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  • David Trudeau Saturday, September 25
    David Trudeau - 19th Century Plat Map unlocks Ontario Online Land Records -- or how I found Skunk's Hollow (Webinars)
    Co-hosted by IGSI and the Canadian Interest Group of MGS 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

    Online: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/309270925
    I knew some things about the Byrnes, Doyles, Collins and McDonnells - my Irish ancestors who came to Canada from Ireland in the mid 1800’s, and then moved to Minnesota in 1878. I had census and church records for their life in St Marys Ontario, but I didn’t know where they lived or why they came there. A visit to St. Marys, and help from the local historical society gave me a few clues about the railroad construction there and the influx of Irish laborers, and how they formed their Catholic church. But when I discovered how to link old cadastral maps with the abstracts of property records found at ONLAND -Ontario online land records, it opened up a new world of information that enabled me to follow these two laboring families from shanty living to home ownership. I was able to locate their property and the homes they built in St. Marys and was able to see how my great grandfather Mike McDonnell met my great grandmother Ellen Doyle - they were backyard neighbors in a place called Skunk’s Hollow, a shanty town now largely cleared and today the pleasant Kin's Park that runs along Trout Creek. The Doyles accumulated enough value to move to Minnesota and buy their own farm. Mike and Ellen went with, and using railroad experience on a Canadian track gang, Mike became a roadmaster for the CGW. And I could follow the McDonalds (as they spelled it in Canada) who stayed in St Marys via land records and see how their lives changed over generations.
  • Check back later for more events.


The purpose of the Canadian Interest Group is to promote an interest in family history and research.

The original society was founded in 1969 by a handful of members researching French Canadians. From materials and book donations shared out of member’s trunks to becoming a formalized society which gathered one of the largest research collections in the upper Midwest, the Canadian Interest Group is now part of the Minnesota Genealogical Society, who owns the Canadian Collection, housed at the William J Hoffman Library and Research Center in South St. Paul, Minnesota.


The areas of interest includes all individuals whose ancestry came through Canada including
  • Acadian
  • European
  • French Canadian
  • Huguenots
  • Metis(se)
  • Native American


First: become a member of the Minnesota Genealogical Society

Second: send your contact information to: contact@mncig.org. You will receive email messages regarding Canadian Interest Group meetings, trainings, conferences, special events, etc.

Third: visit us during Canadian Saturday mornings at the MGS- William J Hoffman Library and Research Center [every third Saturday of the month]. This is where helpful volunteers are ready to assist your genealogy research with sources and ideas


The Canadian resource collection is one of the largest in the Upper Midwest.  It contains published and unpublished works relevant to persons of Canadian, Native American and Metis(se) descents. It includes the work of Jette, Prudhomme, Drouin, Tanguay, many Quebec Church Repertoires, Dictionnaire Genealogique des Familles Acadiennes by Stephen White and most recently the King’s Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi 1663-1673 by Peter J. Gagne.

William J. Hoffman Library
  The Canadian collection is housed at the Minnesota Genealogical Society: 
           The William J. Hoffman Library & Research Center (LRC), Suite 100
           1385 Mendota Heights Road, Mendota Heights, Minnesota
           Telephone number: 651-330-9312  Website:  http://mncig.org
           MGS Events Calendar   and in the MGS Newsletter when possible.