Friday, 4 December 2009

St Patrick's Ward Transcription starts Tuesday

The other day I received word that our local Family History Centre is back open for business following a three-month break while the Latter Day Saints chapel had a renovation. Come Tuesday I can go back to the process of adding new people to the 1861 census database.

St Patrick's is the last ward to do. I know it includes the area north of Queen Street West and west of what is now University Avenue. The northern boundary is present-day Bloor Street West and it will stretch west to . . . . well, that is something I shall have to find out. From the looks of the map of the ward in 1861, there was a sizeable population in the rectangle bounded by Queen, College, University and Bathurst. There were also people living west of that along the Queen Street corridor, but not that many further north.

Population density in St Patrick's is going to be governed by the availability of transporation. People would either have to work close to home, perhaps running their own businesses, or be able to travel daily into the more built-up parts of the city. In 1861 in Toronto public transportation was just beginning to come into existence. Travelling to the centre by carriage was for the much better off, travelling in on horseback would involve more problems than just those we have today parking a car.

I look forward to charging up my camera on Monday night ready for my first three-hour stint on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, I have been proofreading St John's Ward. Districts One and Two are complete and back into the big database. Now I am tackling District Three--308 households containing 1500 people--in the area from Queen north to Agnes Street (now Dundas) and from Yonge over to Terauley (now Bay Street). More than half of this is now covered by the Eaton Centre. The enumerator started with Agnes, then did the north and south streets and finally tackled the east-west ones starting at Queen and progressing northward. I just finished Albert Street. Now there is Trinity Square, Louisa and Alice--92 houses. With a bit of luck I shall get that done and, perhaps, District 6 north of College before I start on St Patrick's.

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