Q. My ancestor was born in Mallahide, Canada, but lived there only about five years. How would I find birth records for him or his parents?
A. This question provides a good example of why it’s a good idea to try different spellings of place names. We found some older genealogical entries when searching for Mallahide, but uncovered many more resources when checking instead for Malahide (with one l). Malahide is a township in southern Ontario near the coast of Lake Erie. It’s part of Elgin County, and the Elgin County Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society has an outstanding collection of online resources that may help <www.elginogs.ca>. These include an index to the 1842 census, cemetery transcriptions and indexes to vital records. Elgin County is also included in the Ontario GenWeb’s Census Project <http://ontariocensus.rootsweb.ancestry.com/>.
The Elgin County Public Library <www.elgincounty.ca/library> holds many original documents including county clerk papers and records from Malahide, tax records, land registry copy books, censuses, church records and city and county directories. Other records can be found at the county archives <www.elgincounty.ca/archives>.
At a national level, the best place to start researching Canadian records is Library and Archives Canada <www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/genealogy/index-e.html>. You can also check AVITUS, an online resource directory <www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/genealogy/avitus/Pages/avitus.aspx>.
From the October/November 2015 issue of Family Tree Magazine