This weekend (June 3-5) is the Stratford Spring Heritage Festival. There are many local events happening to celebrate Stratford's heritage including special talks, tours, railway heritage show, carriage rides... You can read more about them on the Visit Stratford website.
But what about your heritage? Have you ever wondered where you came from? Do you have any secrets in your family tree? There are amazing websites now available to assist you with your searching. Below are a few that you may find useful.
Ancestry Library Edition
This database is a genealogy research tool with data from census, military records, court, land, probate, vital and church records, passenger lists, etc. It covers Canada, the US, UK, and some European countries. Normally you need to pay a subscription fee to access Ancestry, but the Stratford Public Library has a subscription to this amazing tool so you don't have to. The one limitation is that access is only available within the Library building.
As you know Canadians just completed the 2011 Census. You can search past census reports (1871-1911) from the Library and Archives Canada. Through the census you can find all sorts of information: age, occupation, ethnic origin, religion and country or province of birth. Census returns after 1916 are closed under the Statistics Act and the Act to Amend the Statistics Act. Legislation does not permit the disclosure of personal information until 92 years has passed since the time of enumeration.
Genealogy and Family History
Use this site to search databases on all aspects of Canada's population. You can search by ancestor name, Births, Marriages, Deaths, military, land ownership and much more.
Passenger Lists (1865-1922)
Passenger lists were the official immigration documents from 1865 to 1935. The lists contain information such as the name, age, country of origin, occupation and destination of each passenger. The lists are organized by port and date of arrival. If you know the name of the ship your ancestors traveled on, you can search to find details on their voyage to Canada.
Home Children (1869-1930)
The Perth County area became home to many home children during the late 1800s and early 1900s. If you have a family member who was a home child, search this database to learn more about their life such as age of transfer, the ship they traveled on, when and where they departed from and when they arrived, as well as the group of children they traveled with.
Provided by the Library and Archives of Canada.
Students who are finalizing their studies for the year and are doing last minute reports will find this site very useful. It's called Easy Bib. With Easy Bib, you can easily generate citations for websites, books, newspaper articles and more. There is a free edition which provides you with bibliography and citations, but for footnotes, a subscription to the premium version is required. http://www.easybib.com/ (an app is also available for smart phone users!)
Our Ontario: Newspapers
Search over 200 years of Ontario newspapers online. Coverage varies across the province, but you can get indexes of articles, birth, marriages, and death indexes, and often full page scanned images.
Stratford Perth Archives
At the Stratford-Perth Archives you can find a wealth of local historical information - perhaps about your ancestors. They have newspapers dating back to the 1840s, vital statistics (indexes for births 1869-1912, marriages 1869-1927 and deaths 1869-1937), and much much more. Their helpful staff will assist you as well. A small research fee may apply.
Ontario Cemetery Finding Aid
This is a database of over 3 million interments in Ontario. Use it to search for surnames, cemetery name and location. If you are looking for a specific internment in Stratford, search the Avondale cemetery listings for internment date, section, row and grave.
The Family Search tool is a research tool made available through The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is the largest genealogy organization in the world! You will find information not just on Canadians, but people world wide. There are vital statistics, census records, church records, maps, immigration and emigration documents and much more.
The Archives of Ontario have provided great how to guides and tools for assisting you in finding certain types of records.
Build a Family Tree
Use this site to create a family tree for free. Store documents, photos and videos and you can even collaborate with other genealogists.
Where there's a Will….
The Stratford Public Library Foundation presents a FREE information evening.
Stratford lawyer, Anne-Marie Tymec, from Monteith, Ritsma, Phillips, LL.P., will go over the basics of writing a will. She will explain what can and can’t be included in a will, how to revoke or change a will, and what happens if you die without a will.
Wednesday June 1 7:00 – 8:30 pm | FREE | Library Auditorium
Good Book Group
Interested in reading a good book and getting together to talk about it? Join the Good Book Group. For June, read The Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda. Discussion is on June 28, 7pm at the Library.
Whale of a Tale
A FREE evening drop-in Family Story Time for preschoolers on Monday evenings from 6:30 - 7:15pm. Bring your young ones in their pjs! Whale of a Tale is in the library auditorium.
The Library is happy to accept donations of gently used books, books on cd, compact discs and dvds. Sorry, we cannot accept encyclopedia sets, text books, magazines or books which have been water damaged. For further information, contact the Library at 519-271-0220 ext. 34 or visit our donation page.
Donations should be dropped off between 10am and 5pm at the back door of the library (off the parking lot). The next donation day is June 24.
TD Summer Reading Program
Registration begins on Monday June 20th for our Summer Programs for Kids. Check our Kids website for details. http://www.stratford.library.on.ca/kids/home.htm
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