Is UNKNOWN really Unknown?
By Donna Scott
While looking at the Vital Statistics Index I was struck by the fact that there were a large number of UNKNOWN listed. Following is a small example of UNKNOWN that I looked up, going to the actual registration. Only one person was unknown and that was the person who drowned in the St. Clair River. Even he could have been reported missing in the newspapers and may be able to be found with a little research.
DEATH INDEX: #3600.83, 91, 9, Unknown M. Ethel Sophia, Shelburne, 02.13.83
DEATH INDEX: #3601.83, 91, 27, Unknown Annintia Jane, Shelburne, 03.04.83
DEATH INDEX: #14519.01, 91, 29, Unknown, Sarnia Twp., 00.00.01
DEATH INDEX: #14976.05, 91, 29, Unknown, Walpole Island, 01.03.05
BIRTH INDEX: #20662.82, 11, 35, Unknown, John Beeley, Glencoe, 7.16.82
MARRIAGE INDEX: #9304.00, 31, 51, Unknown, Mattie Elizabeth, 04.01.00, Place of event - Mattie E.
MARRIAGE INDEX: #6120.93, 31, 29, Unknown, Alice, Bosanquet, 03.02.93
MARRIAGE INDEX: #8430.96, 31, 96, Unknown, Francis, 03.28.96 Co. Ci. 96, Grumbling Point, Co.Ci. 96 was District of Parry Sound, Unorganized Townships. It should be noted there were quite a few UNKNOWN reported by the official in this area, as he didn't write the surnames on the registration.
The numbering system above is: registration # ; year of the event; 91 is death, 31 is marriage, 11 is birth; County and District I.D.
DEATH REGISTRATION: #3600.83 - Mary Ethel Sophia, 13 Feb 1883, female, age 1, born Shelburne, died of Natural Causes, Physician was Dr. Morton, Informant was Wm. Robertson, Shelburne on 6 March 1883, Rel. Denom. Presbyterian.
Then I went to see if there was a birth record in the index. BIRTH INDEX: #5798.82 - Robertson, M. Ethel Sophia, Shelburne, 02.17.82 BIRTH REGISTRATION: #5798.82 - Mary Ethel Sophia, female, born 17 Feb. 1882, Co. of Dufferin, Shelburne, parents William Robertson & Mary Jane Ellis, Prof. or Rank of Father - Saw Miller, Informant - Wm. Robertson, Saw Miller, Shelburne, registered 28 Feb. 1882, Physician - Dr. Norton
Mary Ethel Sophia and Annintia Jane were not listed in the death index under the surname of Small or Robertson.
DEATH REGISTRATION: #14519.01, Unknown, male (Sarnia Twp.), found drowned in St. Clair River, Physician was D.A.S. Fraser, Coroner and Undertaker was A.H.W. Phillips on July 24, 1901.
DEATH REGISTRATION: #14976.05, Jan 3, 1905, surname & name blank, female, age - 3 weeks, died Walpole Island, single, born Walpole Island, died of Colera Infantium, Physician - Dr. Hay, Rel. Denom. - Methodist, Informant - White Joseph on Jan 3, 1905. I did not check the birth record for the White Joseph child as these have not been released yet. There could be an announcement in the newspaper of the birth or death.
I did not check the birth record for the White Joseph child as these have not been released yet. There could be an announcement in the newspaper of the birth or death.
BIRTH REGISTRATION: #20662.82, John Beeley, male, father - Franklin Unsworth, mother - Mary R. Morley, Rank or Profession of father - Telegraph Operator, Signature & description & residence of Informant, F. Unsworth, Glencoe on July 31, 1882, name of accoucheur - Dr Couse, Registrar - Geo. M.S. Torrison.
MARRIAGE REGISTRATION: #9304.00 GROOM BRIDE NAME / AGE WARRINGTON, JAMES / 31 MATTIE ELIZABETH / 30 BIRTHPLACE BATHURST BATHURST RESIDENCE BATHURST BATHURST B / S / W BACHELOR SPINSTER FATHER JOHN WARRINGTON UNKNOWN MOTHER SARA WARRINGTON UNKNOWN WITNESSES WM. WARRINGTON AND LUCY WARRINGTON, OF BATHURST DATE & PLACE APRIL 1, 1900 / ST. STEPHENS CH, BATHURST REL. DENOM CH OF ENGLAND PRESBYTERIAN BY WHOM MAR. JOHN FOWKES BY LICENSE, REGISTERED APRIL 4, 1900
MARRIAGE REGISTRATION: #6120.93 GROOM BRIDE NAME / AGE DONALD McKELLAR / 27 ALICE / 21 BIRTHPLACE BOSANQUET CANADA RESIDENCE BOSANQUET BOSANQUET B /S / W BACHELOR SPINSTER FATHER DONALD McKELLAR DAVID MOTHER MARGARET McKELLAR HARRIET MARIA WITNESSES PETER McKELLAR, FOREST & MARY ANN DONALD, BOSANQUET DATE & PLACE 2ND MARCH 1893 BOSANQUET REL. DENOM. PRESBYTERIAN PRESBYTERIAN BY WHOM MAR. REV. HECTOR CURRIE
MARRIAGE REGISTRATION: #8430.96 GROOM BRIDE NAME / AGE FRANCIS / 21 LUCY / 13 BIRTHPLACE MIKNEMIKONG SHESHEQWANING RESIDENCE BEVERSTONE BEVERSTONE S / B/ W BACHELOR SPINSTER FATHER STEPHEN MEJAKI JACOB UIANRASKI MOTHER ANGELIQNE OSANANISMIKI LISETTE WAKAOSSE WITNESS SIMON MISHIBINEJINA & MARY MEJAKI, GRUMBLING POINT DATE & PLACE MARCH 28, 1896 GRUMBLING POINT REL. DENOM R.C. R.C. MARRIED BY REV. S. DUNFRESVE
If you have lost someone or they have just disappeared you may find them in the UNKNOWN. The above few gives informative information which will help us to find a missing family member. If you have a date, or place, or first name try the UNKNOWN in the Vital Statistics Index under "U" and then go to the Registration. You also have newspapers, funeral homes, cemeteries and church records to check. The UNKNOWN is not always UNKNOWN.