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It’s Census time. Are you saying “Yes”?

Tuesday May 10 is Census Day in Canada, and if your household hasn’t yet received a census notice, chances are it’s in the mail.

Most of us have just ten questions to answer. But one in four households, selected at random, is receiving the 36-page “long-form” version, with dozens of questions about each individual’s place of birth (and their parents’ places of birth), citizenship, ethnic ancestry, education, employment, means of transportation, dwelling-place, health conditions and more. It all adds up to hugely valuable data for government and community planners—but also for future generations of local and family historians.

Major Henry Joseph Woodside, Census Commissioner, Yukon, 1901.

Major Henry Joseph Woodside, Census Commissioner, Yukon, 1901. Library and Archives Canada/PA-016341.

Why are censuses so important to genealogists? They’re the closest thing we have to snapshots of our ancestors in time—documents that record not just one event but the circumstances of entire families and neighbourhoods. So far, census records for what is now Toronto are available free of charge online for 1842, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901, 1911 and 1921. To find out what you can find out about your ancestors in Toronto censuses and how to access them, visit our census records page.

Researchers will get a chance to see the information in your 2016 census return 92 years from now… but only if you answer “Yes” to the final question, “Does this person agree to make his or her 2016 National Household Survey information available in 2108…?” Imagine how your 22nd century descendants will feel when they find you.

Conference “Carrots”

If you aren’t one of the more than six hundred people who have already signed up to attend OGS Conference 2016, “Genealogy on the Cutting Edge“, coming to Toronto in June, this may prompt you to take the plunge!

The Conference 2016 team has just announced that anyone who registers by May 15 will be eligible for a special package of genealogy goodies courtesy of the event’s generous sponsors. The details are still under wraps (who doesn’t love a genealogy surprise?), but we understand this is a giveaway that will appeal to any family history enthusiast. In other words, it’s not just a carrot… it’s a whole bunch. You can register online or by mail. Visit the Conference 2016 website to get started.

Oh, and don’t worry—if you were one of the wise early-bird registrants, your name is already on the list for the special giveaway package.

Good luck!

bunch of carrots

Toronto Branch Meetings

7:30 pm The Search for Alban Leaf
The Search for Alban Leaf
Jun 27 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
The Search for Alban Leaf @ Eglinton St George's United Church | Toronto | Ontario | Canada
Speaker: Jane MacNamara: The Search for Alban Leaf This presentation demonstrates the use of many English record types—in a period well before census and civil registration. The search for the subject of this case history, Londoner Alban Leaf (1681-1756),[...]
7:30 pm I’m not a Jones, but what am I?
I’m not a Jones, but what am I?
Sep 26 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Speaker: Paul Jones I‘m not a Jones, but what am I? The story of researching two successive generations of patrilineal illegitimacy to identify the hitherto unknown fathers and my “true” surname. This account involves a 25-year[...]

Courses starting & Workshops

all-day Spadina’s Austin Family and the ...
Spadina’s Austin Family and the ...
Jun 3 all-day
Spadina's Austin Family and the Great War @ Spadina Museum | Toronto | Ontario | Canada
A FULL-DAY PROGRAM OFFERED IN CONJUNCTION WITH OGS CONFERENCE 2016. Bus leaves the International Plaza Hotel, 655 Dixon Road at 8:45 am. If it is more convenient for you to join the group at Spadina[...]

Other Events

all-day OGS Conference 2016: Genealogy o...
OGS Conference 2016: Genealogy o...
Jun 3 – Jun 5 all-day
OGS Conference 2016: Genealogy on the Cutting Edge @ International Plaza Hotel | Toronto | Ontario | Canada
Toronto Branch will welcome hundreds of family historians to the largest genealogical conference in Canada. The event will be based at the International Plaza Hotel, close to Pearson International Airport, Highway 401, and with good[...]

Did you know?

That Toronto Branch OGS has more than 600 members? That members get a discount on publications, and course and workshop registration fees? And that Toronto Branch belongs to the Federation of Genealogical Societies, which means our members can also subscribe to and purchase Dell computer products at special rates?