Recently Completed Projects

Searching for Traces of a Man Reputedly Born in Kingston in 1820

The facts as presented: A man was enumerated as a resident of the State of Indiana in the USA, during the census enumerations of 1870 and 1880. Both census schedules showed that the man himself had been born in ‘Canada’. The man died in Indiana in 1891, and at least one record found concerning the man's death indicated that he had been born in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, in the fall of 1820.

The Challenge: to discover if any traces of the man and/or his parents could be found in baptismal or other early records from Kingston.

The Records Consulted: Anglican (Church of England), Presbyterian, and Roman Catholic baptismal registers from Kingston in the early part of the 19th century. Based on a name of interest, a bevy of additional records were examined – Upper Canada Land Petitions; editions of The Daily British Whig and other major newspapers of Upper and Lower Canada / Canada West and Canada East; nominal muster rolls of the Frontenac Militia (Upper Canada)  circa 1828; a variety of British military records pertaining to personnel & events in Canada; and more.

The Results: A record of a man that was found in a Kingston Presbyterian marriage register from the 1820s suggested one particular man as a very viable father candidate - he had the expected surname, and he had a somewhat expected first name. This father candidate was tracked through two periods of association with the British military, from 1812 in the first instance; his position with the newly formed Bank of Upper Canada in 1819; petitions to the Executive Council of Upper Canada on two occasions; and his presumed departure from Kingston in the late 1840s. A quite robust account of the father candidate’s life and times in Kingston was developed. No others with the surname were residing in Kingston in the 1820s, 1830s, and 1840s, but no distinct baptismal record for the man in question was found, and no linkage could be made between the man who died in Indiana and the father candidate. Some libraries and archives in the Kingston area which might hold pertinent records about both the man in question and the father candidate were closed in early 2021 because of COVID-19 mitigation regulations. All information found was provided to the client, and a suggestion was made that further investigation should be placed ‘on hold’ until all of the libraries and archives which might hold something useful were open to the general public again.

- - - - Project #210203  (completed 13 February 2021)   

Contact Bruce D. Murduck   concerning any matter at all.