The Week 45 prompt for 52 Ancestors is \”Rich Man\”. One of the odd quirks of high society in Canada are the \”Blue Books\”. These publications listed a \”who\’s who\” of the wealthy. Not only that, it listed their seasonal residences, their affiliations, and what days they would \”receive visitors\”. Now, I don\’t come from wealthy ancestors. In spite of that, or maybe because of that, I find these publications fascinating.
It does not only list the heads of households, but the whole family. As an added bonus you also get maiden names of the wives.
Here\’s a sample entry:
Now if you noticed beside \”Clubs\” it\’s a series of numbers. At the bottom of the page it tells you to look at pages 179 to 206 for the club codes. You\’ll also notice that each member of the family has their affiliations listed. So to look at our example above, Mrs. Addison and Dorothy Addison belong to club 23. Mr. Frederick Addison belong to two clubs: 12 and 64. By looking at the club pages, I found that those numbers coincide with:
- 12 is the Canadian Club of Toronto
- 23 is the Imperial order of Daughters of the Empire
- 64 is the Toronto Board of Trade
They also contained ads. If your ancestor owned a business that catered to the wealthy, you\’ll also want to check these out. Here\’s ads for the King Edward Hotel and the Hooten Chocolate Company Ltd.
Canadiana, as always, is a good place to start looking for these books. I trolled their collection and compiled some links for you of what they have:
- Foster\’s blue book, or, Ladies\’ directory of Toronto : Second Edition (1900)
- The Torontonian Society Blue Book and Club List. 1921, 1935, 1939 and 1946
- Foster\’s Toronto blue book and home directory 1898
- The Victoria home journal – 154 issues. Though not a Blue Book, it focused on news, gossip, and advertisements for Victorian BC high society.
- The Toronto and Hamilton society blue book c.1902
- The elite directory of Vancouver c.1908
- The national encyclopedia of business and social forms 1882? – a nifty little guide on penmanship, etiquette, and moving in middle class and high society
- The Society blue book of Toronto and Hamilton 1910
- The Society blue book of Toronto and Hamilton 1906
- The Society blue book of Toronto and Hamilton 1911
- The Society blue book, Toronto : a social directory 1920
- Dau\’s society blue book for Montreal, Ottawa and Quebec 1905-1906
- The Society blue book, Toronto: a social directory 1913
- The Society Blue Book of Toronto, Hamilton and London. A Social Directory 1904-05
- The Society Blue Book of Toronto, Hamilton and London. A Social Directory 1908
- Torontonian society blue book and club list : a social and club directory. –1921
- The Elite directory of Vancouver [microform] 1908
- The Society blue book, Toronto and Hamilton: a social directory 1902
- Newfoundland who\’s who 1952
- Newfoundland who\’s who 1961: a pictorial and biographical record of outstanding Newfoundland personalities
- Newfoundland who\’s who : Centennial edition 1967-1968
- Who\’s who : Newfoundland Confederation celebration 1949-1975 Silver Anniversary edition
- Who\’s who and why in Canada (and in Newfoundland): a biographical dictionary of eminent living Canadians and notable men of Newfoundland, volume 1, 1912
- Who\’s who and why: a biographical dictionary of men and women of Canada and Newfoundland, volume 5, 1914
- Who\’s who and why: a biographical dictionary of men and women of Canada and Newfoundland, volumes 6 and 7, 1915-1916
- Who\’s Who In and From Newfoundland 1927
- Who\’s Who in and from Newfoundland 1930
- Who\’s Who In and From Newfoundland 1937
- Public libraries
- Municipal Archives
- Provincial Archives
- Campus libraries. You never know what you\’re going to find in a University or College Library. What\’s available at Memorial University above is a prime example.