Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Canadian Genealogist Dies in Scotland

Yesterday afternoon (Monday, October 27th, 2008), Don Hinchley, President of the Ontario Genealogy Society (OGS), wrote to tell a number of us that Paul McGrath, the genealogist on "Ancestors in the Attic", has died in Scotland.

He was the chair of the Toronto Branch, and had given many talks around Ontario on genealogy.

He died last Wednesday of a heart attack.

People who attended Conference '09 in London, Ontario this year heard him give a couple of seminars and the talk at the supper on "Ancestors in the Attic".

This blog send its condoldances to his family for thier personal loss, and to the genealogists of Canada, for they have lost a great family historian.

1 comment:

Pat Jeffs said...

Paul McGrath will be greatly missed by his colleagues and friends at the Toronto Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society.

Although his work with Ancestors in the Attic will be known to more people, he also was an expert on the history, particularly the social history, of Toronto in the 19th century. He wrote several articles on areas which were villages in their own right back then, and which have now been absorbed into the city and forgotten.

Through his website www.ontarioroots.com he provided a number of necessary geographical keys to finding ancestors in the Toronto area. I had the opportunity to collaborate with him on transcribing and indexing the Caverhill Directory of 1859-60, and also in accumulating a street index for the 1911 census.

He had great ideas about combining together many databases of Toronto history. Toronto's earliest complete and extant census, the 1861, is currently being transcribed. Along with Caverhill's Directory and that of Mitchell in 1864, and Paul's earlier work "Toronto in the 1850s: A Transcription of the 1853 Tax Assessment Rolls", a broad picture of Toronto in the mid 19th century can be built. It is to be hoped that this project can come to fruition in other hands.