Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Will the snow stop people from coming?

Just a short post. Sometimes when I look out the window this afternoon, the snow is coming down heavily and the snow is swirling around.

Tonight is the meeting of the Bruce Grey Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society. For I don't know how many years, I have been the guest speaker at the November meeting. The last couple of years, it has snowed and the wind has blown wildly on the day of the meeting. What will it be like tonight?

Usually the meeting has been at the public library but tonight it will be at the Family History Centre. Tonight's topic - land records - an introduction. Perhaps not the most exciting topic if your people of interest did not own land or if you can only find a few straight forward bargain and sales. But look closely at the records, what clues can you find? Perhaps this will be source will be the one that will help solve a break wall in your genealogical research. Even if your person did not own land, are they mentioned in a land transaction as a witness, or as a trustee of a church?

As I prepared for this talk, I looked back over some of my own research. After copying some abstract index listings from some property in Markham Township a few years ago, I put the sheets of paper in a file. I hadn't done anything with them. As I looked at the listing of the various instruments, I found one that puzzled me. What was a cert. v.o.? It was obviously something related to a court case about a property as there were a list of names and the mention of the High Court of Justice. I couldn't find anything in my notes so I asked my colleagues in the Ontario Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists in our mailing list for help.

Remember back in my earlier blogs I talked about life long learning? One of the 7 1/2 habits of life-long learners was to have a toolbox. The toolbox included people resources to ask for help. Well, I was not disappointed. I received two replies with the explanation - certificate of vested orders. It was not limited to the basic explanation but I received great suggestions for further research. This research project will take some time as it will required finding the appropriate land records from about 1850 to 1920 for this land, checking court records and newspaper records. - Land records don't need to be boring.

Tonight, I will be teaching others. I find I learn so much from the preparation for the talk. I also look forward to learning from those who can get there and will share their success stories. I hope the snow does not discourage people from coming.

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