Posts Tagged ‘databases’

On Our Website: Wall of Ancestors

Monday, October 18th, 2010
web address graphic

Image courtesy: Renjith krishnan, link below

There are several resources full of Ontario genealogical information available on our website through our Members Only section. Become a member to take advantage of these resources.

One of these resources is the

Wall of Ancestors

During Conference 2009, held in Oakville from the 29 to the 31 of May, 2009 and hosted by Halton-Peel Branch OGS, a Wall of Ancestors display was set up and maintained by volunteers from Hamilton Branch OGS.

Conference attendees could post a small notice requesting information about people to help them with their genealogical research. During the conference, many people visited this display and made notes of those who could possible help them with their research.

There were more than 800 cards posted during the conference with more than 960 entries.

Now, you can search this valuable database of information. These postings provide a great resource for people searching for information about their ancestors. You may find others who are looking for people who are in your own research files. Maybe you will discover a long-lost cousin and the two of you can blend your information to make a more complete story of your families.

Image: renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

On Our Website: IOOF Insurance Database

Monday, October 4th, 2010
web address graphic

Image courtesy: Renjith krishnan, link below

There are several databases full of Ontario genealogical information available on our website through our Members Only section. Become a member to take advantage of these resources.

One of these databases is the

 IOOF Insurance Papers Database

Between 1875 and 1929, the Independent Order of Oddfellows (IOOF) 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 OGS. We have spent nearly four years indexing these forms.

As a member of the Ontario Genealogical Society you can search the index to these forms. It contains: an applicant’s last and first names, his date of birth, the community he was living in when he applied, the province, the policy number, and the policy date.

Once you have found a name you are interested in, you can apply to us for the application form itself.

The actual application form contains a great deal more information about the applicant including health information, marital status, occupation, beneficiary of the policy, number of siblings, and a health status of siblings, parents, and grandparents. It also includes the signature of the applicant and may include interesting attachments.

We can (for a modest fee) send you a copy of any application form that is more than 100 years old.

This information could be very useful to someone researching their family history.

Please note: The presence of medical information in the application forms and the associated privacy concerns with regards to medical information mean that we cannot make available any forms that were created less than 100 years ago. These forms will become available as the 100 year mark is passed.

Image: renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

On Our Website: Strays Database

Monday, September 13th, 2010
web address graphic

Image courtesy: Renjith krishnan, link below

There are several databases full of Ontario genealogical information available on our website through our Members Only section. Become a member to take advantage of these resources.

One of these databases is the

Strays Index

A “stray” is someone who had significant life events in more than one place, such that it is not easy to tie them all together. For example, a person may be born and married in Ontario but died in Alberta. To a genealogist working on the Ontario family, this person just disappears, with, at best, a family story that he “went west”. This is a common genealogical brick wall.

The Strays Index breaks down that brick wall. As an OGS member you have access to  the searchable index and can make use of the information found there to overcome your own genealogical brick walls.

The strays project is worldwide, with information being sent to and from other genealogical societies. The information is gathered by volunteers who during their research keep an eye out for people “from away”. The researcher fills out a strays form and sends it in. The system works because genealogists are willing to gather the information.

We have tens of thousands of strays. Some have been transcribed and are now online. The rest will go up as quickly as they can be transcribed, so remember to check the Index often.

If you are interested in contributing to this project, you can get paper reporting forms or a simple Excel spreadsheet to fill in, by e-mailing strays@ogs.on.ca.

Image: renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

On Our Website: Memorial Database

Monday, July 19th, 2010
web address graphic

Image courtesy: Renjith krishnan, link below

There are several databases full of Ontario genealogical information available on our website through our Members Only section. Become a member to take advantage of these resources.

 One of these databases is the

Memorial Database


This is a project designed to honour those who have served our county in time of war or as Police or Firefighters and provide OGS members with a genealogical resource.

Through the dedicated work of individuals, Branches and Legion members, we have indexed  names found on Memorials throughout Ontario and this information can be found in this database. Included is the inscription found on the memorial, a picture where available, the location of the Memorial and any additional information found related to the names on the Memorial.

These memorials were found in a number of locations: Churches, Schools, work sites, and cenotaphs in many of the small towns through out Ontario.

If you wish to add to this project forward the information to the OGS. Include a digital image of the Memorial, its location, any other relevant information and images of the names.

Image: renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Len’s expert advice: do your own searching

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

Using online genealogy services:

Many genealogy web services invite you to simply put in names and let them search the databases for you, but this searches all of the records they have. This generally retrieves a large number of records most of which will be for the wrong time or the wrong place, and all of which will have to be sorted through… by you.

Skip this basic type of search.

 Search particular records for a selected place at a relevant time. Learn the virtues and vices of each record type, and select the best record – most detailed, most reliable – that includes the information you seek.

 - Len Chester

Len Chester is the Resident Genealogist at the Ontario Genealogical Society’s provincial office. He is a retired librarian and Family History Centre volunteer with over 40  years experience assisting others in conducting their genealogical research.  He is available to help you puzzle out your records. Contact him at research@ogs.on.ca .