Canadian Genealogical Virtual Research Intensive
(CGVRI) is the only genealogical research institute dedicated to offering
courses of interest to family history researchers and genealogists researching
in Canada and the provinces.
All courses are taught by instructors who are Canadian
and/or live in Canada.
The mission of CGVRI is to offer in-depth courses
that will expand students' understanding of Canada, its history, geography,
immigrants and settlers, and will further develop their knowledge and skills of
researching their family history in Canada. This will be achieved through the
use of virtual presentations, in-class discussions and activities. Some courses
may include optional homework and projects.
Two concurrent courses of eighteen (18) classes each are
being offered for the week of July 18 -23, 2021.
Classes are 75 minutes in length. There are four classes per
day, Monday through Thursday. Two classes on Friday.
All course times are listed in the Eastern (Toronto, Canada)
time zone, and will be taught virtually.
Course Objective: The objective of this course is for
students to gain a better understanding of the records, resources and
repositories for researching their ancestors in Ontario and Quebec.
Our Instructors: Tracey Arial, Johanne Gervais, Ken McKinlay
and Janice Nickerson, Kathryn Lake Hogan
Level of Instruction: Intermediate
Suggested Prerequisites: Students are expected to have
knowledge of general genealogical methodology and be adept at online
researching. A basic understanding of Canadian history and geography is key to
students' achieving success in this course. Students will be expected to read a
book on Canadian history prior to the beginning of the course. Suggested
reading will be made closer to the time.
Course Descriptions and Schedule
This course will be held virtually using webinar technology.
All times are listed in the Eastern time zone: Toronto, Canada.
10:00 AM: Examining Early Settlers of Quebec and Ontario
Learning about the early history of Quebec and Ontario is
key to successful genealogical research in these provinces. Important dates,
locations and historical events will be discussed to further comprehension of
early Quebec (New France) and Ontario (Upper Canada) settlements prior to the
Confederation of Canada in 1867.
11:30 AM: Where Were They? Using Historical Maps and
Gazetteers for Ontario and Quebec Research
Where exactly was your ancestor in early Canada? This class
will focus on examining pre-20th century Canadian, Ontario and Quebec maps and gazetteers
to locate our ancestors in time and place. Migration routes and methods of
travel from place-to-place will be discussed.
1:30 PM: Early Census Records of Quebec
Since the beginning of New France, the Intendants of the
colony conducted many small or regional censuses. These Intendants analyzed the
population data to help determine requirements for economic expansions in the
colony. Early censuses provide a glimpse of your ancestors’ lives when they
first immigrated to New France. What was their first job? Was your ancestor a
servant, a mason, or a hatter? Did he have a sponsor? Did he own his house and
land? Was he married? This session will cover what can be found in the early
census records, how they can be used to construct French-Canadian families, and
where the census records can be found.
3:00 PM: Loggers, Farmers and Labourers: Ontario and Quebec
Ancestors in the Canadian Census Records
Each of the Canadian censuses were unique in the questions
asked and the instructions given to the enumerators. Students will learn
strategies and techniques for searching, navigating, and analyzing Canadian
census records. An understanding of how these records can be used for
researching Ontario and Quebec ancestors will be gained.
10:00 AM: Just Across the Border
Border entry records contain a wealth of information about
our ancestors who may have crossed the Canadian-American border for
immigration, migration or opportunity. Ontario and Quebec border entry points
will be examined. Reasons our ancestors travelled back and forth across the
border will be discussed.
11:30 AM: Understanding Ontario's Registrations of Birth,
Marriage and Death Records
Key records in researching Ontario ancestors are civil
registrations of vital statistics: birth, marriage and death records. This
session will introduce students to the Registration Acts, the use of vital
registration numbering system, including delayed registrations, and a brief
look at adoptions and divorces. Limitations and access of the public records,
as well as how to order birth, marriage and death documents from the Ontario
Registrar General will be explained.
1:30 PM: How Do You Research Records from the Time Church
and State Were One?
The official state records for today’s Quebec were collected
and stored by the Catholic Church between 1621 and 1994. This means your
ancestors might appear in parish records now held by various institutions in
the province, even when other organizations originally created them. In this
session, we’ll discuss which church records exist, where you can find them and
how to use them. In addition to baptisms, burials marriages, and parish
records, we’ll look at orphan records, land records, construction records,
fundraising records, directories and newsletters. Most are in French, but there
were many in English, too.
3:00 PM: The Importance of Religion in Ontario
Learn what were the major religious denominations of
Ontarians in the late 18th through to the early 20th centuries. Gain an
understanding of the holdings of church records such as parish registers,
membership lists, session records, communicant rolls, board minutes and
newsletters, how to access them, and the information they hold about our
ancestors. Most church records discussed will be English, and a few in French.
10:00 AM: Using Ontario and Quebec Historical Newspapers
Historical newspapers are filled with stories,
advertisements, society pages and more that can provide little known details
about our ancestors’ lives. We will be examining the Canadian, Ontario and
Quebec historical newspapers in order to unearth the treasures hidden between
the sheets of newsprint.
11:30 AM: Quebec Notarial Records
Various collections of Quebec notarial records cover close
to 300 years, from about 1637 to 1935, with more than 16 million documents
available to search. The size of these collections means you are likely to find
information for at least one of your ancestors who lived in Quebec. Notarial
records, such as marriage contracts, guardianships, and land transactions,
provide information regarding the social and business activities of your
ancestors not found on census records or civil status records. This
presentation will describe the types of existing notarial records; the
genealogical related data; and the various tools available to locate these
1:30 PM: Introduction to Criminal Justice Records of 19th
Family historians are always seeking records that will help
us tell the story of our ancestors' lives. But few of us make use of the rich
trove of stories found in justice system records. Were your ancestors
criminals? Did they sit on a jury or testify at a trial? Maybe they went to
jail because they couldn't pay their debts.
This class will cover the early history of criminal justice
administration in Ontario and the records generated by the criminal justice
system, including coroner's records, police records, prosecutions records,
court records, judges' bench books, and jail records.
3:00 PM: Introduction to Wills and Estate Records of Ontario
Few documents are as rich in genealogical information as
wills and estate records. In wills we can sometimes catch rare glimpses of our
ancestor's unique personality and insight into intimate family relationships
and friendships. In the records of intestate succession, we find legally
binding direct evidence of family relationships, frequently including the
surnames of married daughters and addresses of far-flung next-of-kin. And in
both testate and intestate records, we learn details of our ancestors'
financial situation, real property ownership, and sometimes room by room
inventories of their household contents. This class will cover the records of
legal inheritance in Ontario including Probate and Surrogate Court records for
testate and intestate estates and Land Registry Office deposits of wills that
may not have gone through the courts. In addition, students will learn about
the history of inheritance laws in Ontario and how to apply this knowledge to
interpretation and location of relevant records.
10:00 AM And Your Petitioner Will Ever Pray: Understanding
Crown Land Records in Upper Canada
The land granting system of early Ontario, then known as
Upper Canada, produced a vast quantity of records that are full of details
about the settlers who petitioned for land and were often, but not always,
successful in securing a land grant. We will examine the land granting process
and where to find the land records both in real and virtual repositories and
11:30 AM Exploring Ontario Land Records
This presentation will help you locate those various
documents to find where your ancestors lived in Ontario and then locate the
applicable land records. Using readily available online resources we will look
at the various land records for Ontario. Our focus will be primarily on the
rural parts of Ontario where the concession and lot system exist. The initial
challenge we often face is finding where our ancestors were on the ground. The
first part of this session will be using various records to locate where they
lived. With those details we will next search databases and abstracts to learn
where the instruments are in the land books. Finally, we will locate the
various instruments detailing the land transactions involving our ancestors.
1:30 PM Finding Ancestors in Seigniorial Land Records
Following the borders of colonization to figure out where to
look for records can be a challenge. A
township system began in 1774 and the seigniorial regime officially ended in
1854, but some manors continued operating until the following century. During
this course, we’ll examine five different record types from this period:
notarial acts, land grants, pledge records, oaths of allegiance and censuses.
The syllabus will contain important references and a French-English glossary.
3:00 PM Leaving Quebec: The Patterns of Canadian Migration
between 1642 and 1930
This session focuses on genealogical records created during
the opening of the Canadian West, settlement of the Northern States after the
Civil War, and the expansion of railways across Canada and roads across the
United States. From early religious settlements through farming homesteads to
urban development, almost every jurisdiction in North America has a link to
today’s Canadian province of Quebec. We’ll look at what happened, where you can
find ancestral records from each period, and what questions remain to be
10:00 AM On the Front Lines: Canadian Military, Militia and
From the beginnings of New France, Canada’s borders have
been invaded but never conquered. Who were the invaders, and what did they hope
to accomplish? Learn about your ancestor’s service defending the early colonies
of New France, Lower Canada, and Upper Canada. We will discuss the men who were
called upon to fight on the front lines in the Beaver Wars, War of the
Conquest, French and Indian War, War of 1812, Rebellions of 1837-1838, and the
Fenian Raids; where these wars and battles took place; and how they affected
your early Canadian ancestors.
11:30 AM For King and Country: Service in the First and
Second World Wars
Whether fighting on land, sea or air, Canadians greatly
contributed to the Allied war efforts during the First and Second World Wars.
Recruitment, conscription, key military leaders, the participation of Canadian
forces in major battles, and the roles of soldiers, sailors, airmen and nurses
will be discussed. Military, naval and air force records will be examined, and
what was happening on the Home Front will be reviewed.
12:45 PM Wrap-Up Discussion and Farewell
Tuition: $429.00 CAD (~$345usd/ £250)
To register: https://www.cgvri.com/p/course-2-researching-ontario-and-quebec.html