18 October 2012

Toronto records added to 1861 census on Ancestry

Data from two microfilm reels for the 1861 Census of Canada, C-1106 (St. James’ Ward, Toronto), and C-1110 (St. Patrick’s Ward, Toronto) has been added to the Ancestry site.  The additions are 6,133 records and 1,520 images bringing the new record total to 2,948,892 and image total to 102,257.


Jane MacNamara said...

Wonderful news! I can't let it pass without mentioning that some credit for noticing the omission and making sure FamilySearch and Ancestry couldn't forget about it should go to researcher Pat Jeffs. Pat has been immersed in 1861 Toronto for several years, now. Her detailed census transcription, cross-referenced with several city directories, the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, and other sources is a thing of beauty. You can read about the project and the process here: http://toronto1861.blogspot.ca/

JDR said...

Thanks for that comment Jane, the thanks kudos for Pat's contribution is very much deserved.

Old Census Scribe said...

This was originally sent several hours ago, but Google was having a bad turn at that moment and it must have got caught down the proverbial crack.

The two sections of the 1861 census for Toronto that Ancestry have just uploaded are very important.
The St James’s Ward section covers the northern part of the ward: from a block or two south of Carlton Street north to Bloor Street, and from Yonge over to Jarvis. The people who lived there were, to use their term, in “comfortable circumstances” compared to those living to the south, the west and the east. Many surnames that link with long-lived Toronto businesses will be found there, along with those in academic professions—both the Normal School and the original Medical School run by Victoria University were located there.
The other microfilm reel covers only the westernmost 40 houses in St Patrick’s Ward, but amongst the householders were two sons of the Dension family, one of the earliest to settle in the neighbourhood. The remainder of this reel is titled “Institutions”. What institutions you may ask? First, the ones you might think of: the Jail, the general hospital, the two hospitals for the mentally troubled, and orphanages and convents. But, in addition, are the inhabitants of Toronto Island, the students at the theological colleges, and most important of all from a worldwide genealogical point of view, the soldiers at Old Fort York and the New Barracks. There were more than 400 people listed, not all of them soldiers—many had their wives and children with them. Birthplaces are given and this should allow family historians to trace these families from posting to posting. There are many Gibraltar references, for instance.
Five years ago I transcribed Toronto 1861 myself, I am pleased that it is now online for all to see.