Birth, Marriages, and Deaths

Much can be learned from the announcements in newspapers for births, marriages, and deaths. For  marriages, in addition to the names of married couple, the  location, and name of the presiding minister,  the notice might mention the number of guests and names of attendants.  Birth notices were much less informative – limited in most cases to the father’s name, the date, and the gender.  Obituaries vary widely, from a sparse  statement of  name, date, place, to more effusive ones with a brief biography and names of immediate family.

For the Fleming families of Derby Township and Owen Sound we turn to the papers published in Owen Sound from 1850 onward.  Thankfully, the Bruce and Grey Branch Ontario Genealogy Society has transcribed these announcements to CD ROMs that may be purchased from the branch or may be viewed at the Toronto Public Library, the Owen Sound Public Library, and perhaps others.  [Price list: https://brucegrey.ogs.on.ca/?page_id=62 ] Continue reading

Derby Township Assessment Rolls

In investigating the lives of our ancestors much can be inferred from the tax assessment rolls.  In researching the Flemings of Derby Township we can see  acquisition of acreage, clearance of forests for pasture and crops, and the growing value in real property. Five of Alexander’s sons (James, John, Alexander II, Donald, and Charles), and his son-in-law (James Agnew)  became established as farmers. William, the sixth son, left his farm and moved to Owen Sound in the early 1880s.

Assessment rolls were completed annually by the township in order to determine taxes payable by its residents.

Assessment rolls are used to record information about a resident’s property in order to determine the amount of taxes payable on real property.  The following information is recorded: land and building value; status as residence or business, religion (for school taxation purposes), age, and occupation of head of household and number of people living on the property.  Other information is collected from time to time reflecting local or provincial requirements. [Source: Finding Municipal Record, Research Guide 209, Archives of Ontario]

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