Monday, July 31, 2006

Boxes & Boxes of the Ontario (Canada) Crombie Family History

Taken directly from

It’s like a blog done on a typewriter.
Page after page of farm notes, the day’s news, offbeat poems, horseshoe scores, visitors to the farm, literature reviews, profiles and more, all typed around hand-drawn illustrations.
The vivid newsletters from the 1920s and 1930s came to life when Burford veterinarian Chris Crombie cleaned out the damp and cluttered basement in his mother’s home, after her 2003 death.
Crombie had heard that the family, in Canada for centuries, had kept old letters and army commissions in a display case. But in 2003, a set of musty, wooden crates shared their epic tale of family life across the centuries.
“I started sorting through and thought I’d find four or five boxes,” Crombie, 57, says.
“But we kept bringing out boxes and boxes. Sixteen or 17 boxes,” the mild, bespectacled farmer says in the basement of a McMaster University library.
“As I flipped through, it kept getting older and older.”
One gem in the boxes was being damaged by flooding in the basement. The vet’s grandfather, Edward Rubidge Crombie, it turns out, had one foot on the farm, the other deep into literature.
In the 1920s and 1930s, this banker-turned-farmer was compelled, like a blogger, to create hundreds of pages of family newsletters. He tallied how many eggs his hens laid, who visited the farm and how often, profiles of historical figures, Prohibition Era politics.
“He was a mad chronicler of everything,” Crombie says of his grandfather, who he never met because the man died in 1937. “Suddenly, you get insight into these people and background on how (my dad E.H. Crombie) was a Renaissance Man who came by that honestly.”

This goldmine for social historians, about 8.5 metres of material if stacked, told the saga of a prominent southern Ontario family, with links to Ireland, Ancaster, Paris, Brant County and British military life around the world.
The family has been in Canada since about 1815, among the English settlers enticed to Upper Canada to offset the risk of growing American influence.
See collection inventories, biographical matierials and so forth at the McMaster University Library's website.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Steve Morse's Canadian Census Transcriptions & Indices

Steve Morse and everyone who assists him rocks! He has had an online index available for free, for quite some time for both the 1901 and 1911 Canadian Census. His site is packed full of helpful resources. Just click on his name at the beginning of this post to begin exploring!

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Sunday, July 16, 2006

Canadian Directories: Who Was Where

Library and Archives Canada has one of the richest Canadian directory collections in the world. The collection includes Canadian national, provincial/territorial, county and city directories, primarily of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, in paper, microform and electronic formats.
In order to provide improved access to the wealth of information contained in the directories, Library and Archives Canada has undertaken a partnership with the Canadian Institute of Historical Microreproductions (CIHM) to digitize a growing selection of pre-1901 volumes. These volumes can be consulted by selecting Search the database.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Post Offices and Postmasters Database

This newly launched, searchable database of Post Offices and Postmasters from the Library and Archives Canada is just soooo cool! Looking for a list of past Postmasters in your area? Wanting to know where post offices were located in your county? Then this database is just for you! Happy Exploring :)

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Monday, July 03, 2006 - New Canadian Census Indices Online has officially launched its every-name-indexed Canadian Censuses for 1901 and 1906 (Manitoba, Saskatchewan & Alberta.) These indexes are automatically part of the services of Ancestry - both the individual subscription and Ancestry Library Edition. To access this information without subscribing personally, most Family History Centers of the Mormon (Latter Day Saints) Church offer users time with Ancestry, or check with your local public library to see if they subscribe to Ancestry Library Edition.

Don't have a chance to visit your local FHC? Don't want to pay for a personal subscription to Willing to do a little bit of extra legwork to find your ancestor? Don't forget to see if there's already an index in existence for your area of research by using AVITUS: The directory of resources made available through the Canadian Genealogy Centre of the Library and Archives Canada!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Global Gazette Article: Aboriginal Documentary Heritage: Historical Collections of the Canadian Government

Rick Roberts of Global Genealogy writes about the resources of the Canadian Government dealing with Aboriginal documentation available online in his article in the Global Gazette:

"The ... Library and Archives of Canada has added a significant amount of aboriginal historic content to their list of available online resources. Read an overview and find links to the records at:" this link.