Wednesday, 27 April 2016

A to Z Challenge - X

The Blogging from A to Z Challenge is to post everyday (except Sunday) in the month of April 2016 starting with the letter A and going all the way to Z. The theme I chose is Genealogy Tips. At the end I will give a related post from my blog Genealogy: Beyond the BMD.

X marks the Spot

Land Records help us to put our ancestors in time and place and Cadaster survey maps could include details of ownership, marking the exact spot. McGill University in Montreal digitized the cadastre map for all of Ontario, helping me find the land of my 2x great grandfather Seale.

Pittsburgh, Frontenac, Ontario (Barriefield)

This map has his name, lot number and lot size.  So John Seale owned Lot 2 and for some reason unknown to me yet, he has the biggest lot in the whole area, 360 acres covering both sides of the road.

I am also by now familiar with a lot of the names on this map, a few of them having married into the family of seven sons and one daughter.

Learn how to map your ancestors with Google Earth by watching the acclaimed free video by Lisa Louise Cooke on her website Genealogy Gems. Well worth the time.

What if you have an address from a census or directory or other document or letter, but can't find it on a modern map? I had that dilemma when I was trying to find another ancestor's address in Montreal. I had them living at one address then the next year a different address.  They did not move, as I had thought. First the numbering system changed then the name of the street changed!  Read about how I discovered this in the Postcard Mystery link below.

Then there are a couple of my ancestor homes that have been burned down or torn down. Perhaps in such a case you will then have luck with historical photos. And.... don't discount the power of FaceBook. I was on the FB page for the Devon Family History Society and just threw out there that "according to the 1839 Charleton apportionments my shoemaker ancestor Samuel Nichols lived on #638 in Goveton Village - would that house still be there?"

Well didn't the guy that now lives right across the street know of it!!  Samuel's house on the corner and the one next to it had burned down a few years after my ancestor had died, but this neighbour had an old photo of it, and a bit about Samuel in a local book.  I did find the spot on Google Maps and after a few attempts to get just the right angle, I made a composite of the old photo and the google map image.

Can you guess what I will have for Y and Z?

                       Postcard Mystery Address
                       Lay of the Land
                       Making it in Alberta (land records online)
                       Forfieted Lands & War Claims


  1. Good X! I have a copy of an old map of Page County, Virginia in which all the families' names are written where their property was. It doesn't show the plat or anything that would help you find it today, just relatively where they were along the road. That is pretty amazing that you found a "neighbor" in the FB group.

  2. Because I am into our roots a second cousin -in law gave me a very large old wall map of the United Counties of Dundas, Stormont and Glengarry Ontario. He found it in the historical house they were living in. I cherish it as it has all the town that went under the St Lawrence Seaway in the 50's. Through census and other records have found where several ancestors lived. My Maternal grandparents were from the small towns of Moulinette and Mile Roches (spelling on map but known as Mille Roches).
    Great grandparents, my grandmother's family farmed/worked in Stormont/Glengarry too so for some it goes back 3 or 4 generations.
    also have found where my father's family homesteaded in Saskatchewan from census and on line maps. My grandparents and their young daughter they came to Canada from England in 1907 and Dad was born a few months later he of course is the born Canadian in my paternal line. Mom was the first born in Quebec. Her father and his family came over in 1907 as well and settled in Moulinette. My maternal grandmother's roots can be traced back to the early 1600's in New France.
    It is all so exciting to be able to put them all into places, times and history.

  3. Forgot to mention I too do the google walk around and a kind person that lives near where in paternal grandparents last lived and worked in England sent me a Google overhead view with x's on the buildings of the Parsonage Nursery, (owned by my grandfather's family). She also walked down that way and talked to a man that was living in one of the houses. He told her that the Parsonage Nursery must have been quite something as he was always finding bits of broken pots around the property. I think of that when I come across pieces of broken Terracotta pots in my gardens (my own pots)and how I am at least a fourth generation gardener on my father's side of the tree.
    The kind woman was going to go and take photos of the buildings but I never heard from her after that... and Google has not gone into that area yet or hadn't the last time I checked must give it a try again :D

  4. A very important X - without which we would be lost.

  5. You've used clever strategies here!

    1. Thanx! I also like to look at the street directory in the City Directories and see who lived at that address after or before.


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