District Marriage Registers and District Vital Records
Upper Canada / Canada West (Ontario)
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BOOK - Vol 17: Prince Edward District Marriage Register 1833-1849
By Dan Walker & Fawne Stratford-Devai
Published by Global Heritage Press, Milton, 2000 (cd version 2013)
Effective that same year, marriage returns for Prince Edward County were required to be returned to the Clerk of the Peace in the District town of Picton. Returns were sent in to the Clerk of the Peace from ministers who performed marriages, with the exception of Anglican and Roman Catholic ministers. However, many Anglican and Catholics settlers married in churches of convenience or by passing circuit riders when churches of their own faith had not been established yet -- the result is that many of those marriages appear in these District Marriage Registers.
On the 30 May 1849 the Prince Edward District was abolished and Prince Edward County made responsible for all administration. Ironically, while Prince Edward County was itself a separate district, the move from district to county administration spelled the end of the District Marriage Register. To date, no supplemental returns or separate register have been located for the period 1849-1857 when marriage records were required to be kept at the county level. Marriages prior to 1834 would be found in the Midland District. Unfortunately, at the time of writing this introduction, the Midland District Marriage Register does not appear to survive.
The Prince Edward District was originally settled by United Empire Loyalists and by the 1840s was firmly held by the decendants of those who fought on the side of Great Britain during the American Revolutionary War. The District is also populated by a number of Pennsylvanian Dutch, and a few English, Irish and Scotch settlers. By 1846 there was no Crown land for sale in the District; all the land being in the hands of private individuals.
An example of some of the towns and townships where marriages occurred and were reported in the Prince Edward District Register include: Adolphstown, Ameliasburgh, Athol, Belleville, Bloomfield, Consecon, Cramahe, Darlington, Demorestville, Ernest Town, Flamborough West (Gore District), Fredericksburgh, Hallowell, Hillier, Kingston, Marysburgh, Millford, Murray (Newcastle District), Osgood (Dalhousie District), Percy, Picton, Saltfleet (Gore District), Sidney (Victoria District), Sophiasburgh, Thurlow, Tyendenagua, Wellington, Whitby, and a number of other areas.
When searching for marriages recorded in Marriage Registers keep in mind that many returns were submitted by ministers who were circuit riders who often performed marriages at great distance from their home bases. Circuit riders reported marriages in the register of the District where they lived which was not necessarily in the same District where the marriage took place. That said, if you cannot find the marriage in the Prince Edward District register you would be well advised to search bordering districts such as the Newcastle District, and Johnstown District. As mentioned earlier, the Midland District Marriage Registers appear to be lost.
8.5" X 11" (coil-bound edition)
Originally self-published by compiler, Toronto, 1995
This revised and updated edition with new maps and introduction published by Global Heritage Press, Milton, 2000 (cd version 2013)
About Dan Walker
Dan Walker has spent much of his adult life transcribing genealogical and historical information for publication. His primary focus has been on pre-confederation Ontario vital records. Dan is well known and respected for his meticulious attention to detail, and for the accuracy of his transcription work.
Fawne Stratford-Devai's work on Land Records and early Ontario records is well known in the genealogy community. A published author of several Canadian and UK research books, she has also contributed articles to the Ontario Genealogical Society's newsletter "Families" as well as writing for the online family history newsletter the "Global Gazette". Biography
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