The following is an announcement from the City of Toronto Archives and the Toronto Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society:
Finding those elusive mid-19th century Toronto ancestors is getting a lot easier!
The City of Toronto Archives and the Toronto Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society invite you to a personal one-on-one demonstration of an indexed online transcription of the Toronto tax assessment rolls for 1853.
Why is this project important to historians, genealogists and other researchers? Five reasons:
- The 1852 Census for Toronto has not survived so mid-19th century researchers have had a 19-year gap-an entire generation- between nominal listings of all Toronto households. The transcription is in effect a head-of- household census because the tax rolls list occupiers as well as property owners, more than 9,000 names in total from a city population of around 30,000.
- This searchable index and transcription will be available online to researchers around the world and will link to digital images of the tax rolls as well as the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online where appropriate. Use of the index and transcription, as well as downloads of the images, will all be free of charge. Free, indexed, searchable, online original records provide the ultimate in utility for researchers.
- This project is an innovative model of collaboration among the City of Toronto Archives, which holds the original tax rolls; the Toronto Branch of Ontario Genealogical Society, which underwrote the costs of transcription and publication; OntarioRoots.com, which conceived and managed the project under Paul McGrath's leadership; and a team of volunteer transcribers and proof- readers. Some of the volunteers have no personal research interest in Toronto but recognize this project as a way of returning something to the broader genealogical community.
- There is an important second part of the project, Toronto in the 1850s. This is a book and CD version of the index, transcription and images with lots more information for researchers. Maps and descriptions of the wards and streets will help you locate your ancestor and understand his or her neighbourhood. A research guide will cover vital records, religious records and cemeteries, land records, directories, published sources and maps, as well as historical background. The easy-to-use CD will include the complete transcription and images with enhanced search and browsing capabilities and will be a must for serious researchers and those lacking high-speed Internet access.
- This is only the beginning. Down the road we plan to extend the project to other years to benefit from the unique advantages of an extended run of similar records. And we intend to expand our geographical focus to all parts of today's Toronto.
Please join us on February 28, as Ontario's Heritage Month draws to a close, to get your personal one-on-one demonstration of this powerful new research tool.
Date: February 28, 2005
The City of Toronto Archives
255 Spadina Road
Toronto, Ontario M5R 2V3
(for map, see: www.city.toronto.on.ca/archives/contact.htm)
Time: To arrange a time for your personal demonstration, call Paul Jones
Toronto in the 1850s:
Paul McGrath 416-878-9800
City of Toronto Archives:
Karen Teeple 416-397-7393
OGS Toronto Branch:
John Craig 416-756-9649
The new census substitute can be found at http://www.torontofamilyhistory.org