Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Canada (partial) Digital Atlas, 1874-1881

While browsing tonight, I ran across a link to the Canadian County Atlas Digital Project at http://digital.library.mcgill.ca/countyatlas/. This site has digitized maps of Counties in Ontario. A full description of the project says:

"Professional genealogists have recognized the importance of these atlases for many years. Although some of these atlases were reprinted during the 1970s, the fact is that many of these reprints are becoming as rare as the originals. McGill's Rare Books and Special Collections Division is fortunate in owning copies of many of the original atlases.

"Begun in July 1998, the County Atlas pilot project initially encompassed ten atlases. Two subsequent Phases allowed the completion of the Ontario map, ultimately totalling forty-three atlases.

"The County Atlas Digital Project is a searchable database of the property owners' names which appear on the township maps in the county atlases. Township maps, portraits and properties have been scanned, with links from the property owners' names in the database."

You have a choice of selecting "People" or "Maps" when you go to the Search page. If you select "People," then you can enter a surname and a county (and a township if you wish). The results page will tell you the surname, given name, county, township, town, occupation and birthplace. There is a "GO" link on the right side of each name listed.

When you press the "GO" link, you will obtain a full record for the person you are seeking. For my James A. Kemp, the record says:

Last Name -------------- Kemp
First Name ------------- James A.
Nativity ----------------- Canada
Business ---------------- Farmer; Carpenter; Joiner
Year Settled ------------ 1855
Post Office ------------- Delhi
Township -------------- Middleton
County ----------------- Norfolk
Concession and Lot -- 1 NTR

Lot size ----------------- 100

At this point, you can click on a link and go to a Map page. You get two images - one a small map of the township, the other a close up view of the target land location. You can zoom in and out on the close-up view. You cannot save these maps to a file, but you can copy them to a document or photo program if you desire.

Back on the Search page, you can select "Maps" instead of "People" and you will then see a map of Ontario with the Counties shown. Select the County from the list, and you will see a map of the entire county with all of the townships (with the lots but not the names of the land owners). You can click on each of the townships and then see the full township map with better detail (with the lot lines and land owners names) - they are large and take some time to load. You can right-click and "Save Picture As" in a file folder on your computer.

I was able to find the location of the land of James A. Kemp in Middleton township and Alex Sovereen in Windham township. I've always wondered where these folks lived in Norfolk County - I knew the townships but not the specific locations.

For reference purposes - Georgianna (Kemp) Auble was the daughter of James A. Kemp and Mary J. Sovereen who resided in Delhi, Middleton Township, Norfolk County, Ontario. Georgia is the "Mrs. A[uble]" in my Della's Journal series.

This was a nice surprise to find and to be able to download the maps for reference purposes.

If you have Ontario ancestors, then I urge you to find them on these maps. The web site says they are working on Quebec and the Maritime Provinces, but I could not find them on the web site.

1 comment:

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