Posts Tagged ‘The Ontario Name Index’

Profile: Current OGS Projects: The Ontario Name Index (TONI)

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Officially launched at the Ontario Genealogical Society’s Annual General Meeting on May 14, 2011, the Ontario Name Index (TONI) shows where information about a particular name can be found. The number of records in the TONI database currently stands at 2,401,406, and counting.

So, just what is TONI, what does it contain and what does it do?:

  • 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 digitized sources and indexing them
  • The Ontario Name Index (TONI) is a mega-index of names with the goal of including every name found in any publication relating to Ontario
  • Indexes, particularly name indexes. These are the most valuable thing a genealogical society can produce
  • The index will point people to the location of the information about that name. The location may be a Branch document, a web site, a microfilm, a family history, an archive, etc
  • TONI will be on the public part of the OGS website so that anyone can access it

Working on TONI includes:

  • Converting and importing the existing electronic indices at both the Branch and Society level i.e., Ontario Cemetery Ancestor Index, Ottawa Branch Name Index
  • Digitizing and importing existing hard copy indices
  • Indexing existing electronic and hard-copy documents and importing them, e.g.,  family histories
  • Branch publications such as cemeteries, census, newspapers and other transcriptions that they have done
  • Indexes to digitized documents produced for other organizations as part of the scanning project, e.g., the Tweedsmuir Histories, 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 the type and range of documents that genealogists and family historians are seeking. 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

If you have questions or want to get involved, contact the TONI Provincial Coordinator at:

Click here to search TONI.

FYI: TONI is now over 1 Million!

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

The Ontario Name Index (TONI) has surpassed the 1 million name mark. TONI was begun by OGS in 2010, as one of the 50th anniversary projects. At the Annual General Meeting at Conference 2011 in Hamilton, TONI was officially launched on the OGS website (

TONI reached the 500K mark in time for Conference 2012 in Kingston and volunteers have been working hard over the summer to double that number. With an upload of another 50,000 named this week, TONI reached the one million entry mark.

TONI provides a single index of Ontario names, indicating where information about that person can be found. It includes any source that includes an Ontario personal name. TONI points researchers 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. The index is available on the public part of the OGS website so that anyone can access it. TONI should make OGS and Branch resources more visible.

If you or your Branch/SIG would like to help push TONI to the two million mark, contact me at

Creating an Index to a Family History?

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

“Genealogists enter family histories through the back door, through the index. If a book has no index, that door is closed” – Patricia Law Hatcher in Producing a Quality Family History.

When you create and index to your family history, consider formatting it so it can be easily added to The Ontario Name Index (TONI). TONI is a project of the Ontario Genealogical Society to create a single index of all the names in Ontario genealogy. Family histories are an important resource for genealogy so we want to include indexes to as many as possible.

The essential requirement of TONI is that we be able to extract the last name and first name separately. To do this, ensure that your index contains three or more clear columns:

Last Name         First Name          the rest (e.g. page number)

 Brown                Samuel                          42

We can solve any other problems but if you want to make the conversion easier, contact for further hints.