How to locate an ancestor in Ontario, Canada West or Upper Canada (when you don’t know where they lived)

How to locate an ancestor in Ontario, Canada West or Upper Canada (when you don’t know where they lived)

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by Janice Nickerson

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How to locate an ancestor in Ontario, Canada West or Upper Canada (when you don’t know where they lived)


This webinar will provide strategies and resources to help you discover where your ancestor lived in Ontario, Canada West or Upper Canada, when you don’t have a specific place of origin. These include the types of records you should search in your ancestors’ place of later settlement, as well as records that are specific to Ontario (which, depending on the time period, might be called Ontario, Canada West or Upper Canada) research. As the focus here is on locating your ancestor, we will focus on province-wide records and indexes. We will not cover the many records and indexes that are useful to the genealogist once the place of residence is known. Handout materials will include references for specific publications and records.


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Presenter: Janice Nickerson

Janice Nickerson is a professional genealogist with over 35 years of genealogical research experience. She got an early start in the field when she became an avid family historian as a teenager. Her ancestral connections to Prince Edward County and the Hudson's Bay fur trade inspired the topics of her academic theses, Women and Property in a Nineteenth Century Ontario County and Ethnic Identity Among the Nineteenth Century Descendants of Hudson's Bay Company Fur Traders. Her expertise includes Upper Canadian history, criminal justice records, turning bare bones genealogies into full-fledged family histories, and finding fun ways to share family history finds. In addition to helping her private clients discover the richness of their ancestral heritage, Janice does heir searching for provincial Public Trustees, writes and lectures on a variety of genealogical topics. Janice also did much of the genealogical research “behind the scenes” for the CBC’s television series, Who Do You Think You Are?, which aired from October 2007 to February 2008 and APTN's television series, All Our Relations, airing Fall 2013. Another notable research project involved working with the City of Toronto Museum Services to create a Book of Remembrance to commemorate the York militia men (and their families) who died in the War of 1812. Her books, Crime and Punishment in Upper Canada: A Researcher’s Guide (2010), and York’s Sacrifice: Militia Casualties of the War of 1812 (2012) were published by the joint imprint of the Ontario Genealogical Society and Dundurn Press. Janice is a proud 8th-generation Canadian, with English, German, Irish, Welsh and Aboriginal ancestry.

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