7 Million Names Now Available For First Time
Pre-telephone era equivalent of Yellow Pages provides wealth of information on ancestors of millions of Canadians
June 22, 2010 (Toronto, ON) Ancestry.ca, Canada’s leading family history website, announces the completion of Canadian City and Area Directories, 1819-1906, a rich collection of more than 150,000 pages of historical records, the largest collection of historic Canadian directories available online. The collection includes the names of more than 7 million Canadians who lived during this 87- year-period of national growth.
The first release of City and Area Directories by Ancestry.ca in October of 2008 contained nearly 20,000 pages of records and 5.2 million names. Today’s completion adds a staggering 134,000 pages of records.
Almost anyone with an ancestor who lived in a Canadian town or city during the period from 1819 to 1906 will find an ancestor in the collection. Historically, these records were used in much the same way as we use Facebook today - they were finding aids that allowed people to stay connected.
City directories contain an alphabetical listing of citizens, giving the names of the heads of households, their addresses and occupations. When an ancestor is found a researcher can see their name, home or business address and usually an occupation. For added interest, a further search using the street name will find their neighbours, allowing users to build up a picture of what life was like in the area.
A city directory may also contain a business directory, street directory, governmental directory, and listings of town officers, schools, societies, churches, post offices and other miscellaneous records that help paint a clearer picture of one’s ancestors. *
Aside from finding one’s own ancestors within this collection, history enthusiasts will be able to find records of famous Canadians, including:
- Sir John A. MacDonald - Canada’s first Prime Minister, listed living in Kingston, Ontario
- Sir Sandford Fleming - Inventor and creator of world time zones is listed living at 213 Chapel Street in Ottawa in 1893, one of his many residences
- William Lyon MacKenzie - The journalist, politician and rebel leader is listed living in Toronto and working as the editor of The Colonial Advocate
Karen Peterson, Marketing Director for Ancestry.ca, comments: “The breadth of information you can learn about your ancestors from records like City Directories will surprise many. They are a very powerful tool for researching family history because they can fill in the gaps between federal or provincial censuses, providing people with much clearer timelines and details about their ancestors and their lives.”
- Louis Riel - Founder of the province of Manitoba and activist for Métis rights, listed as living in Elkirk
Breakdown of records by region:
|Province||Records (Images)||Estimated Names|
|National and Multi-Province||6201||310050|
|Prince Edward Island||927||46350|