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AfriGeneas Canada Research Forum

Re: Rev. William Troy
In Response To: Rev. William Troy ()

J.A.;

I'm currently on a business trip in Minnesota and won't be back home until next week, so I'm unable to do any lookups at the moment.

However, let me provide some information that might be useful to you. There's a wonderful resource book called "Blacks in Canada, 1861," by Barry Noonan in which he has extracted all the blacks from the 1861 Ontario, New Brunswick, and Quebec censi (Nova Scotia didn't ask for race in the 1861 census). I'll do a lookup next week to see if I can find Rev. Troy and his family. That will provide me with their ages, place of birth, religion, and the exact census page where I can refer you for more research.

Birth records in Ontario didn't start to be kept until 1869, but there are many church records available. The Salt Lake City Mormon library has all the printed indices but some are available online as well. In addition, Bill Martin's genealogy pages are a MUST for all Ontario researchers. Here's his URL: http://my.tbaytel.net/bmartin/earlyont.htm
This site contains hundreds of early Ontario church records and the great thing is that in most places, blacks were listed as "of colour," making it easier to spot them.

The Ontario Cemetery Finding Aid (see URL below) has cemetery transcriptions that go back hundreds of years. It's free and searchable.

By the way, there was no 1850 Ontario census. They occured every ten years beginning in 1851. The 1871 Ontario census index is searchable online at the Canadian Archives http://www.archives.ca/02/02010803_e.html. Most blacks were designated as being of "African" origin, so you can limit your search using that. I just did a quick search of surname TROY of African origin and got no hits. I then tried it with no origin, but in Essex County (where Amherstburg is located) and still got no hits. Then I did a TROY search with all locations and got 23 hits, but none appear to be a match. You can also do a wildcard search to increase your chances.

Finally, the 1851 census has no online index, though several branches of the Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) have begun to extract this info and publish them. They have a very impressive collection of publications that you can purchase, but if you're a member, you can email a request for a lookup. This is one branch of which I'm a member and I recommend you consider joining as well. Here's the URL for their publications: http://www.rootsweb.com/~onsxogs/ogspub.htm

They (Essex County branch of the oGS) have church records, marriage records, cemetery records, city directories, etc. I'm SURE you can find something of use there... I just wish they'd put some of the data online, but they need to make money to support their activities.

Since, sadly, the Essex County OGS has not published an index for the 1851 census, your only choice is to go through the census, page by page, county by county, which can be painful. And just because the Troys ended up in Amherstburg doesn't mean that's where they started. If you dont' find them in the Amherstburg 1851 census, they may have been in other nearby towns where many blacks settled, (Colchester, Chatham, Buxton, etc.). Good luck. I've done this type of search and my eyes STILL hurt :>).

I'll be in touch with you mid-week next week. All the best to you in your research. My family also lived in the Amherstburg area, but they had left by 1810 or so.

- Lisa B. Lee
Oakland, CA

: Rev. William Troy moved to Cincinnatti, Ohio in about 1848. He
: studied to be a minister and later moved to Canada. He worked as
: a minister to escaped slaves in Amherstburg and Windsor, Canada
: West.

: In about 1861 he wrote a book, "Hair-breadth Escapes from
: Slavery to Freedom". This book was published in London and
: apparently William was travelling through England and Ireland to
: raise money for his church in Windsor Canada. He wrote the book,
: telling stories of some of the slaves that he knew, to help
: raise money. He also wrote a mini-biography at the beginning of
: the book, which is where I get most of my information about him.

: William had 4 children at that time. Fanny Ellen, Annie, Willie and
: Joshua. I know that they lived in Canada, but I don't know if
: they were born in Canada. They all had to have been born before
: 1861 (the date in the book.) It is unclear how long William was
: in Ohio before moving to Canada. From some of the slave stories
: that I read, I can only guess that William was in Canada after
: 1850, in the early 1850's....he is not in the 1850 Canadian
: Census. William wrote a narrative that was published in
: "The Narratives of Fugitive Slaves" by Benjamin Drew.
: The book was published in 1856 and the introduction was written
: in 1855, so William had to have been interviewed before that
: time. He is listed in the group from Amherstburg and stated that
: he had only been there a few weeks, so he had to have gotten to
: Canada between 1851 and 1855.

: William is in the 1880 census, living in Richmond, Virginia, so
: sometime after the end of the Civil War, he returned to the
: states. His two sons are listed in the census, William (born
: about 1856) and Joshua (born about 1858) so they were probably
: born in Canada. There are three other children listed in the
: 1880 census. Sarah would have been born in 1865, Edward in 1870
: and Isaac born in 1874. I also found reference to William in a
: Baptist Church History on line, giving a sermon in Richmond in
: 1870, so I would guess he was back in the U.S. by then. So the
: only other child who may have been born in Canada is Sarah.

: Does anyone know where I might start searching for birth records
: for that period of time in Canada?? Or how I might locate his
: church in Windsor or Amherstburg??

: I'm also going to have to break down and spend some time in the
: library looking at census records. Is there an 1860 Canadian
: census that William may be in?

: Thanks for any help or ideas.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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