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Brian Narhi, tips for tracing family roots
November 12, 2019 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Brian Narhi provides tips for tracing family roots.
Duncan McLaren introduced Brian Narhi of St Catharines who chairs the St. Catharines heritage
advisory committee and is a historian for Toronto based Archeological Services Inc. Brian has been
awarded a Lieutenant-Governor’s Heritage Award for Lifetime Achievement.
Brian began his presentation with an introduction to genealogy 101 stressing the importance of
starting with what and who you know by talking to living relatives and then working backwards. He
warned that you must never blindly trust what others have shared on the internet.
He added that it is important during your research that you credit the sources of your information
so, if needed, you can return to that source to confirm what you found.
He said that a good starting point in your research is in family documents such as family bibles that may list births, baptisms, marriages and deaths.
He said other sources could include burial records, gravestones, old letters, old newspapers,
census records, historical atlases, city directories and land registry records.
He pointed out that land registry records go back to 1795. Niagara-on-the-Lake had the second land registry office in Ontario although many of the early records were lost during the war of 1812.
Brian said that the Special Collections Section on the second floor of the St. Catharines Central Library is an excellent source for genealogy records especially in Niagara.
He also pointed out that many Ontario land registry records can be accessed free of charge
through the online website Onland, Information available includes subdivision maps from the 1820s to the present; deeds from 1796, mortgages, indentures and naturalization records.
Dan Plunkett thanked Brian for his knowledgeable and interesting talk on family history