Archive for the ‘Prospect Cemetery’ Category

A Single Page from the Registers of Toronto’s Prospect Cemetery

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

Fifty-two people are listed on page 183 of the register of Prospect Cemetery in Toronto. Fifty-one of them were buried in Prospect from May 2 to 11, 1935. Their ages ranged from 1-month-old Margaret Mech to 91-year-old Frances Hubble. There were four stillborn babies, but very few infants and children—perhaps an indication of improvements in medical care.

The remaining entry on page 183 was for the lower limbs of Alfred Holmes—“amputation by train” listed as the cause.

The 51 all died in Toronto, but only 12 were born in Toronto. They came from other parts of Ontario, England, Ireland and Scotland (of course), but also Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, the British West Indies, and Finland.

Almost all the burial records include a “nearest relative” with their street address. Most also list the name of the plot owner—often a different person. On page 183, plot owners include the Oddfellows and the Last Post Fund.

In all, the deceased people, plot owners, and relatives, add up to 149 names on page 183. That’s 149 names now indexed as part of the Toronto Trust Cemeteries project—the very last names to be indexed—on the very last page of the project!

Volunteers continue to arbitrate the recently completed pages, but the finish line is getting very close!

At this milestone, let’s look at a few approximate numbers for the whole project:

Burial records indexed (names of the deceased) 148,000
Plot owner names (usually a relative, often more than one, good source of married names of daughters) 120,000
Relatives (could be a parent, spouse, sibling or offspring. Later records give addresses.) 100,000
TOTAL NAMES INDEXED 368,000

Congratulations to all the volunteers who have participated in the Toronto Trust Cemeteries project since its launch in September 2009—mostly from the GTA, but also from across Canada, the USA, Australia, and the UK.

Thanks also to the folks at FamilySearch Indexing who have helped us along the way—Rose Pierson, Stephen Young, and Rex Peterson.

We’re almost there!

You can see page 183 here.

A Toronto Trust Cemeteries Indexing Project Milestone

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

We’ve had exciting news from our partners in Salt Lake City today (August 29). Another installment of the index we’ve made with the help of our partners at FamilySearch.org will become live and searchable on FamilySearch.org overnight. (It may take a little longer to update the intro page.)

The new records will be:

  • York General Burying Ground (Potter’s Field) 1826 to 1855
  • Toronto Necropolis 1877 to 1935 (1850 to 1877 were already available)
  • Mount Pleasant Cemetery 1876 to 1903

This is exciting stuff. The more recent records include plot owners and next of kin names and full addresses. All indexed.

You can also search by year or place of birth or death. Just as a test tonight, I found 26 people born in Chicago, 210 born in Montreal, and 8 born in Todmorden. Think of the possibilities this type of access opens up!

Congratulations to all the volunteers who help make these records available to researchers around the world.

There are more records in progress: Mount Pleasant Cemetery 1904 to 1935, and Prospect Cemetery 1890 to 1935. A lot of names. We would welcome your help. Please contact Jane MacNamara at fsi@torontofamilyhistory.org if you’d like to participate.

Tricks for deciphering that careless handwriting!

Sunday, November 15th, 2009

L to R: Reduce, Enlarge, Invert (negative), Brightness/contrast

L to R: Reduce, Enlarge, Invert (switch to negative), Brightness/contrast

Don’t you sometimes wish you could ask that clerk why he didn’t use better ink, or a sharper pen, or at least why he didn’t take his time? Did he not realize that we’d be trying to read his writing 100 years later!

Here are a few tricks you can try:

  • Enlarging and reducing the size. You’ll find the enlarging controls at the top left of the indexing screen, just above the image (the plus and minus buttons.) It is not always the case that bigger is better. Sometimes seeing a letter or word in context  will help.
  • Darkening the page to make very faint ink look denser. You can also change the contrast. Use the “sun” button at the top left to get sliders for brightness and contrast. It may take a few seconds for your screen to show the change.
  • Strange, but true, that sometimes switching to a negative image make fine lines stand out really well. This technique slows the computer down a little, so be patient. The button to “invert” the image, also at the top left, is black and white split diagonally.
  • Share a batch with another transcriber. Sometimes what you need is a second opinion. Go to the “File” menu at the top left and select “share batch”. You will get a number that you can e-mail to another project member, who will be able to open the same batch and be that other pair of eyes.

We’re all working with different computers and screens, and yes,—EYES. If you come upon a batch that you are finding really difficult, and you think it may be either your equipment or your eyesight that is the problem, the best route might be for you to send the batch back for someone else to do. Look for “Return batch” under the “File” menu.

No problem. There are lots of other batches to go around. Don’t feel you have to struggle!

Recording additional property owners

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

Quite frequently, we’ve been coming across plots with multiple owners–likely siblings in most cases. We have been recording only the first owner which meant that we might be missing the opportunity to index additional family surnames .

NEW: If there are two or more owners, record all the first names, separated with the word “or” in the “Property of: Given Name” field. For instance, “John or Peter or Susan”. Record all the surnames in the “Property of: Surname” field, again, separated with “or”. For instance, ” Cooper or Smith or Brown”.

If the given names have been abbreviated, do not expand them. If you can’t decipher a name, use ctrl+u to mark it unreadable.

How do I deal with two names on one line?

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

Indexer Pat Jeffs has brought forward a anomaly in the Mount Pleasant registers for which we now have an answer. Pat noted that, in a couple of cases, there were two individuals listed on a single line in the register–one set of twin infants, and a husband and wife.

Each individual should have a separate line entry. Do them in the order written. The line numbers increase automatically, but you can change them. The second number will be a duplicate, but that’s OK.

Remember that if there’s not an actual name the line should be marked as a blank; don’t be tempted to use “wife” or “child”, etc.

Instructions for this problem have now been added to the field help screens. Thank you to Pat (from England) for asking, and Rose (from Utah) for providing the answer.