Black History, Alvin McCurdy Collection: Genealogy in the McCurdy Collection - Page Banner

Genealogy in the McCurdy Collection

Alvin McCurdy was a tireless collector of documentation about the lives and activities of the black people of south-western Ontario. His interests were both narrow and wide, extending from his own family history and genealogy, to the broader story of all the black families in and around Essex County. His collection includes physical evidence of all aspects of social, cultural and economic life, and his thorough research notes add a layer of valuable interpretation and insight.

His Resource Files (F 2076-3) and Genealogical Files (F 2076-4) include the results of decades of laborious research. These files consist of newspaper clippings, transcriptions of various documents (that might otherwise have been lost), analyses of assessment rolls, detailed biographical sketches, index cards sketching various people and subjects, genealogical research, and alphabetical death notice clippings.

Tax Notice, Amherstburg, 1904
Click to see a larger image (231K)
Tax Notice, Amherstburg, 1904
Alvin D. McCurdy fonds
Reference Code: F 2076-3-0-67
Archives of Ontario

Examples of Research
done by Alvin D. McCurdy
Alvin D. McCurdy fonds
Reference Code: F 2076-3-0-60
Archives of Ontario

As mentioned, Alvin McCurdy was particularly interested in amassing all of the available documentation relating to his own ancestry. He was fortunate to be able to locate images of his family, dating back to both his maternal and fraternal great-grandfathers. His collection includes many hundreds of photographs of his own family, and a few examples have been selected for viewing here

Photo: Randolph Burr, who used the surname Holten after leaving slavery (Alvin’s great-grandfather), [18-?]
Click to see a larger image (165K)
Randolph Burr, who used the surname Holten after leaving slavery (Alvin’s great-grandfather), [18-?]
Alvin D. McCurdy fonds
Reference Code: F 2076-16-1-1
Archives of Ontario, I0024778

Photo: Nasa McCurdy, born in Pennsylvania in 1814, died in Amherstburg 1886 [ca. 18-?]
Click to see a larger image (111K)
Nasa McCurdy, born in Pennsylvania in 1814,
died in Amherstburg 1886 [ca. 18-?]
Alvin D. McCurdy fonds
Reference Code: F 2076-16-1-1
Archives of Ontario, I002478
Photo: Grandmother [Alvin McCurdy's great-grandmother] Permelia A. Bailey McCurdy (wife of Nasa McCurdy), [18-?]
Click to see a larger image (116K)
Grandmother [Alvin McCurdy's great-grandmother] Permelia A. Bailey McCurdy
(wife of Nasa McCurdy), [18-?], Born in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, died in Amherstburg, 1893
Alvin D. McCurdy fonds
Reference Code: F 2076-16-1-1
Archives of Ontario, I0024814
Photo: Portrait of Mary Jane McCurdy at 9 years old, daughter of Nasa and Permealia McCurdy
Portrait of Mary Jane McCurdy at 9 years old,
daughter of Nasa and Permelia McCurdy
Alvin D. McCurdy fonds
Reference Code: F 2076-16-1-1
Archives of Ontario, I0026081
Photo: George D. McCurdy Sr. (Alvin’s grandfather), [18-?] [Young Man]
Click to see a larger image (194K)
George D. McCurdy Sr. (Alvin’s grandfather), [18-?]
Alvin D. McCurdy fonds
Reference Code: F 2076-16-1-1
Archives of Ontario, I0024777
Photo: George D. McCurdy Sr. (Alvin’s grandfather), [18-?]
Click to see a larger image (133K)
George D. McCurdy Sr. (Alvin’s grandfather), [18-?]
Alvin D. McCurdy fonds
Reference Code: F 2076-16-1-1
Archives of Ontario, I0024776
Photo: Grandmother McCurdy Davis, [between 1920 and 1940]
Click to see a larger image (86K)
Grandmother McCurdy Davis, [between 1920 and 1940]
Alvin D. McCurdy fonds
Reference Code: F 2076-16-1-1
Archives of Ontario, I002478
Photo: Dr. Sarah Ellen McCurdy, [ca. 1900]
Click to see a larger image (93K)
Dr. Sarah Ellen McCurdy, [ca. 1900]
Alvin D. McCurdy fonds
Reference Code: F 2076-16-1-1
Archives of Ontario, I0024775

In addition to his own family, McCurdy was interested in telling the stories of his friends and neighbours. Generations of local black dynasties are represented in photographs in his collection, including members of the Adams, Banks, Stokes and Thomas families, as well as many others.

Photo: Thomas Family Reunion, [ca. 1950]
Click to see a larger image (107K)
Thomas Family Reunion, [ca. 1950]
Alvin D. McCurdy fonds
Reference Code: F 2076-16-1-8-1
Archives of OnArchives of Ontario, I0024811

Photo: Milton Adams taken in England 1915 [Davis Adams]
Click to see a larger image (173K)
Milton Adams taken in England 1915 [Davis Adams]
Alvin D. McCurdy fonds
Reference Code: F 2076-16-1-4
Archives of Ontario, I0024809
Photo: Mrs. Stokes, Oct 1970
Click to see a larger image (85K)

Mrs. Stokes, Oct 1970
Alvin D. McCurdy fonds
Reference Code: F 2076-16-1-10
Archives of Ontario, I0024808
Photo: Augustus Adams in his front yard in Sandwich, 1906
Click to see a larger image (427K)
Augustus Adams in his front yard in Sandwich, 1906
Alvin D. McCurdy fonds
Reference Code: F 2076-16-1-4
Archives of Ontario, I0024810
Photo: Mr. Henry Banks
Click to see a larger image (205K)
Mr. Henry Banks
Alvin D. McCurdy fonds
Reference Code: F 2076-16-3-7
Archives of Ontario, I0024819
Photo: Henry Banks Jr., [between 1920 and 1940]
Click to see a larger image (148K)
Henry Banks Jr., [between 1920 and 1940]
Alvin D. McCurdy fonds
Reference Code: F 2076-16-3-5
Archives of Ontario, I0024825