Kent Beers

If you Google “Kent Beers”, your top search results might show Sons of Kent Brewing Company, Bayside Brewery, or Red Barn Brewing Company. They are all great local places that you should definitely check out, but that is not the Beers we are talking about here. For family history research, Kent Beers is a great resource for Kent County. Published in 1904 by J. H. Beers & Co, the Commemorative Biographical Record of the County of Kent, Ontario contains biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens and many of the early settled families in the area. The link will take you to a publicly available copy in the Chatham-Kent Public Library’s digital collection and if you are a member of our branch, there is copy conveniently available to you in Members Only under Local History. It is also available in book form in most CKPL branches as well as our own Family History library. Sample pages are included below showing the index and a picture and biographical record for James Gardiner.

J. H. Beers & Co published commemorative biographical records for many counties in Ontario as well as surrounding US states. These publications are freely available online so try searching for other counties where your ancestors resided. One word of caution. People paid to have their family published in these books and of course they wanted to present the best possible image so some facts might have been embellished. Treat it as a secondary resource and use the information to find the supporting records. Happy researching!