Release of a new version of the Census of Canada, 1911 database

Library and Archives Canada is pleased to announce the release of a new version of the Census of Canada, 1911 database. This fifth general census covered the nine provinces and two territories that were then part of Confederation: British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Yukon and the Northwest Territories.

Previously, users could search only by geographical information, such as province, district and sub-district. Now, they can also search by nominal information, such as the name, given name(s) and age of an individual.

Home Children (Part V)—The Honourable James Murdock

Today’s article is about the Honourable James Murdock, a labour minister in Mackenzie King’s cabinet who was appointed senator in 1930. He arrived in Canada through the home children movement.

Since James Murdock was a Member of Parliament, the logical place to start your research is his biography on the Parliament of Canada website. There we find out that he was born in Brighton, England, on August 15, 1871. Additionally, an article in The Ottawa Citizen announcing the death of his wife Annette Follis in 1965 also states that James and Annette married in 1903.

As explained in previous articles, you must first consult our main home children online resource. Enter the surname Murdock and the first name James into this database and it will generate three results, including two for James Murdock, age six, who arrived in 1876 under the auspices of Annie Macpherson’s organization. Unfortunately, it is impossible to know which of the two references relates to the James Murdock we are looking for.

Other Library and Archives Canada sources also provide information about James Murdock and his family. The 1911 Census indicates that James Murdock and his wife Nettie (short for Annette) lived in Toronto South―the same district where Murdock would run for election in 1921―with their two children Basil and Elena, as well as a servant named Ada Hennings.

You can also find further references to James Murdock in other published sources, such as city directories and newspapers.

It is possible to learn more about the British origins of James Murdock or another home child by contacting the organization responsible for the child in question. In this case, it was an agency managed by Annie Macpherson, which was taken over by Dr. Barnardo’s organization in 1924 (Barnardo’s Family History Service).

Finally, don’t forget to read the previous articles in this series: Introduction, Part II on Edward Brignall, Part III on Harold Mornington and Part IV on Wallace Ford.

Happy hunting!

Questions or comments? We would love to hear from you!

How to retrieve a Canadian newspaper when visiting LAC on site

Thanks to our article on “How to Find a Canadian Newspaper on Microfilm” you may now know how to easily access our Geographical List and how to read a newspaper entry. But how can you access these newspapers while you are on site at 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa?

Some of our newspapers on microfilm are available in the self-serve section on the third floor, but most need to be requested via AMICUS, our library catalogue. Once you have located your AMICUS number, you can make a retrieval request in AMICUS by following the steps below:

To access our AMICUS catalogue, go to one of our computer workstations and open the Internet browser. You can access the catalogue by selecting the “Library Catalogue – AMICUS OPAC” link from the workstation homepage.

Use the AMICUS number to get to the correct record by selecting the “AMICUS No.” option from the drop-down menu.

Remember:
Not all the AMICUS records have been updated to show all the newspaper dates available. If you don’t see your date listed in the AMICUS record, don’t worry! You can trust the dates given in the Geographical List even if you don’t see them in the AMICUS record.

Once you have found the right record for your date range, press the “Retrieve” button. Enter your date in the first space provided and don’t forget to enter your user card barcode number.

Your retrieval request will take 2 to 3 hours to process. You can then retrieve your microfilm reels in the third floor Consultation Room. Make sure to search for them under the first letter of your last name. You will find microfilm readers available in the same room. For more information on using these microfilm readers, consult our article “Tips and tricks on how to use a microform reader”.

Questions or comments? We would love to hear from you!

Tips on How to Search for Companies’ Archival Records

Have you come upon an old stock certificate and wondered if the company is still in existence?

A very good starting point is the FP Survey, Predecessor & Defunct. This book provides information on changes to companies, as well as on those that are no longer in existence. It is also helpful in determining the date of incorporation of a company, the jurisdiction of incorporation (i.e. federal or provincial) and the status of a company (e.g. dissolved).

The actual stock certificate often indicates whether the company was incorporated under federal or provincial legislation.

If the company in question was incorporated under federal legislation, you can use Library and Archives Canada’s Archives Search to see if we have files on the company as part of the Corporations Branch (RG95) records. These records consist of files relating to companies which were incorporated, amalgamated, and dissolved between 1867 and 1973. It is possible to order copies of these files, but keep in mind that some of these can be voluminous.

You can also search Industry Canada’s Corporations Canada database for more recent company information. If your company was incorporated at the provincial level, Industry Canada provides a handy list of provincial registrars. A few jurisdictions offer free company databases (others may charge a fee) that provide information on the status of a company.

If your certificate is from a mining or oil company, you could ask your local library about these sources:

Canadian Mines Register of Dormant and Defunct Companies, compiled, printed and published by Northern Miner Press Limited. Toronto: Northern Miner Press, c1960. 419 p. AMICUS No. 1715558
Canadian Mines Register of Dormant and Defunct Companies. Supplement, compiled, printed and published by Northern Miner Press Limited. Toronto: Northern Miner Press, 1966- . ISSN 0068-9300. AMICUS No. 13231254
Canadian Mines Handbook. Toronto: Northern Miner Press. Maps. 19 cm. ISSN 0068-9289. AMICUS No. 89851
The Financial Post Survey of Mines. Toronto: Maclean-Hunter. ISSN 0071-5085. AMICUS No. 104992
The Financial Post Survey of Oils. Toronto: Maclean-Hunter. ISSN 0071-5093. AMICUS No. 34629
FP Survey, Mines & Energy. Toronto: Financial Post. ISSN 1486-4266. AMICUS No. 18927856

Good luck with your research!

Home Children (Part IV)—Wallace Ford

Today’s article is on American actor Wallace (Wally) Ford. Despite his difficult childhood, Ford had a successful show business career and appeared in over 200 films. He was born in Bolton, England, on February 12, 1898, and named Samuel Jones Grundy. He lived in a Barnardo Home before being sent to Canada, after which he stayed in several foster homes, including a farm in Manitoba.

As explained in previous articles, the first step is to search our main home children online resource. However, if you search this database for the surname Grundy and the first name Samuel, no results come up. A second attempt using just the surname Grundy is equally ineffective, so another strategy is in order.

Since biographical sources also contain the surname Jones, we will presume that Grundy was dropped and Jones was used as his family name. A search with the latter gives you an item display for Samuel Jones, seven years of age, part of a group of 163 children who arrived in Canada on July 1, 1905, on the SS Southwark. The Passenger Lists, 1865–1922 have been digitized and you can access an image online of the passenger list for the SS Southwark.

How did Samuel Jones become Wallace Ford? As a young teen, Samuel Jones ran away from the Manitoba farmer for whom he worked. In the United States, after the tragic death of his friend Wallace Ford, Samuel Jones adopted his deceased friend’s name to honour his memory. From then on, Canadian Samuel Jones was known as Wallace Ford on American soil.

In 1936, Wally Ford, who was now a well-known actor, found his mother, Catherine Jones. Thanks to co-operation between the Los Angeles Police Department and New Scotland Yard, and after over 20 years of searching, mother and son were reunited.

Finally, remember to consult the previous articles in this series: Introduction, Part II on Edward Brignall and Part III on Harold Mornington.

Happy hunting!

Questions or comments? We would love to hear from you!

Library and Archives Canada releases sixth podcast episode

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is pleased to announce the release of its latest podcast episode: Home Children.

LAC Project Manager and Genealogist Marthe Séguin-Muntz along with John Sayers of the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa, join us to talk about the lives of Canada’s Home Children. They will discuss some of the incredible stories of hardship and prosperity in early Canada, share a wealth of resources available at LAC and provide helpful research tips and tools to discover your family history.

Subscribe to podcast episodes using RSS or iTunes, or just tune in at: Podcast – Discover Library and Archives Canada: Your History, Your Documentary Heritage

For more information, please contact us at podcast@bac-lac.gc.ca.

How to find photographs that are not yet available online – part two

Our previous article “How to find photographs that are not yet available online—part one” explained the best-case scenario for finding photographs that are not yet available online. But what happens when things don’t go that smoothly?

What if I find items that are close but not what I want?

If there are items in your search results that aren’t quite what you’re looking for, don’t despair. It’s quite possible that we have what you want, but that it hasn’t been described yet. The items that have already been described offer you a useful clue as to where those non-described items might be.

First, note the fonds, collection, or accession where each item is from and look at the field labelled “extent.” How many other photographs make up that collection? Perhaps there are more images relating to your topic.

Does the item have:

- an item number?
- a particular photographer?
- certain keywords?

Use variations of those keywords, item number and photographer’s name to do other online searches in Archives Search. If those don’t yield any results, try the finding aid related to each item, either online or on paper. See “How to find photographs that are not yet available online—part one” for tips on using the finding aid.

What if the finding aid is not online or the finding aid is only available in paper?

If you find a fonds, collection, or accession that seems relevant to your research but that doesn’t have an electronic finding aid, look to see if it has a paper one. If it does, you can visit us at 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa, to have a closer look at it. If there is no reference to a paper finding aid, then you have to search through the boxes from that collection. If you cannot come to Ottawa, you can contact our reference staff for guidance, or you may wish to hire a freelance researcher.

With more than 25 million images, chances are we have your “perfect shot.” You just have to find it!

Questions or comments? We would love to hear from you!

Did your ancestors come from China?

Do you ever wonder who your first Chinese ancestor was and when he or she left China and arrived in Canada? Are you curious about your family’s Chinese heritage?

If so, our website is a great place to begin your research. For instance, you will find a page specific to genealogical research for the Chinese people. It provides you with historical background information, archival and published material from our collection, as well as links to other websites and institutions. This page also contains a link to the Immigrants from China database which provides access to more than 98,000 references to Chinese immigrants who arrived in Canada.

If your ancestor came to Canada between 1865 and 1935, you might find his or her name on the passenger lists.

Questions or comments? We would love to hear from you!

The Home Children (part three) — Harold Mornington

The second article in this series of three explains how to find information about one of the British home children, Edward Brignall, who served in the Canadian Armed Forces during the First World War. This third article looks at another home child, Harold Mornington, who served in the British Army in the Second World War.

As with Edward Brignall, the process begins with a search of our main online resource on Home Children. Entering the family name Mornington and the given name Harold into the database yields a single reference; it indicates that Harold was 14 years old when he left Liverpool on March 11, 1932 aboard the SS Montclare, and arrived in Halifax on March 19, 1932. He was part of the last group of 36 children sent to Canada by the Barnardo agency.

The passenger lists from 1925 to 1935 have been digitized and can be consulted online. The digital image of the list of passengers aboard the SS Montclare can be examined as well, which confirms the information found in the home children database. It also contains other information, such as the name and address of Harold’s mother, Mrs. Mornington, who lived at 16 Orlando Street, in Caldmore, Walsall, England. More information about Harold Mornington’s family history can be found by contacting the Barnardo’s Family History Service.

Beginning in the 1920s, immigration inspectors drafted Juvenile Inspection Reports when conducting periodic evaluations of children brought to Canada by different agencies. These files are available only on microfilm. A search on reel T-15424 shows that between 1932 and 1936, Harold Mornington worked for five different employers in the Ontario districts of Durham, Brant, Oxford and Hastings.

A reference found on the site of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission reveals that sometime between 1936 and the beginning of the Second World War, Harold Mornington returned to England. He joined the British Army and died on May 23, 1941, while still a member of the Royal Artillery. He was the son of William Joseph and Elizabeth Mornington.

Lastly, Harold Mornington’s military service record is kept at The National Archives in the United Kingdom.

Questions or comments? We would love to hear from you!