In creating this online version, we have tried to reproduce the original assessment rolls as accurately as possible. However, due to limitations in technology, time and scope, certain attributes and visual layout elements had to be left out of the online version, while others have been included in modified form. These changes were generally precipitated by the fact that this task has required us to go from a hand-written document to a typed version. This page attempts to explain these items, as well as other parts of this online version which may be somewhat confusing to you, the user.
Note: Many of the items described below are more easily understood with visual aids, so please visit the Picture Gallery to see some photos of the original 1842 Huron District Assessment Rolls.
If, in the original document, someone appears in an Assessment List but not in the corresponding Population Return, blanks have been left in Population Return columns (Name (P), m>16, m<16, f>16, f<16 and Total # of family members).
Conversely, if someone appears in a Population Return but not in the corresponding Assessment List, blanks have been left in Assessment List columns (Name (A), Lot # and Concession). This is significant because each list is sorted alphabetically by the name appearing in the Name (A) column, which causes those entries which have a blanks in that column to be placed at the end of the list. Therefore, when searching for an individual, it is wise to look not only in the part of the list corresponding to the first letter of that individual's family name, but also at the end of the list for possible Population Return-only listings.
Furthermore, if a blank is left in any column in the original document, except the specific Population Return columns described immediately below, a blank has been placed in the appropriate column of the online version.
Where there are blanks in the Population Return columns describing the number of people of each age group in each family (m>16, m<16, f>16 and f<16), they have been taken to mean that those entries have zero people in that age group and zeros have been placed in the appropriate columns in the online version.
Decimals (periods) are occasionally found in the Lot # column. These have been copied from the original document unchanged and most likely represent lot subdivisions or groups of several lots. Examples, "11.12" and "5.6.9".
The presence of a letter in front of the lot number has been copied unchanged from the microfilm original and indicates the section of the lot owned. For example, "w5" means "west part of lot 5" or "west half of lot 5".
The original assessment lists and population returns are separate documents, but in the online version we have combined them to produce a single document for each Township. To do this, we have associated many of the entries from the population returns with the entries from the assessment lists, when we believe they represent the same individual. Although in most cases this process was fairly accurate, it is possible that two individuals from the same family, two people living on the same lot or even two completely different people who may or may not share the same name have been joined together in this process. It should also be noted, however, that assessors often spelled an individual's name differently on both records, so just because the names in the two columns aren't exactly the same doesn't necessarily mean that they are two different people.
Letters are occasionally used as lot and concession numbers. This is exactly the same as in the original document.
Entries and sections of entries have been "struck through" (a line drawn through them) in the online version when they appear struck out (a line drawn through them) in the original document.
Superscript formatting in the original document has been dropped in the online version due to time limitations. Thus, a name which appears, for example, as "Wm" will appear as "Wm" in the online version.
Combinations of words and letters that don't really make sense in the context in which they appear sometimes show up in the Lot # and Concession columns. These have been copied exactly from the original, and when the original was difficult to read they represent our best guess
Words or phrases written vertically down a column in the original document have been copied in the online version and added to each entry they cover in the original.
Lot and concession listing which are arrayed vertically in the original document have been separated by commas in the online version. For example, an entry in which the lot was listed as and the concession was listed as in the original would show as "2, 8, 5" in the Lot # column and "6, 5, 3" in the Concession column in the online version. This generally means that the individual owned lot 2 on concession 6, lot 8 on concession 5 and lot 5 on concession 3
Several "x"s can be found in the concession column: these have been copied exactly as they appear on the original Assessment Rolls. We are unsure as to their meaning.
As Ashfield Township and Wawanosh Township were done together under the auspices of "Ashfield", the original assessor wrote "Wawanosh" in the free space beside the entries of those individuals who lived and/or owned land in Wawanosh Township. We have included this information in the online version by adding "WAW" to the concession column of those entries affected.
Several "-"s can be found in the concession column: these have been copied exactly as they appear on the original Assessment Rolls. We are unsure as to their meaning.
Because this is an assessment of a town, in which there are no regular lot and concession numbers, the lot and concession entries in this record are often rather strange. Making matters worse, the assessor seemed to be using his own short forms for streets, etc. and hand-writing was generally small and difficult to make out. To see one of the original assessment pages of Goderich Town, go to the Picture Gallery page.
Also, because this is a town, there were many people who just lived there and didn't own any land, thus appearing only in the Population Return.
In Widow McTaggart's population report listing the assessor seems to have accidentally written McCallum instead of McTaggart. Although it is possible that these are two separate widows, they would be the only widows in Williams Township at that time and it seems odd that one only owned land and the other only appeared in the Population Return. Also, in the original document the widow's population entry appears immediately after another McCallum, so it is possible that the assessor was used to writing McCallum so when he heard a similar sounding name he wrote McCallum instead. Further research showed that there was indeed a Widow McTaggart in Williams Township at that time, but there is no trace of a Widow McCallum.
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