Although I mention attendance at genealogical/family history workshops both in person and online in my blog posts, I don’t make a habit of “advertising” educational events other than our own Ontario Ancestors yearly Conference. I feel that there are sufficient avenues for organizers of these educational events to get the word out via media vehicles like our own Ontario Ancestors e-Weekly. Having said that, I am going to mention an upcoming educational event hosted by one of our partners, the One World One Family Conference, scheduled for 10 August 2019 at Hamilton, Ontario.
You can find registration information at this link as well as a link to information about the speakers (bios) and their workshops.
Having attended one of these events in the past I am sold on their value to my research. Not only did I find the workshops of value, I also valued the chance to talk to other researchers at lunch time and at breaks. The smaller size of these one day conferences makes it easier to make contacts. I looked through the workshops offered this year and was disappointed that due to another commitment I will be unable to attend. Do check out the workshop offerings and consider the other bonuses of this conference – reasonable cost and free parking.
Illinois Marriage Records
In my last post I mentioned that I planned to request a marriage record 7 August 1869 at Will County, Illinois, for a Perry W. Bolton and Ellen Bolton, both of whom might fit into my family tree. I found that the record was available through the Illinois Regional Archives Depository, Regional History Center, Founders Memorial Library, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois. IRAD interns look after the records requests and mailing of them to requesters. I mailed my request on July 3rd and received my documents July 23rd [cover letter from the Library dated July 12]. I was impressed! Since the record I wanted only consisted of three pages I was not charged. The cutoff point is fewer than 6 pages.
My search continues because the marriage record does not include names of the parents of the couple. I do have a signature of the groom to use for comparison with other documents. They were married by a Justice of the Peace so I don’t know whether a search for a notice in a local newspaper is warranted. I will probably do it anyway – leave no “stone unturned.”
It pays to do a little research in order to find out where a record is residing. In the above case I found that the Illinois State Archives has an online pdf that notes whether one of the university libraries or a government office holds a particular document. The information is broken down by county and I was able to use this pdf in order to find out that the marriage record I sought was available via the Northern Illinois University Founders Memorial Library which is in close proximity to Will County.
Update re the Provincial Archives of Alberta Access to Vital Records
I must also congratulate the Provincial Archives of Alberta. A researcher can now request a scan of a birth, marriage or death record and pay for it on-line with a credit card. I love simple! The price is reasonable at $5.25. A caution though, you do have to do a wide search sometimes in order to find the record you are seeking in the on-line indexes. In this case I found the groom, Ernest B. Hermon, fairly quickly but I had to check more than one pdf of the index in order to find the bride, Catherine E. Thompson. Her information had been entered out of alphabetical order -the indexes follow a sort of alphabetical order but are not precise. Note that checking both the groom and the bride index is the way to try to make sure that you have the marriage record that you want by finding the same registration number for both. And the turnaround time, ordered July 23rd, received July 24th, can’t beat that!
Migration to and from the United States
I have been giving my ancestry.ca account a workout since my last post as many of the people I am researching now in my Bolton extended family migrated to the United States. I was surprised by the number of them who returned to Canada though. I also noted that of the females who were getting married in the late 1800s and early 1900s many of them had occupations outside the household. My Bolton extended line produced many accountants, lawyers, tradespeople and teachers.
The above information is a reminder to keep in mind times when migration to the United States or to the Canadian West occurred. These migrations tended to revolve around the opening up of land for homesteading or the springing up of jobs like lumbering or building construction. I am presently researching a Vermont born sawyer who migrated to Brigden, Ontario and then to Oil Springs, Ontario to work in sawmills located there.
County and District Marriage Records Before Ontario Became a Province
I was also reminded in my research to check more than one source for records. I was trying to find Lambert R. Bolton who married Maria Warbrick 10 September 1862 at Albion Township, Peel County. I used the catalogue to find the Canada West/Ontario County Marriage Records collection at Ancestry.ca but a search of it did not produce any Lambert Bolton. I moved over to familysearch.org, clicked on search, records, Canada on the map, then Ontario. Scrolling down past the search button I opened up all 25 of the top collections so I could find the Ontario County Marriage records. A quick search there produced a digital copy of the record that I was seeking.
For those researchers new to Ontario research, vital statistics records were collected by different government levels over the years. Marriage information only was collected at the District level from the 1700s to 1857. Marriage information only was collected at the County level from 1858 up until the province began collecting birth, marriage and death information in 1869. Note that the early years of collection were not complete as I researched a French-Canadian family in Essex County, Ontario whose vital records were registered with the Catholic Church but not with the province until the early 1900s. Note that you can find the District Marriage Registers in the same location on familysearch.org.
Enjoy your summer research! Perhaps I’ll meet you on one of my summer road trips for family history research.