Census, Census Substitutes, Directories

Peter Doyle and Elizabeth Moran: Address

After posting about the “blended family” of Peter Doyle and Elizabeth Moran, I realized that I didn’t have a geographic address for this couple, beyond that of Drummond township, Lanark Co.

This bit of information was quickly and easily discovered, online and free of charge. Library and Archives Canada has a wonderful online database of (mostly nineteenth-century) city and county directories at Canadian Directories: Who Was Where. While the coverage seems a bit spotty, the Ottawa area, and the counties of eastern Ontario more broadly, are, luckily for my purposes,  well represented in this database, and I’ve found a number of geographic addresses at this site. 
Since Peter Doyle and wife Elizabeth Moran were farmers (in the province of Ontario), I wasn’t looking for a street name and street number, but rather for the lot number of a numbered, or numerically labelled (with a Roman numeral), concession in a township.

I found Peter Doyle on page 187 of the Union Publishing Co.’s Farmers’ and Business Directory, for the Counties of Carleton, Dundas, Glengarry, Grenville, Lanark, Russell and Stormont, 1885-86, where he is listed as a farmer at Concession 5, Lot 16 of Drummond township, Co. Lanark [click preview to see larger image]:
A couple of other free, online sources for geographic addresses for Ontario farming ancestors: 
  • The agricultural (or Schedule B) census of the 1851 census, also online at Library and Archives Canada. Unfortunately, a number of these Schedule Bs did not survive. But if you’re fortunate enough to find a family in the agricultural census, you can not only identify their lot and concession numbers, but also learn how many bushels of potatoes they produced in a year, how many pigs, cows and sheep they kept, how much acres of they had cleared by 1851, and so on.
  • The Canadian County Atlas Digital Project (McGill University), which includes a number of county atlases, from the 1860s to 1880s. N.B.: While this is an extremely valuable source of information, it should be noted that some of the atlases (those published as supplements to the Dominion of Canada atlases, as explained here) did not include all names of the residents of a township, but only the names of subscribers (i.e., only the names of those who had paid a small fee, or subscription, in order to have their names published in the atlas).