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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.

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Toronto Branch Meetings

7:30 pm Tracking an 18th Century Regiment
Tracking an 18th Century Regiment
Apr 29 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Tracking an 18th Century Regiment @ Lansing United Church | Toronto | Ontario | Canada
Speaker: Sam Allison Genealogists can benefit from the techniques and sources used to write history books. Driv’n by Fortune is about a Scots regiment that settled in Canada. The 78th Fraser’s Highlanders (1756–63) defeated the French on the Plains of Abraham,[...]
7:30 pm The Cowkeeper’s Wish
The Cowkeeper’s Wish
May 27 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
The Cowkeeper's Wish @ Lansing United Church | Toronto | Ontario | Canada
THE COWKEEPER’S WISH: A Genealogical Journey Speaker: Kristen den Hartog Our speaker will be exploring the fascinating resources she and her sister/co-author used to create The Cowkeeper’s Wish: A Genealogical Journey. Part family memoir, part social[...]

Courses starting & Workshops

6:30 pm TRL Map Collections Tour
TRL Map Collections Tour
May 1 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
TRL Map Collections Tour @ Toronto Reference Library, 2nd floor | Toronto | Ontario | Canada
TORONTO REFERENCE LIBRARY MAP COLLECTIONS TOUR This tour is co-sponsored with the Humanities and Social Sciences Department at the Toronto Reference Library. The tour will highlight the various types of maps available for research: from[...]

Other Events

all-day OGS Conference 2019
OGS Conference 2019
Jun 21 – Jun 23 all-day
OGS Conference 2019 @ London Convention Centre
The 2019 OGS Conference provides a great opportunity for family historians to attend stimulating workshops and lectures from engaging speakers from Canada and around the world, see what’s available in the genealogy Marketplace, catch up[...]

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?