Sunday, 18 December 2011

The Old Census Scribe returns

With no blogs since May you must have thought I had given up the project altogether. Not so, I have just been so involved with it that I have not wanted to spend any time making a journal in blog-ese.

Since the last contribution I have done a re-check of each of the census forms for St George's and St Lawrence's Wards against the three contemporary city directories at one and the same time. Usually I expect to find most heads of households represented in at least Brown's Directory, published in census year, and hopefully in one or both of the other directories (1859 and 1863) as well. When I can't find a directory entry I assume that the family was a wandering one, or that I didn't transcribe it correctly. Many times now I have zoomed in on the suspect census form on Ancestry and discovered that the family surname was quite different from what I thought it was the first time around. These corrections have led to many more matches in the city directories.

St George's and St Lawrence's Wards have now been put to bed, and since early October I have been working on St Andrew's which is double the size of St George's. So far I have checked around 650 census forms out of a total of more than 1100. It is a slow process. My yawn factor sets in at about 25 a day. All sorts of supplementary projects have been started--some might amount to something; some have just been time-wasters.

Late this past week I found myself working on the north side of Adelaide Street West between Simcoe and York Streets. I came across a variety of situations: revised family surnames, deaths of breadwinners, a wide expanse of means of earning a living. I have decided to share my findings. Watch this space for the next episode.

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