The mission of the Mayholme Foundation is to promote and assist genealogical and historical research by collecting, storing and preserving historic documents and materials. They aim to bring to the public a better awareness of the role our ancestors played in the history of our community.
Mayholme Foundation Genealogical and Historical Research Centre opened its doors on Oct. 16, 2004, when Corlene Taylor set up a fund through the Niagara Community Foundation, using inheritance money from the woman she was named after, her Aunt Corelene (Beyer) Tostevin, an English teacher. Many old and rare books are available for research and more will be shelved in the future, along with papers and collections from local genealogical researchers.
The Centre is housed in the historic May Homestead, built in 1857, and is furnished to the period. The house is a relatively simple Classic Revival style, having high ceilings, and no fireplaces, as it was heated by stoves.
It has had few changes made to it since it was built, although both original chimneys have been removed. Some of the old painted floors, trim, doors and baseboards are original. The fancy wood-work at the side of the house on the open verandah appears to be original. The house still has the original front door surround of hand painted glass. Still intact in the main entrance hall, is the recently uncovered original finish painted to look like marble.
This is one of the few examples of this type of craftsmanship left in Ontario. This feature is still to be conserved. The original woodshed has been renovated into the board and batten clad research centre. Many of the furnishings have been handed down through the May family. This home has been in the May family for six generations.
Certificates for anyone who can prove direct lineage from a participant in the War of 1812 are now available from the Mayholme Foundation.
The War of 1812 took place from June 18, 1812 until February 18, 1815. Examples of participation can include: your ancestor being a member of a militia unit, in His Majesty's Indian Allies - who were living in what would become Canada, or, someone, male or female, who assisted in the defence of our country by carrying intelligence or supplies, by caring for wounded or imprisoned men, or by petitioning the government for compensation for war losses or for their participation in the war.
Your primary proof documentation must be according to genealogical standards. You must prove parent to child relationships. eg: John son of Dennis Smith or Mary daughter of Dennis Smith. Please submit photocopies or pictures of your documentation only.
Sources for primary proof may include: militia lists, petitions, birth, death & marriage records, land records, cemetery stones, wills and government documents (eg. court records), church records, family/ personal diaries, census records, newspaper articles (eg: obituary, marriage, funeral intimations), bible pages (front of bible showing date if possible), or any other primary source material that will prove your ancestors involvement in the war. Please include any reference numbers if using microfilm, microfiche etc.
Sources not accepted as primary proof are: old county histories, history books and genealogies. In many cases, these records do not provide primary source material and may not be used.
The application fee is $25 per ancestor. If you have more than one ancestor you must include $25 per application. You will receive a certificate for each proven ancestor.
If you would also like a certificate for a sibling, child or grandchild on your proven War of 1812 Veteran/Participant, please include an additional descendant fee of $15 per person and proven relationship to you. All certificates will be mailed to your address. For example if you would like 3 more certificates for your three children, prove your children to yourself and add appropriate funds. You do not have to send the same information three more times.
For more information, please e-mail the Mayholme Foundation and in subject line please put 1812 Certificate.
The Mayholme Foundation Genealogical and Historical Research Centre is open Thursdays and Fridays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. or by appointment.
Call ahead to schedule an appointment.