Sunday, March 15, 2009

Irish Genealogy Night - Part III

Lesley Anderson from and Brian Glenn from BIFHSGO rounded out this special evening with a very informative talk on where to search for an immigrant ancestor.

Lesley stressed that you should start your search in the land that they migrated to - in this case, Canada.

She had listed 19 records she would check, but the two most important are BMDs (birth, marriage & death certificates) and census. One can use both of these records to cross-check against each other to verify birthdays, where the person was living, whether the person was married or not, his occupation, etc.

She explained that was launched in January 2006, and to date, close to 410-million records have been put on the site.

The Vital Statistics of Ontario can be checked on This summer, two more years will be added to the end date of each one - births will go from 1909 to 1911, marriages will go from 1924 to 1926, and deaths will go from 1934 to 1936.

The most impressive non-pay site that she has encountered is the one by the Library and Archives Canada, which has very good Irish-Canadian databases and information.

Brain Glenn told us that the LAC and the National Archives of Ireland is in the process of digitizing the census of 1901 and 1911, and they will be made free on the National Archives of Ireland website.

Lesley ended the session by talking about the Boston Pilot, a newspaper which had a section on looking for missing Irish people in the U.S. and Canada (from 1831-1921).

Ruby Cusack has mentioned her experience with this database on her website.