Examining Dentistry Records on Canadiana

courtesy of Pinterest https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/7740630580304819/

Health issues over the past weeks, and a mental health break from news and social media have kept me away from blogging. Thankfully, none of my health issues were COVID-19 related. One of them was some unexpected dental surgery. In the pre pandemic world, going to the dentist ranked very low on my list of fun things to do. Adding COVID-19 into the mix brought a whole new level of anxiety into the process. 

When thinking about what to write about on my return to blogging, I decided to look at dentists. I wondered what kind of information was available for those with ancestors involved in dentistry. As always, the first place I looked at was Canadiana. It did not disappoint. I found several publications relating to the dentistry profession.
  • Dominion Dental Journal – a periodical published by the Ontario Dental Association. There are 116 issues available, covering the years 1889 to 1900. It is filled mainly with \”shop talk\”. If your ancestor was an author or contributor, then you\’ll have a nice addition to your collection. But it also has information on individual members. Here\’s an obituary for Dr. Chas A McNairn. At the bottom are deaths of other dentists belonging to the Association 

  • The mercantile and legal record for British Columbia – 82 issues from 1902/1903. This is an \”out of the box\” source. This publication listed financial and legal transactions. While it won\’t give details on your ancestor\’s career per se, there are other little bits of their life. For instance, in this issue from Jan 23 1903 Dr. H.B. Findlay from Vancouver obtained a mortgage for $845 from A.R. Thomas
Canadiana isn\’t the only place to find out about your dentistry ancestor. Other place to look are:
Institutional libraries are often overlooked as a resource. They can often be the recipients of records that Provincial and Municipal Archives decline. At the very least, if your ancestor was a student there, you can find out details of the academic life. You\’ll especially want to contact these Universities, as they have Schools of Dentistry:
  • Dalhousie University
  • Laval University
  • McGill University
  • University of Alberta
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of Manitoba
  • University of Montreal
  • University of Saskatchewan
  • University of Toronto
  • University of Western Ontario
Professional Associations
It never hurts to contact the professional associations. They might have small archives of their history that might have mention of your ancestor. Here\’s a list of some associations in Canada:
  • Association of Canadian Faculties of Dentistry
  • Association of Prosthodontists of Canada
  • Canadian Academy of Endodontics
  • Canadian Academy of Periodontology
  • Canadian Academy of Restorative Dentistry and Prosthodontics
  • Canadian Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons
  • Canadian Association of Orthodontists
  • Canadian Association of Public Health Dentistry
  • Canadian Collaboration on Clinical Practice Guidelines in Dentistry
  • Canadian Dental Assistants Association
  • Canadian Dental Association
  • Canadian Dental Hygienists Association
  • Canadian Dental Service Plans Inc.
  • Dental Industry Association of Canada
  • National Dental Examining Board of Canada
  • Royal College of Dentists of Canada (RCDC)
Don\’t forget to check out Provincial Societies as well;
  • Alberta Dental Association and College
  • Alberta Society of Dental Specialists
  • Association of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia
  • Certified Dental Assistants of British Columbia
  • College of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia
  • College of Dental Surgeons of Saskatchewan
  • Dental Association of Prince Edward Island
  • Federation of Dental Specialists of Quebec (FDSQ)
  • New Brunswick Dental Society, The
  • Nova Scotia Dental Association\’s Kid\’s Site
  • Ontario Dental Association
  • Ordre des dentistes du Quebec
  • Ontario Society of Paediatric Dentists
  • Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario (RCDSO)
Government Gazettes
These publications of both the federal and provincial/territorial governments often contain notices regarding debt, incorporation, and applications that might pertain to your ancestor both personally and professionally. I\’ve highlighted what a great resource the Canada Gazette is in a previous post. Occupations were almost always referred to, so you can stumble across extra information in these notices. For example, here\’s a bankruptcy notice from 1845

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