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The Greater Toronto Airport Authority, with the agreement of the Archdiocese of Toronto, requested the help of genealogist Brian Gilchrist to establish a genealogical research program. This program was meant to identify any descendant(s) of the deceased in order to initiate consultation on the relocation process.

Notices were placed in both secular and Roman Catholic newspapers, as well as in parish bulletins, to attempt to find and inform potential descendants of those buried at the Elmbank Cemetery.

The program also required searches of numerous historical, written records, including the "Last Will and Testament" or "Letters of Administration" of the deceased. The searches then focussed on any heirs that were mentioned. These were traced through census records or death notices in a newspaper or through their identification on gravestones in a cemetery. Other records that were of use included civil registration of births, marriages and deaths as well as census records, wills, newspapers, city directories, land records and religious registers of baptism, marriage and burial. Newspaper files for birth, engagement, marriage or death notices were also helpful. 

Once family members could be located, other documentation could be utilized. Family Bibles, letters, diaries, military papers, education documents and photographs were helpful in determining relationships and identification of those buried at the Elmbank Cemetery. Also, in the course of the archaeological investigations, other clues were found which lead to further research. Buried tombstones, "cornerstones" or coffin plates identifying the name and date of death of the deceased were some of the things that developed into further research and investigation.

A genealogical project such as this one is both time and research intensive. There was no master plan - only that the research proceeded from the known to the unknown. One piece of evidence was found, leading to the next, and so the process continued until a fairly comprehensive outline of a descendant tree was developed. The list of known descendants was prepared, and individuals were contacted by Archaeological Services Inc. to be informed of the cemetery relocation project and of their opportunities to participate in the process.

Anyone believing himself or herself to be a descendant of an individual that had been buried at the Elmbank Cemetery can contact the Archives of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto for more information by phone at (416) 934-0606 or by email archives@archtoronto.org .