Whether you'd like a comprehensive report covering many generations, a quick record search, or something in between, I will be pleased to assist you in learning about your early Ontario ancestors.

Hourly Research

In most cases, I charge by the the hour ($55), and I recommend working in blocks of 10 hours.

The time includes: 

  • Review of previous research
  • Research planning
  • On-site research in archives and libraries
  • Internet research
  • Document labeling
  • Data entry
  • Evidence analysis
  • Report preparation

Every research session concludes with a research report. Your research report will include: 

  • Detailed descriptions of each record searched
  • Information found
  • Analysis of the evidence
  • Recommendations for further research

If you would like an estimate, or recommendation of the best approach to meet your needs, please contact me by email with as much information as you can provide about your family and your research goals.

What to Expect

I recommend beginning with the ancestor for whom you have substantial, well-documented information, so that we can be certain that we have the right family and we haven't missed any important clues that we will need to make good progress further back in time.

Assuming that you have solid information pertaining to at least one ancestor who was born before 1920, we should have a good foundation on which to build. Records can include civil registration records of Ontario births, marriages and deaths, census records, newspapers (for birth, marriage and death notices, obituaries, notable social events), church records, wills and estate files, land records, tax assessment records, government correspondence, private papers and more.

I regret that it is not possible to estimate the amount of research time that may be required to achieve a specific result, as so much depends on the survival, availability and accuracy of relevant historical records. However, it is reasonable to expect to trace a family in Ontario back to 1800 or so. Tracing families into the 18th century is more challenging, and may require a great deal of time and effort. Families with unusual surnames and occupations, or those owning significant amounts of property are easier to trace than those with common names, common occupations and less wealth.

I generally recommend starting with a block of 10 hours. You can then decide if you want to continue based on what we’ve learned so far, and if so, direct the focus of the research however you choose.

I ask for a deposit of 50% of the total authorized amount in advance. The remainder is invoiced with my report.

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Individual Record Searches

Each of the following records can be searched for a flat $50 fee. Prices are per item (one marriage record, one household in a census, one surname in a directory).

Census: Census records cover the entire province and show every member of every household for the years 1851 (actually January 1852), 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901, 1911, and 1921. Information varies by year (gets more detailed over time) but generally includes full names, ages, birthplaces, religion and occupations of adults.

Civil registration: These include all registered births (1869-1917), marriages (1858-1934), and deaths (1869-1944) across the province. Please note that registration was legally required, but not everyone complied with the law at first.

Newspapers: Many old newspapers have survived from 1793 to the present. These can be searched for announcements of birth (uncommon before 1900), marriage (fairly common from the 1860s), and death (very common from the early period), as well as local events and business advertisements. If you don't know which newspaper to search, I will search the closest available. Flat fee covers a 5-issue search.

Wills and Estate Files: Wills can contain a wealth of information about surviving relatives. Estate files for people who died without a will usually provide the names of all surviving heirs and often their relationship, age and place of residence. Records are available from 1791 to 1960 for all of Ontario. Flat fee covers one county either before 1900 or a ten-year search between the years 1900 and 1960.

Toronto City Directories: These records provide the name of the head of each household, his or her occupation and address. Most years from 1837-present are available. Flat fee covers a 5-year search.

To order an individual record search, please contact me by e-mail for details.

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Upper Canada Genealogy © 2001-2017   Last Updated 20 July 2017