Posts Tagged ‘online resources’

Nailing Jello to the Wall: Seeking your Irish Ancestors

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

Tracing your Irish roots can be akin to spending every Saturday night in a bingo hall and rarely having the opportunity to fling up your arms and yell BINGO! The cataclysmic impact and mass emigration precipitated by Ireland’s Potato Famine has certainly made it difficult to track elusive Irish ancestors. Compounding the problem is a gaping hole in the usual resource pool that all genealogists rely on; the census returns.

While the census returns for 1901 and 1911 are now available online through the National Archives of Ireland, none of Ireland’s earlier censuses have survived. So, if you want to find records for your Irish ancestors that pre-date 1901, you are going to have to be somewhat more creative in your research methodology. Here are a few resources to get you started, or maybe keep you going!

At the library:


• A Guide to tracing your Donegal ancestors

o Godfrey Duffy, Helen Meehan

o Call # 929.3 41693 Duffy

• A new genealogical atlas of Ireland

o Brian S. Mitchell

o Call # 929.3 415 Mitch 2002

• Basic guide to Irish records for family history

o Brian Mitchell

o Call # 929.3 415 Mitch 2008

• Ireland’s Memorial Records: World War 1, 1914-1918

o The Committee of the National Irish War Memorial

o Call # 137 Com

• Probate Jurisdictions: Where to look for Wills

o Jeremy Sumner Wycherley Gibson, Else Churchill

o Call # 929.3 41 025 Gibso 2002

• Tracing your Irish family history

o Anthony Adolph

o Call # 929.1 094 15 Ado 2009


• Cumann geinealais dhun laoghaire

o From the Dun Laoghaire Genealogical Society

• Divelina

o From the Dublin Genealogy and History, Ireland

• Familia

o From the Ulster Genealogical Review, Belfast

• Genealogy Society of Ireland Journal

o From the Cumann Geinealais na hEireann

• North Irish Roots

o From the North Of Ireland Family History Society, Belfast


Belfast Burial Records

Council of Irish Genealogical Organizations

From Ireland

Irish Clans Network

Military Archives

National Archives of Ireland

Roots Ireland (pay per view)

The Gathering, Ireland 2013

Atlases: Do you know your boundaries?

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

Colton Map of Upper Canada 1855

How do you know if you are looking in the right place when searching for your Ontario ancestors? Did you know for instance, that there were actually two Ontario’s? When the Province of Ontario was created in 1867, a county of that name had been in existence, in one form or another, since 1792. When it was dissolved in 1974, southern portions of Ontario County would go into forming The Regional Municipality of Durham, while the northern portions would be subsumed by Simcoe County. Another example of shifting boundaries is Durham County. It too was dissolved 1974, portions of which now form the aforementioned Regional Municipality of Durham. Confusing is it not? No worries, we are here to help. What you need is a good atlas, and that is exactly what you will find in our library collection. Here is a wee sampling of the resources we offer:

1. County Atlases of Canada: A Descriptive Catalogue

a. National Archives of Canada National Map Collection

b. Call # 929.3 71 016 Natio 1970

2. Guide to southern Ontario place names for family researchers

a. Mary Kearns Trace

b. Call # 929.3 713 Trace 1986

3. Illustrated historical atlas of the County of Ontario, Ont., 1877

a. H. Beers and Co.; Cumming, Ross

b. O/S 911. 713 83 Atlas 1877

4. Historical atlas of Lanark and Renfrew Counties, Ontario, illustrated : H. Belden & Co., 1880-1881. Illustrated atlas of Lanark County, 1880 ; Illustrated atlas of Renfrew County, 1881 [both published by] H. Belden & Co., Toronto ; [with a] Map of the counties of Lanark and Renfrew from actual surveys under the direction of H.F. Walling, published by D.P. Putnam, Prescott, C.W., 1863

a. H. Belden and Co. [publisher] (Toronto, Ont.); D.P. Putnam [publisher] (Prescott, Ont.); H.F. Walling [engraver] (Prescott, Ont.); Cumming, Ross

b. Call # O/S 911. 713 82 Atlas 1880

5. Illustrated historical atlas of the county of Middlesex, Ont. Dedicated by special permission to His Excellency the Earl of Dufferin, K.P., K.C.B., Governor General.

a. H.R. Page and Co. [publisher] (Toronto, Ont.); Mika, Nick, 1912-; Mika, Helma, 1924-

b. Call # O/S 911. 713 25 Atlas 1878

6. Index for the Essex and Kent Counties historical atlas: [reprint edition] H. Belden & Co. Illustrated historical atlas of the counties of Essex & Kent, 1881

a. Dora Pineau

b. Call # 929.3 713 3 Pinea 1986

You will find a complete listing of all the atlases, and similar resources in our collection, by visiting our Catalogue. If you are looking for something online, here are two excellent resources.

1. The Canadian County Digital Atlas Project. This is an initiative undertaken by McGill University Libraries and something you should definitely check out if you are researching early Ontario ancestors.

2. The Changing Shape of Ontario: Guide to Boundaries, Names and Regional Government in Ontario, may be accessed through the Archives of Ontario’s website.

Once again, happy hunting!