The Canadian Biographical Dictionary, Ontario - 1880.
The Canadian Biographical Dictionary, Ontario - 1880.. Full title: "The Canadian Biographical Dictionary and Portrait Gallery of Eminent and Self-Made Men - Ontario".
In composing this description it was found that the book's Preface already supplied much of the desired text. For example:
"The publication of this work will contribute to the supply of materials for the future historian." and "In making a selection of names for the Biographical Dictionary, the Publishers have aimed to give a view of the representatives of the various interests of this Province ... , and indeed all who take part in the intellectual, social, and material progress of the people." and finally, "The Publishers ... are determined to spare neither labor nor expense in giving to the world the most authentic information how these men have won fortune, how the world has been benefited by their labors, and what has been the turning-point of their success."
Many of this type of publication were produced to mark the end of the 19th century but, in the main, inclusion in their pages was a result of buying a "subscription" to the publication, so that the range of individuals portrayed was constrained to those having both the necessary cash to hand and the desire to leave their mark for posterity. In this case, however, the publishers claim, "It is but just to mention that not one cent has been asked or received from the parties whose biographies have been given in this work ..." so that it might be expected that the individuals (and at least one family) included are a more representative cross section of the class of individual who can be regarded as "Eminent and Self-Made." Or, more properly, is only limited by a desire for anonymity or by the modesty of certain of those invited to provide source materials to the editors.
The editors usually take the contemporary "head of the family" as their primary subject and provide details of his family, education, marriage(s), career, religion and affiliations in addition to any notable incidents in his life. Within this framework is also included the general background information of his immediate family, such as the wife's parentage, the subject's offspring, etc., etc.
This almost 800 page book provides exceptional information about over 500 "Eminent and Self-Made" men and their families living in Ontario in 1880 and includes 50 really nice steel engraved portraits. We have provided a file on the Downloads page of our web site giving all the names appearing in the book's index, but do not forget that many more families are going to be mentioned by virtue of being related to the immediate subjects through marriage.
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