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Spotlight: The Brantford Public Library, Ontario, Canada

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Valerie Beaudrault

Valerie Beaudrault
Assistant Editor

The Brantford Public Library (BPL), Ontario, Canada

Brantford, Ontario, is located just west of Lake Ontario, about one hour from Toronto and Niagara Falls, New York. The Brantford Public Library has made a number of genealogy and local history resources available on their website. Their focus is primarily on the city of Brantford and Brant County.


Birth, Marriage, Death Search Index (BMD)

This searchable index contains names found in birth, marriage, and death notices that have appeared in the Brantford Expositor newspaper. The index covers most years between 1852 and 2010. Some years between 1852 and 1916 are missing from the source microfilm, and the years 1946 through 1949, 1951 through 1955, and 1957 through 1960 have not yet been indexed. Additional years will be added as indexing is completed. In some instance there are notices of anniversaries, divorces, birthdays, and naturalizations, in addition to the birth, marriage, and death notices. The library has provided a YouTube video on how to use the BMD Index. If you do not live in the Brantford area you may request copies of notices for a fee.


Since 1852 the Brantford Expositor has been published under four titles: Brantford Conservative Expositor, Brantford Semi-Weekly Expositor, Brantford Weekly Expositor, and Brantford Expositor-Daily. Search fields include surname, which is required, first name, date limiters, and a drop down list with event type. Index users should be advised that the search results provide the date of the newspaper containing the notice, not the actual date of the event. The data fields in the search results include name, type of notice, date the notice appeared, page number, and notes. The ‘page’ field includes the newspaper title abbreviation. The ‘notes’ field contains information such as the name of the deceased’s spouse, names of a child’s parents, and references to other articles that mention the person about whom the notice was written.


Digital Archives

The website's Digital Archives contain a number of resources related to Brant County, its residents, and its history. You can search the database by title, publication, and author. Then you can limit your search by section type (collections), date range, and subject (list provided). The section types include Six Nations Documents, Pictorial Brantford/Brant County, Brantford/Brant County Documents, Commemorative Newspapers, and BPL Video Clips. The subjects include World War, 1914–1918 and 1939–1945; South African War, 1899–1902; Postal Service, Railroads; Newspapers; Alexander Graham Bell, 1847–1922; Brantford Directories, and many more.


The resources found here include History of the County of Brant, Ontario (1883) by Warner, Beers, & Co.; a two-volume History of the County of Brant (1920) by F. Douglas Reville; special editions of local newspapers; a book of photographs of Brantford; calendars and commencement programs for the Brantford Young Ladies' College and Conservatory of Music from the late nineteenth century; and much more. All of these files are in PDF format. You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to download and view them.


Virtual War Memorial for Brantford and the County of Brant

This memorial commemorates individuals from Brantford, the County of Brant, and the peoples of the Six Nations who lost their lives during World War II. More than 6,000 men and women from Brant County served in the armed forces between 1939 and 1945. Over 300 were casualties of war. You can browse through the photographs and biographies in the Virtual War Memorial, which is organized alphabetically by last name, or you can search the Memorial by last name and/or first name. The Album of Honor, which gives the names of the men and women from Brant County who served during World War II, may be found in the Digital Archives section of the website. There are more than 3,500 photographs in this volume.

Posted by Ellie Spinney at 04/11/2012 02:25:00 PM | 

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