by Jane E. MacNamara
It is a little over a year, now, since our FamilySearch indexing team completed the Toronto Trust Cemeteries project, making some 368,000 names from the burial registers of four major cemeteries available for free to researchers around the world. As we quickly realized it would, it has become an important early step in researching Toronto ancestors who died prior to 1936.
I know that I use it and recommend it almost weekly. You can find the database here.
While we really don’t know how many people are finding their ancestors in the database, there have been some very gratifying responses to the blog posts we wrote as the project progressed.
Janet Langdon, historian and walking tour leader for Heritage Toronto, supplied more details about the tragic fire that killed members of the Brooks family that I wrote about in January 2013.
The Enniskerry (Ireland) Local History group tried to help decipher the mysterious place of birth for James Crawford in this post.
In June 2011, indexer Tricia Clark wrote “Killed by Falling Wall” about five young firefighters who died in 1902. In August of this year, a relative of one of the young men (buried in Mt. Pleasant) found Tricia’s article and was able to add to the family history.
Several people have responded to my 2011 post on the Duchess Street Burial Ground. But I was particularly pleased to receive this comment from Wendy Kennedy Davison: “Thank you for your exhaustive work! Duncan Kennedy was my 4th great grandfather and his daughter my 3rd great grand aunt; we have been unable to locate their burial location for years. It’s wonderful the work you are doing to connect families together!”
And “The Curious Case of Dr. Henry Head Gray”. The responses to that post about a young Toronto doctor who died in Montana, have revealed an intriguing story that has led me to archives and libraries around Ontario and in several US states.
If you have had success using the Toronto Trust Cemetery database, we’d love to hear about it. If you have a story to tell about one of those ancestors—that might inspire others to try it, consider submitting it for the blog. Use the reply button below this post to get in touch.