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Pioneer Life on the Bay of Quinte

and links to on-line microfilm

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Records of the Bay of Quinte

Apr 2014: Increasingly I have been adding links and information to some of the microfilm that is coming on line these days. For example - see Guylaine Pétrin's conversion chart to the Haldimand Papers below.

No book is more widely known by Quinte researchers than the Pioneer Life on the Bay of Quinte (PLBQ), published in 1904.

The other book that I love is the History of the Settlement of Upper Canada with Special Reference to the Bay of Quinte by William Canniff, 1869. Canniff wrote 3 books, all found at Our Roots.

Both books contain errors but their positive value overshadows any criticism. They are rich in genealogical information and stories of emigration, pioneering challenges and the politics of the day. A great help in imagining life at that time.

PLBQ was a subscription book. Individuals paid to have their family story and lineage entered in the book and someone in the family collected the information and wrote the section. This accounts for the errors in lineage and the sometimes inflated stories. Especially common is the claim of "loyalist" to settlers who by official standards do not meet the criteria.

The books below are searchable online at either Our Roots or Google Books and sometimes at both sites. You must create a free id and login to Our Roots.
Two other books that I have found very helpful in understanding the social norms and tensions in early Upper Canada.
  • 'Union is Strength': W.L. Mackenzie, The Children of Peace, and the Emergence of Joint Stock Democracy in Upper Canada, Albert Schrauwers, Univ. of Toronto press, 2009, p. 144
  • Plunder, Profit, and Paroles, A Social History of the War of 1812 in Upper Canada, George Sheppard, McGill, Queen's Univ. Press, 1994

LINKS TO MICROFILM that is now available on line.
These are exciting times as more is coming out all the time.

Library and Archives of Canada [LAC]

Heritage Canadiana [from LAC]
  • The Héritage project is a 10-year initiative to digitize and make accessible online some of Canada’s most popular archival collections encompassing roughly 60 million pages of primary-source documents.
  • Go to the Genealogy section and start browsing.
  • Upper Canada Land Books - these are just one of many record groups now available on line.

Upper Canada Sundries
  • The Upper Canada Sundries are a magnificent resource, formally called the Civil Secretary's Correspondence, and are held at the LAC in Ottawa. On the web page, scroll down to the Finding Aid section, and download the index files as pdf's and ave them on your computer. They are large and take a bit of time.
  • Search the index files for the date range of interest, and once you have a page number from the index, go to this pdf to find the film number you need.
  • Then, to see the film, go to Heritage Canadiana, and select the Sundries that are in the Genealogy section and choose the film you wish to see. This is a direct link to the Sundries films.
  • There is a partial Sundries index on line at Janice Nickerson's excellent web site and service called Upper Canada Genealogy.

The Heir & Devisee Commissions

  • Second Heir & Devisee Commission 1804 - 1895. First search the index on line at the Archives of Ontario. The films are not yet on line.

Haldimand Papers, D7, at Archives of Ontario, AO

The Haldimand Papers are a confusing record to use. The originals are held by the British Museum from an 1857 accession. Record Group is Add[itional] MSS 21631 to 21895.

In the 1880’s, formerly PAC, now LAC in Ottawa, made a transcription called Series “B” (volumes B-1 to B-232).

In 1962, LAC made a filming of the British holdings and they are available in Ottawa: A-609-618; 661-671; 677-692 and 735-780 (78 reels, folders flow continuously from reel to reel.)

In the 1980’s, LAC filmed the Series “B” transcriptions - films are H-1428-1455; 1649-1655; 1685 and 1736-1774 (not at AO) but online at Heritage Canada. Haldimand’s own index Add MSS 21888 is on A-779 at LAC or transcribed on H-1745.

Also in 1980's, World Microfilm Pub (WMP) copied the LAC films - 78 films became 115 films because only whole folders are included on each WMP film. The AO bought 50 WMP reels - Upper Canada focused - Catalogued as XX followed by the WMP film numbers. AO stores these in cabinet 7: ie, WMP reel 5 is catalogued as XX 5.
The WMP films that the AO bought are: 5; 12; 23; 29 to 33; 35 to 52; 54 to 57; 76; 78; 80 to 85; 97; 99; 102 to 105 and 109 to 114.

Film Conversion Chart
See Guylaine Pétrin's chart that converts all of these films to the Add MSS number. She has kindly allowed it to be available on this web site.

Finding Aids to Haldimand Papers
  1. There is a Calendar for the Haldimand Papers that runs over 2000 pages!! It was done in 1880's probably together with the transcription and published in the Report on Public Archives of Canada, editions 1884 through to 1889. Use the links below to see the Calendar in 3 volumes. It follows the Add MSS and B volumes and lists every document, with key names and a sentence or two about the document. Below are the editions and what they contain. If you live near Toronto, the Toronto Reference Library has a set but on a recent visit the 1888 volume was missing. The Robarts Library at UofT also has a set.
    • 1884: Vol 1 of Calendar: B-1 to B-13; Add MSS 21661 to 21673
    • 1885: Vol 1: B-2-1 added as an addendum, B-14 to B-60; Add MSS 21674 to 21720
    • 1886: Vol 1: B-61 to B-100; Add MSS 21721 to 21760
    •           Vol 2: B-101 to B-105; Add MSS 21761 to 21765
    • 1887: Vol 2: B-105 to B-148; Add MSS 21765 to 21808
    • 1888: Vol 2: B-149 to B-202
    •           Vol 3: B-201 to B-207
    • 1889: Vol 3: B-207 to B-232; Add MSS 21867 to 21892
  2. LAC- Collections Canada has a 311 page nominal (name) index available for the Loyalist volumes which is just a small part of the whole Haldimand Papers. Scroll down to the "Finding Aid" section and you will see a pdf link that ends in 2411. Click on it - it is slow to upload - several minutes. Save it on your computer for later use. The numbers beside each name give the Series B volumes (B-105, 166, 167 and 168) and the page number. Then go to the the Petrin chart web site to convert the B volume to the H-#### film at Heritage Canadiana and find the transcription of the record. The WMP film number is also stated on the chart and some of these films are at the AO. This same finding aid is available on film C-1475 but the pdf is easier to use.
  3. Brock University also has some WMP films with excellent descriptions. See also their extensive collection of Loyalist material beyond just the Haldimand Papers.

Burleigh papers
- on line

1842 Canada West Census

Images of the 1842 Canada West Census are available on both [go from here] and the Library of Archives of Canada (LAC) web site [navigate from here]. The LAC web site has a nominal search function specific to these records.

Loyalist sites

A sample of other sites I visit