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The William Bower Family Book
Source Documents

The copies of the source documents have not been included in the printed copy of this book because many of the pages are unreadable when printed. This collection contains over 2,700 source documents. The following categories of records are included:

Birth and Baptism Records

The birth records come from a variety of government vital statistical records. In some cases a copy of the original record is provided whereas others are simply an index listing of the original record collection. Jurisdictions have different time limits for the release of birth vital records and indexes. In general, most US states release their records sooner than Canadian provinces. For example, Ontario releases their birth records after 100 years whereas California has released a birth index to 1995. Also included are birth announcements found in newspaper archives.

Baptism records come mainly from church baptismal registers. In many cases these are historical records and do not contain up to date baptisms.

Although some of the information available from various sources may contain records and information for individuals who are still living, the documents listed below and available on the Bower Genealogy web site exclude those for individuals who are still alive.

Marriage, Wedding and Divorce Records

The marriage and divorce records come from a variety of government vital statistical records. In some cases a copy of the original record is provided whereas others are simply an index listing of the original record collection. Jurisdictions have different time limits for the release of the vital records and indexes.

Engagement, wedding and anniversary announcement are also included. Most were obtained from newspaper archives.

Similar to the birth information, records in this category for living individuals have been excluded.

Death, Burial, Cemetery, Funeral, and Obituary Records

The records in this category originate from a wide variety of sources including: government vital statistical records; death indexes; cemetery and church burials; funeral records and obituaries from newspapers.

Many funeral homes and newspapers now provide obituaries online. In those cases, the text has been included in the detailed information for the individual and has not been duplicated in these records, unless an original copy of the funeral card or newspaper obituary was available.

Wills and Probate Records

A limited number of Wills and Probate records are included. Some are personal sources but the majority are historical from the UK or obtained through land registry offices related to the transfer of real estate.

For the ones that are hand-written, a transcription is available or the full text of the Will has been included in the detailed information for the individual.

Census Records

Census records can be an excellent source of information related to ages, occupations and residence of families. Various census years will contain additional information such as birth dates, salaries, year of immigration, etc. However, there can also be limitations and errors in the information contained in these records. Typically, census records before the mid-1800s only contained the names of the heads of households. Due to the lack of literacy of the census takers or the individuals providing the information, many errors in spelling of names or the accuracy of the information exist. Finally, the penmanship of some of the census takers makes it difficult to decipher some of the information.

Each jurisdiction will have different time limits associated with the release of Census records. For example, in Canada the records are made public after 92 years whereas the United States will release their records after 72 years. Consequently, the latest Canadian and US available Census records are for 1921 and 1940, respectively. The UK has a 100-year rule.

Canada – Pre-1851

Canada – 1851

Canada – 1861

Canada - 1871

Canada - 1881

Canada - 1891

Canada - 1901

Canada - 1906 – MB, SK & AB

Canada - 1911

Canada - 1916 – MB, SK & AB

Canada - 1921

England and Wales - 1881

England and Wales - 1891

England and Wales - 1901

England and Wales - 1911

Scotland - 1841

Scotland - 1851

Scotland - 1861

USA - 1860

USA - 1870

USA - 1880

USA – 1885 Minnesota

USA - 1900

USA – 1905 Minnesota

USA - 1910

  • Baldner, Alison and family - Akron, Ohio
  • Bayless, Sherman and family - Detroit, Michigan
  • Bower, Ann (Laing) - Manhattan, New York
  • Bower, Elizabeth Munroe - Manhattan, New York
  • Bower, Roland Sr - Fort Stevens, Astoria Oregon
  • Bower, Silas - Waddington, New York
  • Bower, William and family - Somerset, Pennsylvania
  • Bower, William J and family - Lakewood, Ohio
  • Bower, William S and family - Confluence, Pennsylvania
  • Brokaw, George Tuttle - Manhattan, New York
  • Crooks, Elmer Harry and family  - Bakersfield, California
  • Dunlop, Horace E.  - Detroit Michigan
  • Evans, Charles R. and family - Boston, Massachusetts
  • Fonda, William B. and family - Omaha, Nebraska
  • Hayes, John Joseph Sr and family - Macon, Georgia
  • Jones, Raleigh and family - Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Jones, Roma (Bower) and family - Astoria, Oregon
  • Joyce, Patrick and family - Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Koch, John and family - Pierce, Missouri
  • Laddon, Max and family - Buffalo, New York
  • Laing, Harold and family - Manhattan, New York
  • McPherren, Robert and family - Denison, Texas
  • Moss, Kathryn and family - Saylor, Iowa
  • Parker, Charles and family - Eastchester, New York
  • Persons, Laverne W. - Oberlin, Ohio
  • Schisler, Benjamin and family - Downey, California
  • Warren, Guy E and Lilian - Duluth, Minnesota
  • Wright, Howard H. and family - Addison, Pennsylvania
  • Ziviello, Joseph and family - Manhattan, New York

    USA New York - 1915

    USA - 1920

    USA New York - 1925

    USA - 1930

    USA - 1940

    USA Florida - 1945

    Church Records

    This category has a limited number of entries. Included are records that fall outside of the birth, marriage and death records listed in the categories above.


    This category includes records from city and telephone directories, public records, gazetteers, and voters lists. The latter is especially of value for Canadians because those records have been released up to 1974, as opposed to Canadian Census records, that can only be released after 92 years. However, the voters lists information is limited, containing only names, addresses and occupations. Also, a major deficiency exists with the index to these records, namely that it was computer-generated using optical character recognition (OCR). Consequently, many entries in the records have been missed or contain errors related to bad character recognition.

    Letters and Postcards

    This category contains historical correspondence that have been passed down and maintained by various Bower descendants. In some cases these letters and postcards contain important genealogical information such as names and birthdates of family members. But for the most part, they provide a window into the everyday lives of our ancestors and the challenges they faced. Some of the examples include the early letters from Rev. John Bower to his brother William, detailing the delays and loss of correspondence and items being shipped from Scotland to Canada.

    Some of the more important details and facts have been included in the detailed information for the related individual. Transcriptions of many of the lengthy hand-written letters are included below.

    Land Records

    Most of these records have been obtained through various online sources of land grants, business directories and information from historical maps. To date, a search through land registry office records has not been undertaken.

    Military Records

    There are numerous sources of military records available through online sources, especially for WWI records. Currently Library and Archives Canada is in the process of digitizing the complete military file for WWI soldiers. At the time of writing of this book, they had completed up to surnames beginning with H. Additional files will be added to the Bower Genealogy web site as they become available.

    Newspaper Articles

    The following newspaper articles document various events and news items. They are derived from various newspaper archives and newspaper clippings held by family members.

    School Records

    The records in this category are mainly pages from historical school books.

    Travel, Border and Immigration Records

    The records in this category consist of various records related to travel, such as passenger manifests and border crossing declarations. They also include immigration and naturalization records. For the most part, they document names, dates of birth, origins and residences. Details extracted from these documents have been incorporated into the detailed information for the individuals.