual General Meeting on May 14, 2011.

If you have questions or want to get involved, contact Mike More, Director, Region VIII OGS & TONI Provincial Coordinator

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