Research Trip, Day 3 in Toronto

Preacher Plan
Here’s our favorite find for today. It’s a schedule for the Methodist preachers in this area in 1836. You’ll see T. Turley listed and where his preaching assignments are for October, November and December. We happened upon this document in an unexpected way. After several hours of cranking microfilms, looking at The Christian Guardian Newspapers, we were bug-eyed and tired and decided to take a walk from the Library, downtown to where Yonge and King Streets cross, about a mile from where we were. That’s where Theodore’s shop was from about 1826 to about 1832. Today it’s in the heart of downtown Toronto, feeling much like NYC. We found the busy intersection there and stopped to eat PB&J sandwiches we packed this morning from the breakfast buffet at our hotel. We looked straight up at the towering skyscrapers around us and tried to imagine being there in the 1830s. We walked up and down each quadrant of the intersection, covering all of our bases (and Theodore’s) before heading back to the Library.

We were a bit discouraged about not finding anything earth-shattering this morning, so we sat and re-grouped for a few minutes, with our laptops and search engines purring. That’s when we discovered something interesting. When you do a common search, your computer reads where you are, and it searches items according to that location, as if it’s doing you a favor. It usually is. What we found today is that when you are in Canada, your search engines search Canadian sources that you may never see in America. All of a sudden, a whole new world opened up to us! We started finding things we’d never seen before when searching the same names, terms or phrases back home.

That’s how we happened onto this Preacher’s schedule. It was in a Canadian student’s thesis paper about women preachers in the 1830s in Upper Canada. One of the preachers listed is a woman. It was something about Petticoats at the Pulpit. Bingo! There was Theodore! You just never know what you may find around the next corner, or in the next search. Now I know one more reason to travel to the places you need to conduct your research. We spent the next 5 or 6 hours at our computers finding all sorts of information that will help us in our quest to know Theodore and his family better.

About Ann Laemmlen Lewis

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