Who, What & When in Canada (before the 20th Century) - A Compilation (by Download).


Cat No.:   CA0061-DL: File Size 174.2 MB:

This is a compilation of four books. The main thing they have in common, and the reason why they are published here as a collection, is that they are all good sources of concise information about the People, Places and Dates which are significant in the (immigrant influenced) history of Canada up to the beginning of the 1900’s:

• The Hand Book of Canadian Dates by F. A. McCord

• Alphabet of First Things in Canada by George Johnson

• The Canadian Almanac, and Repository of Useful Knowledge for the year 1864

• Almanac of ye olde time British Whig for ye year anno domini 1903

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The Hand Book of Canadian Dates by F. A. McCord: was published in 1888. Mr McCord styles himself an Assistant Law Clerk in the Canadian House of Commons and we can presume that he compiled this handy source of information as a result of information searches conducted in pursuit of his important work. His ready access to the Parliamentary library would, of course, ideally place him for this research. In the 1894 Civil Service list (CA0030) we find him listed as THE Law Clerk of the “Law and Translation Branch” of the House of Commons. Other information given was that he first joined the Civil Service in 1884 and that he was born on 29 August 1856, making him about 32 when this book was published.

Alphabet of First Things in Canada by George Johnson: was first published in 1889 but then re-published in 1890 in a greatly expanded and improved edition. It is this second edition that is reproduced here. The author provides the best description of the contents by explaining his motives: “Having often found myself compelled to verify a date, or to search for the sources of a movement which in the course of years had become of importance, I began, some years ago, to jot down any statement of first things in Canada that I met in my readings. … The more readily to find what I wanted, I arranged the collection in alphabetical order.”

A well annotated source of hundreds of significant events in Canada’s past.

The Canadian Almanac, and Repository of Useful Knowledge for the year 1864: was published in Toronto but does not follow the normal almanac convention of limiting its interest to just its own local. Of course it begins with a calendar of the subject year giving: Diurnal, Celestial, Civil and Ecclesiastical data for every day as appropriate. But this only accounts for 15 of this 100 plus page collection of facts and figures. Subjects range far and wide from meteorological statistics over a range of years through lists of important civic information such as: The name of - and postmaster of - every post office in Canada, The names of the judiciary and the parliaments of every province as well as those of the Dominion, The names of many professional institutions and schools (including the names of their officers), The names of all the clergy (all denominations) and, The name of every Masonic lodge and its officers. Then add in pages of Public Accounts and Imports and Exports for both the provinces and the Dominion as well as a selection of interesting period advertisements. Leaving the best to last there is a fold out Map of the area of Upper Canada which we call Eastern Ontario, ranging from the Canada East / West border across to Kingston. It shows both counties and townships in addition to all the recognized town and villages of 1864.

Altogether this unusual Almanac is just a “bomb” of historical details defining Canada up to 1864.

Almanac of ye olde time British Whig for ye year anno domini 1903 (being ye seventieth year of aforesaid delectable newspaper in ye ancient and good old burg styled Kingston, Ontario) Despite this rather clumsy attempt at humor in titling this is an almanac which opens a glimpse on life and the social “mores” of this period. Its reason for inclusion in this collection is that it also contains a 5 page listing of “Historical Events,” the latter part of which rounds out the listing of historic events in Canada in the 19th century.