IOOF Insurance Papers

About this database

Between 1875 and 1929, the Independent Order of Oddfellows operated a life insurance program. Approximately 60,000 men from all across Canada applied. The program was eventually operated by Empire Life, who held all the application forms. A few years ago Empire Life gave these application forms to The Ontario Genealogical Society. Society Volunteers spent nearly four years indexing these forms. We have indexed the following:

  • applicant’s last and first names,
  • date of birth,
  • community in which the applicant resided at the time of application,
  • province,
  • policy number,
  • policy date

We have scanned approximately 50% of these applications to date. Members may access the database HERE and if a scan exists, Members may download the image at no cost. We will shortly have the scanned files available for purchase by non-members. Details will be provided here when available. Further information is available  immediately following the table.

About the Applications

The information on the applications varies depending on the individual applying and the year of the application. Furthermore many men took out a second policy at a later date, and that form may say simply “See policy # …” or it may contain more up-to-date information. If you find several policies for one person, we suggest you be sure to look for the one with the earliest policy date.

Each policy consists of a four page 8.5 x 11” document. Information you may expect to find on the application includes the following:

  • Health information
  • Marital status
  • Occupation
  • Beneficiary (generally wife, parent, sibling)
  • Number of siblings and their health information
  • Grandparents (often including age at death but not names)
  • Applicant’s signature
  • Some applications have extra materials as well.

To search for a particular name, simply enter the first few letters of the name in the search box above the right hand column to automatically reduce the list to only those entries matching your search term.

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