Tuesday, 19 October 2010

York Township gets Sorted

I've now finished inspecting York Township and arranging the entries into households.This was a far more difficult than in Toronto where one page equalled one house.

Problems were compounded in four out of the seven divisions because the origunal census pages were not arranged in the correct order before being microfilmed. What made me suspicious was finding so many groups of children at the top of a page who were not part of the family at the bottom of the preceding page. Eventually I spotted that the elder members of these families were to be found at the bottom of another page.

In Divisions One and Four the parents and older siblings were always located at the bottom of the page following the one that started with the children at the top. It was a while before I realized that, in these divisions, the pile of pages had been placed in reverse order to what they should have been prior to the rubber-stamped number being put on each page.

In Divisions Six and Seven the pages are in a more random order. The families follow one after the next for several pages and then, suddenly, up comes another group of youngsters with their parents not immediately accounted for. The mind boggles over what happened to those bundles of papers.

All families have now been given a Household Number in addition to the Census Reference Number given to each individual. The Census Reference locates a person on the microfilm, but their Household Number places them with their family.

The order of the pages wouldn’t matter two hoots to a statistician in Library and Archives Canada or in its predecessors. But we genealogists are interested in families, not just people. It is a help when families stick together.

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