Friday, 17 November 2017

Ontario Records Online: Survey

"If it's not on the internet it doesn't exist" is a quote that goes back at least ten years.

For some a reasonably diligent search ends if you can't find it online --  too obscure to warrant the effort to seek it out and the cost of travelling to view it. Those genealogical resources are and will remain in repository obscurity ... unless.

That came to mind in discussing Ontario probate records, a large collection underused. It's trapped on microfilm. For access you go to the Archives of Ontario (AO), or order microfilms to a local library. Some other archives hold copies of the microfilms for their locality. In any case it's a two step process.

"First, borrow and examine the INDEX microfilm in order to find an estate file number.
Second, borrow the correct ESTATE FILE microfilm that contains the will and other documentation that you are seeking."

If you're not near the AO the process can take weeks. If you've been doing genealogy for a while you'll remember that's the way it used to be with Ontario civil registration records before Ancestry entered the picture.

What about the unless? Suppose a credible organization lobbied for specific record sets to be made available online?  Is that what you'd want? In Ontario the obvious organization for genealogy is the Ontario Genealogical Society.

I've shared these survey questions with OGS and they are interested to find out the community opinion. They tell me the survey will be mentioned in their Saturday OGS eWeekly Update which is free to anyone who subscribes whether or not you're an OGS member.

Please take the survey HERE. You may need a Google or Gmail account to do so.


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