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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Changes Coming to Matching Thresholds for Family Tree DNA's Family Finder Test

Family Tree DNA
Earlier this week Family Tree DNA announced it will soon be changing its FamilyFinder (autosomal DNA) matching threshold levels. This change will likely cause some changes in your match list.

Several genealogy/genetic bloggers have covered what this change will likely mean for FamilyFinder test kit holders. See The Genetic Genealogist, DNAeXplained, and The Legal Genealogist.

If you are curious about how this change effects you, then make sure you download either a CSV or Excel file of your Match List AND in your Chromosome Browser download ALL matches to an Excel (CSV) file. You will need to do this for every FamilyFinder test kit that you manage since each test you manage is accessed individually. Downloading this information now will give you something to compare to after the change.

Both of these tasks are really simple to do.

First, sign into one of your FamilyFinder test kits. At your welcome/dashboard you'll see your "Matches" and your "Chromosome Browser."
Image 1:  Your Family Tree DNA FamilyFinder Dashboard

To download your Match List:
From your Welcome/Dashboard, click on Matches. Scroll down to the bottom of the page. Click on either the orange "CSV" or orange "Excel" button. Both buttons download the same information. The difference is the file type -- a CSV file that can be opened or imported in a variety of programs or a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet file. Don't worry it does download ALL of your Matches not just that page's ten matches.
Image 2:  Scroll to the bottom of your match list to find the download buttons. (Note: I have blurred info for privacy.)

The information preserved by the Match List download includes each match's: Full Name; First name; Middle Name; Last Name; Match Date; Relationship Range; Suggested Relationship; Shared cM (centimorgans); Longest Block (of cM); Known Relationship (if you have added this); Email; Ancestral Surnames; Y-DNA Haplogroup (if tested); mtDNA Haplogroup (if tested); and Notes (if you have typed anything into the notes for that match.)

So if you lose any matches that do not meet the coming new match threshold, at least you have the contact information saved. Yes, autosomal DNA is best for closer generations but I have found matches with more distant cousins (proved by paper trails) and I want to preserve that DNA information in case those matches disappear. I am also curious as to how this threshold change effects certain matches.

To download your Chromosome Browser ALL Matches:
From your Welcome/Dashboard, click on Chromosome Browser (see Image 2 above) which is where you see how your test and up to five other tests match on each chromosome graphically. At the top of the Chromosome Browser page are two download options. Use the one on the right to download an Excel (CSV) file for ALL of your Matches.
Image 3:  Two download Options for the Chromosome Browser: just the Compared Matches or ALL Matches

The Chromosome Browser download file contains seven columns of data:  Name (test kit person); Match Name; Chromosome (number); Start Location; End Location; Centimorgans; Matching SNPS. This is the spreadsheet version of the chromosome graphic.

To download your Chromosome Browser Comparisons:
If you have several matches (your own tests or other match tests) that you would like to compare, you can select those (up to five at a time) and compare them in the Chromosome Browser. You can then download the Chromosome Browser data for just these compared matches. Doing this can save you time extracting the same data from your All Matches download file.

To compare matches in the Chromosome browser, go to your match list and click on the "Show Full View" at the top of your match list. This opens up another information line (see Image 2) for each match. 
Image 4:  Click on Show Full View to see additional information for each match. See second image above.

Then go through your match list and click on the "Compare in Chromosome browser" for those matches (up to five) you want to compare. A list of select matches appears at the top of the page. When you are done selecting, click on the blue "compare" arrow. 
Image 5:  When done selecting matches to compare, click on the blue arrow. (Note: I have blurred info for privacy.)

At the chromosome browser you will see a graphic representation of where on each chromosome your selected matches match your test. You can download just the information for these selected matches using the download option on the left. (See Image 3 above.)

You can also add matches to compare directly in the Chromosome Browser using the filter list but all you will see is the match name. To see your notes or other details you have to go to your match list.
Image 6:  Family Tree DNA Chromosome Browser

Besides doing a comparison of the four tests I manage to each other and downloading that Chromosome Match information, I also did some comparisons with match tests of some cousins that share some surnames I have been working on in particular. In downloading this information and saving comparison matches, I think I may have made a realization/discovery that I had missed before. 

It happened when I was comparing some screen shots I took of a couple different chromosome browser graphic comparisons. (That's another idea, take screen shots of your chromosome browser graphics. It is really just for visual reference since the image is often too small or must be done in two sections and does not contain specific data points.) I then did another chromosome browser comparison mixing a couple match tests from each of the first two comparisons so I could see them at one time in one chromosome graphic. That new comparison data was downloaded and the graphic image saved too.

I will have to submit some questions to FTDNA to find out if I am seeing what I think I am seeing correctly. If I am, it is happy dance time. Now I am really anxious for a cousin to take and send in her FamilyFinder test for processing. (No pressure cuz', I know you are taking care of it.)

This would be why AncestryDNA needs a chromosome browser.

Oh, and while you are saving data/information did you remember to download your autosomal DNA data file after receiving your results if you tested directly with Family Tree DNA? If you didn't, now would be a good time. I would take a screen shot of your ethnicity mix too for good measure. I don't think that is changing at this time but it's good for reference without having to be connected to the internet.

The promised post about the Process of Searching for Land Patents will be coming. We had a new computer come into the house. It is not for me but as resident tech it falls to me to clean up and backup files on the old; install software and transfer files to the new. The sooner I get that done (I wrap up today), the sooner I get time to do what I need to do. Thanks for your patience. In the meantime, I hope you find this post useful.

©2016 All Rights Reserved, goneresearching. All text and photos in this post are copyrighted & owned by me (goneresearching) unless indicated otherwise. No republication (commercial or non-commercial) without prior permission. You may share (tell others) of this blog as long as you give credit and link to this site (not by downloading or copying any post). Thank you.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Searching Ontario Marriages Work-Around: Ancestry has the Index, FamilySearch the Images

I have not forgotten about the promised post about the Process of Searching for Land Patents. It's a long post and I want to format it better so it is not so hard to read. Thanks for your patience. In the meantime, I hope you find this post useful.

Finding records in early Ontario (aka Upper Canada and Canada West) can be a challenge but with the digitization of microfilm it is becoming a little easier if you know where to look. And sometimes that "knowing where to look" involves more than one place at the same time. Get your multiple browser tabs ready!


Ontario Collections at FamilySearch
Did you see that two weeks ago on May 6, 2016, FamilySearch.org added digitized images of the Ontario, District Marriage Registers, 1801-1858? And did you know that digitized images of the Ontario, County Marriage Registers, 1858-1869 have been on FamilySearch since at least April 27, 2016*?

If you did, then you know that both digitized collections of these early Ontario records are browse only collections meaning neither have been electronically indexed so you have to click through the images to find the record you seek.

But did you know there is an index elsewhere to help you out?
About this database ...

Now it may not give you a specific image number or page number but you can at least figure out that a marriage was recorded and when and where it occurred. Knowing this can cut down on the amount of your searching through "digital film" with no index.


What and where is that index? It's the Ontario, Canada, Marriages, 1801-1928 collection at the Ancestry.com website. (Use Ancestry Library Edition at a local library if you do not have a home subscription.) Now this database collection is actually an index to records from a variety of sources. Reading the "about this database" clarifies and tells you what sources the indexed records originate from and which ones are indexed with images and which ones indexed without images.


Full List of Sources from the "About this database"
For those record entries you find without images, look at the entry's "view record" information. Make note of the microfilm series in that entry's source citation and then compare it to the source list in the "about this database." Records originating from the County Marriage Registers are from microfilm series M248, reels 5-18. These have no images at Ancestry, but FamilySearch now has the images and has divided them by county. You just have to estimate where to start in the group images for that county for the year of your record.


Ontario Marriages database entry for Johannah Arnold
Here's an example that I found for one of my cousins. Now she has one less item for her To-Do List for a visit to the Archives of Ontario in Toronto, Canada, or Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

From the Ontario Marriages collection at Ancestry.com, we found what we thought was the marriage of her ancestors Henry Zuelch and Juliana Arnold. (Note: Zuelch has various spellings.) As you see from the image here, Ancestry's indexing leaves a lot to be desired because the record was indexed as Henry Fullich and Johannah Arnold. (In this case, Ancestry used an index from another group so it is just repeating an error. Read that "about this database" for details.)

Until recently there was no record image online to confirm this suspicion for ourselves. My cousin would have to wait to visit a library/archive with the Ontario County Marriage Registers collection. Why did we suspect this was the marriage record we sought? We knew her ancestors were in a certain place (the Waterloo area) and in a certain time period based on their children's birthplaces and census entries. And we have experience knowing what letters can be mistaken for other letters.


Detail of Source Citation from the Johannah Arnold entry
So looking at that index entry's "view record" we see the source of the entry came from MS248, reel 16 which is the Ontario, County Marriage Registers.

Using the date and location (18 Feb 1862 in Waterloo County) of the marriage, now we can open another browser tab and search through the new Ontario County Marriage Registers collection over at FamilySearch for the actual record image. (Using multiple browser tabs or windows allows me to keep my place in the first database while searching the second database so I can return to verify information or bring up the next record entry to investigate without having to find that entry or results list again.)

In this case under the County Marriage Registers, under Waterloo county there are three volumes (books) digitized. The first volume covers 1858 to 1862 and contains 91 images.  So I searched that volume and since I was looking for an 1862 marriage, I jumped to the last image by typing 91 in the currently viewing box of the image viewer. I proceeded backwards until I found the page/image I needed.
The Ontario County Marriage
record image from FamilySearch

Seeing the actual image now for ourselves, we can confirm with our own eyes that the indexer read the record entry incorrectly. This is the marriage record for Henry Zuellich and Juliana Arnold. (If you find something at Ancestry.com incorrectly indexed, do submit an alternative when there is the option to do so. I did in this case.)
Henry Zuellich not Henry Fullich
Juliana Arnold not Johannah Arnold
For the Ontario District Marriage Registers, it appears the database collection at Ancestry.com does have the record images linked to the index entries. But if you find an index entry from MS248, reels 1-4 that does not have a linked record image, you now know that there is an alternative location at FamilySearch to find the record image.

I suspect that in time Ancestry will add links to the record images for those entries in its Ontario, Canada, Marriages collection that are from the Ontario County Marriage Registers.

Now when I get a chance, I will need to go back through my tree's sourcing to create a list of Ontario marriages where I only have an index entry to document the event rather than a digital image of the original record. This list will get added to my overall To-Do List so when I finally get to that To-Do task I can easily go back and get the original record images that were not there at the time I did the original search.

But before I make that list I have another post to finish.

* Note: The late April 2016 listing of "New FamilySearch Collections Update" appears to have been skipped. I believe I have the right "newly added" date for both collections. But some are reporting that the County Marriage Registers was the collection added May 6th instead of the District Marriage Registers. I included a screen capture of all of the Ontario collections listed under Canada at the FamilySearch website with their add/update dates as of May 20, 2016.

©2016 All Rights Reserved, goneresearching. All text and photos in this post are copyrighted & owned by me (goneresearching) unless indicated otherwise. No republication (commercial or non-commercial) without prior permission. You may share (tell others) of this blog as long as you give credit and link to this site (not by downloading or copying any post). Thank you.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

My AncestryDNA Tests Switched to the New Algorithm Today ... Wonder What We'll Find

At some point late this morning or early afternoon my AncestryDNA tests were switched to the "new algorithm." I was working on some DNA stuff late last night/early this morning so I knew it didn't happen while I slept since I didn't go to bed until 3:30 a.m.

Around about April 19, Ancestry and various genealogy DNA bloggers started talking about this change and that it would be happening in "about one to two weeks."

I discovered this change when I went back to check something about 10 minutes ago. I haven't clicked further yet to see what has changed. At least I followed the advice to star and/or add notes to those entries I did not want to forget about if I lost them after the algorithm change.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Third Tip for Searching: Reel Content Specifics for Some LAC Digitized Microfilm Collections

I did not get much time this past week to work on the promised post about the Process of Searching for Land Patents so in the meantime here is another tip which should work for any LAC microfilm collection that is also available through the Family History Library Catalog at FamilySearch.

Part of the problem when working with the digitized microfilm collections of the Library and Archives of Canada (LAC) is that for the most part all you see is a list of reel codes with no descriptions of what is on each "film." (Remember, the digitized microfilm of the LAC is located on two websites: the Héritage website and the archived LAC website.)
Heir and Devisee at Héritage

At the Héritage website, you would think the "About" tab for a particular collection would contain a detail like that. Most of the time it does not. It simply tells you about the records not how they are organized on the microfilm. 

Every so often an "About" does mention what is on the reels for that collection but it is very generalized. That is the case of the Heir and Devisee digitized collection. There is actually a list of what volumes are on which reel but nothing to tell you what a particular volume number contains so you still do not have a clear understanding of what you are working with.
Heir and Devisee at LAC Archives Catalog

Using the MIKAN number (see my Two Tips post) listed for the collection and doing an Advanced search of the Archives Catalog over at the main LAC website, you bring up a similar description for the collection. The Archives catalog entry does list which reel numbers are associated with the collection but again not one detail for what is on which film.

Here's My Tip.
If a particular LAC microfilm collection is available through the Family History Catalog at the FamilySearch website, check the FHL catalog entry. It often has more details of regarding what is on which film. But because the FHL catalog entry does not make mention of the LAC reel number you have to compare the microfilm listings from both sites to see the whole picture.

Catalog listing for the same collection at FamilySearch.


So from the About tab for the Heir and Devisee digitized collection at the ritage website, we learn that film H-1133 contains vol. 1-6.

From the About tab of the Heir and Devisee Collection at Héritage



Microfilm listing for the same collection at FamilySearch.
Comparing that information to film listing of the entry in the Family History Catalog for that collection we learn that those volumes are "Index of location certificates issued by the Land Boards v. 1 pre-1804 Heir and Devisee Commission records Eastern District v. 2 1803-1804 v. 3 1803? v. 4 1797-1802 (partial index) v. 5 1809-1841 v. 6 1785-1804." And, of course, we learn the FHL microfilm number for that reel known at the LAC as H-1133.

Now we have an understanding of what we are looking at and can finally utilize the collection with less hassle and involving less time.

As I said at the start of this post, this tip should work for any LAC microfilm collection available through the Family History Library.

Lastly, don't get me wrong. I love that formerly hard to access historical/genealogical collections are being made more accessible but what I am pointing out is that the end-user needs to be thought of in this process.

Sitting at home (or where ever) the end-user (you/me) does not have access to long-existing paper finding aids sitting on a shelf in an archive/library. These vital pieces of the puzzle are necessary to understanding collection organization and must be put online in some form also. AND that the steps needed (look here, check this, then look there) to properly utilize a collection are clearly indicated and follow-able on the website.

I hope this tip helps. Now I'll get back to that other post.

©2016 All Rights Reserved, goneresearching. All text and photos in this post are copyrighted & owned by me (goneresearching) unless indicated otherwise. No republication (commercial or non-commercial) without prior permission. You may share (tell others) of this blog as long as you give credit and link to this site (not by downloading or copying any post). Thank you.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Update: The Next Upper Canada Land Records Post is Coming Soon ... I Promise

I realize that there are quite a few of you waiting for the promised next post on Upper Canada Land Records. It is in the works but the day after the last post we had a family emergency involving a hospital stay. And then my laptop had an emergency of its own with its power cord.

Everyone is recovering now, including the laptop I think. I will be polishing up the promised post and double checking the links so the new plan is to release it next week.

Thank you for your patience.


©2016 All Rights Reserved, goneresearching. All text and photos in this post are copyrighted & owned by me (goneresearching) unless indicated otherwise. No republication (commercial or non-commercial) without prior permission. You may share (tell others) of this blog as long as you give credit and link to this site (not by downloading or copying any post). Thank you.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Gone Researching's Cheat Sheet to the Digitized Upper Canada Land Books at the Héritage website

Upper Canada Land Books
(with ad covered up)
So last week I wrote about a handful of digitized microfilms related to the Upper Canada Land Petitions from the Library and Archives of Canada. Of these digitized microfilms collections a couple collections have online indexes while some have microfilms of card index sets digitized, and yet others have no index at all. Index or not what they all have in common is lists or tables of microfilm numbers without any quick visual clues as to what each "film" contains.

After I searched for my people making notes of what was on each "film" and where (which image number) each specific volume started, I realized I had the beginning of a cheat sheet for this collection and decided to share it. My plan was to just make a cheat sheet for the digitized microfilm of the actual books but I discovered a webpage with a guide to the other half of the "films" containing the card index sets. Using both my "cheat sheet" and the other guide should save you time searching.

The collection known online as the Upper Canada Land Books at the Héritage website is known in the LAC's catalog as Land Minute Books of the Executive Council, 1787 – 1841 (formerly RG1 L1 now R10875-2-1-E.) 


This collection contains Minutes of the Land Committee of the Executive Council of Upper Canada, 1787-1841. These minute books are commonly called “Land Books” which record the petitions read and decisions made (approved or dismissed) regarding those petitions. You will also see some patents being surrendered. (Note: Usually you do not learn from these books what location of land an individual was given.) Originally labeled volumes A through U, later these volumes were assigned volume numbers 18-39 for cataloging. Also included are the Minutes of the Land Committee of the Executive council of the united Province of Canada, 1841-1867. Again, originally labeled using letters and later given the volume numbers 40-48 for cataloging.

Though there is no online index to this collection at this time, there actually are two index options. First, these particular minute/land book volumes each start with its own nominal index of petitioners. Second, there are digitized microfilm of two card index sets (see below) that index these records.

Regardless of the two index options to use, you still have to find the book and page you seek. So rather click around aimlessly this "cheat sheet" shows you where each individual volume starts and what time frame is covered by each volume. (The gray text volumes listed below belong to other collections.)

Upper Canada Land Books (Minute Books) Microfilm Reels

  • C-100  v. 18-19
    image 0001 vol. K (23 Mar 1838 - 27 Jul 1838) continued 
    image 0044 vol. L (28 Jul 1838 - )

    image 0320 vol. M (27 Apr 1839 - )

    image 0662 vol. Selections from Quebec Land Books A & B (1787 - 1791)
    image 0886 vol. A (8 Jul 1792 - 27 Jun 1796)
  • C-101  v. 19-23
    image 0001 vol. A continued at page 233
    image 0084 vol. B (1 Oct 1796 - 7 Apr 1797)
    image 0269 vol. C (11 Apr 1797 - 19 Jan 1802)
    image 0480 vol. D (22 Dec 1797 - 22 Jun 1802) note: finding aid says 23 May 1798 - 22 Jun 1802
    image 0927 vol. E (23 Jun 1802 - 28 Mar 1804)
  • C-102  v. 23-27
    image 0001 vol. E continued at page 112
    image 0152 vol. F (2 Apr 1804 - 27 Feb 1806)
    image 0389 vol. G (28 Feb 1806 - 29 Mar 1808)
    image 0669 vol. H (9 Apr 1808 - 23 Jan 1811)
    image 0905 vol. I (12 Feb 1811 - 10 Aug 1816)
  • C-103  v. 27-30
    image 0001 vol. I continued at page 138
    image 0131 vol. J (13 Aug 1816 - 10 Feb 1819)
    image 0440 vol. K (25 Feb 1819 - 27 Dec 1820)
    image 0755 vol. L (16 Jan 1821 - 4 Feb 1824)
  • C-104  v. 30-33
    image 0001 vol. L continued at page 485
    image 0045 vol. M (9 Feb 1824 - 13 Dec 1826)
    image 0467 vol. N (3 Jan 1827 - 20 May 1829)
    image 0785 vol. O (2 Jun 1829 - 23 Aug 1831)
  • C-105  v. 33-36
    image 0001 vol. O continued at page 362
    image 0095 vol. P (1 Sep 1831 - 12 Mar 1833)
    image 0362 vol. Q (21 Mar 1833 - 28 Mar 1835)
    image 0737 vol. R (2 Apr 1835 - 16 Jun 1836)
  • C-106  v. 36-39
    image 0001 vol. R continued at page 429
    image 0038 vol. S (20 Jun 1836 - 27 Jul 1837)
    image 0418 vol. T (10 Aug 1837 - 27 Jun 1839)
    image 0768 vol. U (4 Jul 1839 0 6 Feb 1841)
  • C-107  v. 39-42
    image 0001 vol. U continued at page 389
    image 0172 vol. A (15 Mar 1841 - 13 Aug 1842) note: finding aid says 15 Mar 1841 - 22 Dec 1839
    image 0458 vol. B (10 Jan 1843 - 27 Sep 1844)
    image 0829 vol. C (4 Nov 1844 - 28 Dec 1846)
  • C-108  v. 42-45
    image 0001 vol. C continued at page 351
    image 0174 vol. D (8 Jan 1847 - 19 Aug 1848)
    image 0551 vol. E (23 Aug 1848 - 8 Oct 1850)
    image 0931 vol. F (11 Oct 1850 - 30 Dec 1852)
  • C-109  v. 45-47
    image 0001 vol. F continued at page 198
    image 0254 vol. G (19 Jan 1853 - 27 Mar 1855)
    image 0596 vol. H (4 Apr 1855 - 10 Jul 1858)
  • C-110  v. 47-48
    image 0001 vol. H continued at page 652
    image 0020 vol. I (18 Aug 1858 - 31 May 1867)
    image 0305 vol. A (13 Feb 1841 - 11 Oct 1842)
    image 0584 vol. B (1 Nov 1842 - 29 Jun 1843)

Finding Aid MSS1802 also known as Upper Canada Land Index

Also part of this collection is Finding Aid MSS1802 Index to the Upper Canada Land Petitions (RG1 L3) and the Executive Council Minute Books on Land Matters (formerly RG1 L1 now R10875-2-1-E) commonly called the Upper Canada Land Index. It consists of two card index sets that as the title says indexes two collections. (Note: The online index to the Upper Canada Land Petitions does not index these Minute/Land Books.)

  • H-1976, H-1977, H-1978
    A supplementary card index to the Upper Canada Land Petitions (RG1 L3) and Executive Council Minute Books on Land Matters (formerly RG1 L1 now R10875-2-1-E) which was filmed in 1991.

  • C-10810 to C-10836
    A card index to the Upper Canada Land Petitions (RG1 L3) and Executive Council Minute Books on Land Matters (formerly RG1 L1 now R10875-2-1-E) which was filmed in 1981.

The FamilySearch Research Wiki Ontario Land Records Land Books and Petitions Index Film Numbers has a helpful list (see the pink column on the right) that breaks down what cards/names are on each "microfilm" of these card index sets making up Finding Aid MSS1802. So rather than duplicate something that already exists I simply point you to that aid for the card index sets.


When you are at the Archives of Ontario: For Upper Canada Land Books diffusion material see inventory D 355 for microfilm numbers. (AO refers to this collection as RG1 E1 at National Archives but LAC has it as formerly RG1 L1 now R10875-2-1-E.) At the Archives of Ontario, these card index films (both sets) are part of Upper Canada Land Petitions diffusion material D 29 see user’s guide to Upper Canada Land Petitions and Land Books for detailed descriptions and microfilms.

I hope this cheat sheet helps you. Hopefully, one day we will get a better website interface for these digitized microfilm collections.

Finally, there is yet one more article/post to come that goes with what became a series on Upper Canada Land Records Research.


©2016 All Rights Reserved, goneresearching. All text and photos in this post are copyrighted & owned by me (goneresearching) unless indicated otherwise. No republication (commercial or non-commercial) without prior permission. You may share (tell others) of this blog as long as you give credit and link to this site (not by downloading or copying any post). Thank you.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Digging Deeper into Digitized Microfilm at Library and Archives of Canada: Indexed and Non-Indexed Items Related to Upper Canada Land Petitions

In the process of writing about some more online resources for early Ontario I realized my article/post would be better split up into at least two but maybe three articles/posts. Here's the second of those articles/posts. This is sort of long but I think worth it.

Library and Archives of Canada
Current Website
So you go to the digitized microfilm websites for the Library and Archives of Canada, yes there are two, select an interesting collection and you see columns or tables of "coded" digitized microfilm ... possibly even pages of these for a single collection.

And since this collection has no online index, you wonder what is sitting there? What am I missing out on? So you click and peek, then click more and eventually find some descriptions telling you about what you've seen but some collections do not seem to explain much.

Let me save you time and tell you what I learned about a handful of the digitized microfilm collections related to land records for what is now Ontario (formerly Canada West formerly Upper Canada.)

Library and Archives of Canada
Archived website
First, in general, there is a lot out there but not everything mind you. Second, you are not going to find these things if you expect everything to be delivered with a few keystrokes, an enter key and a mouse click. You have got to explore and browse (safely keeping your wits about you so you don't get virus/malware by accidentally clicking on an ad) and put in a little effort to see what libraries, archives, museums and even societies are adding to their websites.

So I made room in my schedule and returned once again to the Library and Archives of Canada (LAC) website to investigate further. As I stated above LAC uses two different websites to hold its digitized microfilm rather than have the digitized film on its current LAC website. The digitized microfilm sits at the archived Library and Archives Canada website and the Héritage website. (You can tell the difference between the current LAC website and the archived website by the color -- blue for the current and red for the archived.) The online indexes for some of the LAC digitized microfilm collections are located at the current LAC website at the Genealogy and Family History page. So in reality there are three websites involved in this adventure.

Héritage website
So what is what with that digitized microfilm? Rather than write a paragraph or two about each collection I decided to format what I learned into hopefully a clear and concise summary. This summary tells you the online title of the collection; if there is an online index; the website holding the digitized microfilm with a direct link; the title used in the catalog with collection codes and MIKAN number from LAC; the number of microfilm reels or the microfilm numbers with a brief description; any notes I made in regards to the collection; and whether the Archives of Ontario has microfilm copies of that collection.

I tried to be thorough so hopefully I did not make any errors. See yesterday's post on two tips for searching the catalogs of the Archives of Ontario and the Library and Archives of Canada.


Upper Canada Land Petitions, 1763-1865
Online Index: Yes, at LAC website (info and search)
Digitized Microfilm: Yes, at archived LAC website
Land Submissions to Executive Council 1783-1865, predominant 1783-1841 (formerly RG1 L3 and RG1 L6B now R10875-4-5-E), MIKAN 205131
327 Reels:  contain the petitions and related records submitted to the Executive Council, sitting as a land committee in the performance of its land disposal functions. The “land committee” dealt with all manner of petitions for grants and leases, requests for title deeds and reports from the Surveyor General or, after 1827, the Commissioner of Crown Lands.

Note: The Upper Canada Land Petitions 1763-1865 (formerly RG1 L3 and RG1 L6B now R10875-4-5-E) along with the Upper Canada Sundries 1766-1841 (formerly RG5 A1 now R10875-2-1-E) were electronically indexed  and are available in one index at the LAC website under Land Petitions of Upper Canada, 1763-1865. The digitized microfilm for the Upper Canada Land Petitions is located at the archived LAC website.

At the Archives of Ontario:  Upper Canada Land Petitions diffusion material D 29 see user’s guide to Upper Canada Land Petitions and Land Books for detailed descriptions and microfilms. (Microfilm numbering systems are different at just about every archive/library.) At AO, D 29 also includes the two card index sets mentioned below under Upper Canada Land Books which indexes both the petitions and land books.


Upper Canada Sundries
Online Index: Yes, at LAC website (info and search)
Digitized Microfilm: Yes, at Héritage website
Civil Secretary’s Correspondence, Upper Canada, Upper Canada Sundries, 1766-1841 (formerly RG5 A1 now R10875-2-1-E), MIKAN 125539
94 Reels:  The series consists of letters, petitions, reports, returns and schedules, certificates, accounts, warrants, legal opinions, instructions and regulations, proclamations and other documents received by the Civil Secretary of Upper Canada, 1791-1841.

Note: The Upper Canada Land Petitions 1763-1865 (formerly RG1 L3 and RG1 L6B now R10875-4-5-E) along with the Upper Canada Sundries 1766-1841 (formerly RG5 A1 now R10875-2-1-E) were electronically indexed  and are available in one index at the LAC website under Land Petitions of Upper Canada, 1763-1865. The digitized microfilm for the Upper Canada Sundries is located at the Héritage website. The online digital microfilm for this collection references RG1 L1 instead of RG5 A1 and I am not sure why there is a discrepancy.

At the Archives of Ontario:  Upper Canada Sundries diffusion material see inventory D 23 for microfilm numbers. In addition, the Archives of Ontario has a couple of related collections not at LAC so see the Archives Descriptive Database for the Sundries to learn more.


Minutes and Records of the Land Boards Accumulated by the Executive Council Office
Online Index: Yes, at LAC website (info and search)
Digitized Microfilm: Yes, at Héritage website
Minutes and Records of the Land Boards Accumulated by the Executive Council Office, 1765-1804 (formerly RG1 L4 now R10875-7-0-E), MIKAN 205141
Reels:  H-1760, H-1761 contain the card index to the minutes and records in this collection. Each card gives, name, location, summary, collection, volume and page and microfilm reel. Check all alternate spellings.
Reels:  C-14026, C-14027, C-14028 contain the minutes and records of the land boards of the Hesse, Nassau, Luneburg and Mecklenburg Districts and their successors following subdivision of the districts, 1765-1804.

Note: The Minutes and Records of the Land Boards Accumulated by the Executive Council Office, 1765-1804 (formerly RG1 L4 now R10875-7-0-E) was electronically indexed and is available at the LAC website, under Land Boards of Upper Canada 1765-1804. (See above.)

At the Archives of Ontario:  Upper Canada Land Board Minutes and Records diffusion material see inventory D 359 for microfilm numbers. In addition, the Archives of Ontario has a couple of related collections not at LAC so see the Archives Descriptive Database for the Land Board Minutes to learn more.


Upper Canada Land Books
Online Index: No (but card index is microfilm is digitized see below)
Digitized Microfilm: Yes, at Héritage website
Land Minute Books  of the Executive Council, 1787 – 1841 (formerly RG1 L1 now R10875-2-1-E), MIKAN 205068
Finding Aid MSS1802 Index to the Upper Canada Land Petitions (RG1 L3) and the Executive Council Minute Books on Land Matters (formerly RG1 L1 now R10875-2-1-E) commonly called the Upper Canada Land Index.
Reels:  C-100, C-101, C-102, C-103, C-104, C-105, C-106, C-107, C-108, C-109, C-110 contain Minutes of the Land Committee of the Executive Council of Upper Canada, 1787-1841. These records are commonly called the “Land Books.” Originally labeled volumes A through U later these volumes were assigned  volume numbers 18-39 for cataloging. Also included are the Minutes of the Land Committee of the Executive council of the united Province of Canada, 1841-1867. Again, originally labeled using letters and later given the volume numbers 40-48 for cataloging. Each volume starts with nominal index of petitioners.
Reels:  H-1976, H-1977, H-1978 contain a supplementary card index to the Upper Canada Land Petitions (RG1 L3) and Executive Council Minute Books on Land Matters (formerly RG1 L1 now R10875-2-1-E) which was filmed in 1991.
Reels: C-10810 thru C-10836 contain a card index to the Upper Canada Land Petitions (RG1 L3) and Executive Council Minute Books on Land Matters (formerly RG1 L1 now R10875-2-1-E) which was filmed in 1981.

Note:  Be  thorough if you use these and check both card indexes which make up Finding Aid MSS1802. Though these two card index sets include both the Upper Canada Land Books and the Upper Canada Land Petitions, the online index to the Upper Canada Land Petitions does not include these Upper Canada Land Books.

At the Archives of Ontario:  Upper Canada Land Books diffusion material see inventory D 355 for microfilm numbers. (AO refers to this collection as RG1 E1 at National Archives but LAC has it as formerly RG1 L1 now R10875-2-1-E.) At the Archives of Ontario, these card index films (both sets) are part of Upper Canada Land Petitions diffusion material D 29 see user’s guide to Upper Canada Land Petitions and Land Books for detailed descriptions and microfilms.

See my next article/post for a “cheat sheet” to this digital microfilm collection.


Index to Grants, Deeds, Leases and Licenses of Occupation Unclaimed or Impounded in the Executive Council Office
Online Index: No (this digitized microfilm is a card index)
Digitized Microfilm: Yes, at Héritage website
Finding Aid MSS1803 (card index) to Grants, Deeds, Leases and Licenses of Occupation, Unclaimed or Impounded in the Executive Council Office, 1791-1897, predominant 1791-1848 (formerly RG1 L2 now R10875-6-9-E), MIKAN 205137
Reels:  C-11961, C-11962, C-11963 contain the Finding Aid MSS1803 card index by name (on reels 11961 and 11962) and by township (on reels 11962 and 11963). Do read the description at the beginning of the reel to learn how to read the cards and the limitations of the index. This is a card index to a collection (which is not microfilmed) that consists of two distinct types of documents: deeds for grants and leases of land, surrendered to or impounded by the Executive Council of Upper Canada for a variety of reasons; and the technical descriptions of unclaimed grants and leases. See the catalog description for further information.

At the Archives of Ontario, No.


Land Documents Concerning Quebec, Upper and Lower Canada, Canada East and Canada West and Canada
Online Index: No
Digitized Microfilm: Yes, at Héritage website
Registrar General, Land Documents, 1763-1952 (formerly RG68 now R1002-147-2-E), MIKAN 787982
53 reels:  originals and registers containing copies of leases, releases, deeds, grants, surrenders, sales, letters patent of land and related documents for Crown and Clergy Reserves, Indian and Ordnance Land, Dominion Land, etc.

At the Archives of Ontario, No.


Licenses, Upper and Lower Canada, Canada East and Canada West and Ontario, 1817-1867
Online Index: No
Digitized Microfilm: Yes, at Héritage website
Registrar General, Licenses, 1817-1867 (formerly RG68 now R1002-82-0-E), MIKAN 192630
Reels:  C-3947, C-3948, C-3952 contain registers of licenses for the practice of physic surgery and midwifery, register of medical licenses, returns of licenses issued for innkeepers, billards and wholesalers in Upper Canada. There is a note that other items may have been filmed on these films so you have to look for the start of the register you seek on the “film.”

At the Archives of Ontario, No.


Heir and Devisee
Online Index: No
Digitized Microfilm: Yes, at Héritage website
Records of the Heir and Devisee Commission Accumulated by the Executive Council, 1777-1854 (formerly RG1 L5 now R10875-8-2-E), MIKAN 205142
21 Reels:  consists of records of the Heir and Devisee Commission forwarded to the Executive Council Office in the course of business, as well as records accumulated by the Executive Council Office after the demise of the first Commission in 1805. Records include minutes, reports and recommendations, notices of claims, and documentation submitted in support of claims (such as bonds, certification, location tickets and affidavits.)

At the Archives of Ontario:  First Heir and Devisee Commission diffusion material see finding aid D 352 for microfilm numbers. In addition, the Archives of Ontario holds the similar records for the later (sometimes referred to as Second) Heir and Devisee Commission. See the Archives of Ontario's Archives Descriptive Database for more information



These primarily land related digitized microfilm collections that I have highlighted are but a few of those available. There are other collections covering other aspects for what became Ontario, such as the Marriage Bonds that I mentioned in an earlier post. There are also many other online digitized microfilm collections for the other provinces of Canada. Some of those digitized microfilm collections even have online indexes available so check out the Genealogy and Family History page at the current LAC website.

I plan to post the third article next week.


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