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Article Published 08 August, 2008



BOOK REVIEW
By: Paul Milner, Biography
Email: paul.milner@worldnet.att.net


Title: Annals of Niagara (pre 1896 - Niagara County / Region, Ontario)
Author: William Kirby
Published: 1896
Reprint: 2006 by Global Heritage Press, Campbellville, Ontario, Canada
Details: 269 pp., hardcover
Buy it at: Global Genealogy & History Shoppe


The author states that much has been written about the Town of Niagara and its settlement but this is "an abridgement of abridgements."

It is a high level view of the history covering the early discovery through 1896. We learn about the early First Nation settlements, their agriculture and their conflicts with neighboring tribes. During the Revolutionary War many of the Loyalist fled to Fort Niagara for temporary settlement. Only after the war do most realize that they cannot return and look instead to developing the land and settling in the area.

These Loyalists are English, German and Dutch primarily from New York and Pennsylvania. It is very obvious from the writing style where the author's sympathies lay.

Following the war we read about the hungry years, settlement issues and the politics around the creation of Upper and Lower Canada, formation of Ontario's first parliament, creation of laws, (including some early extracts from parish registers), raising of the militia and the towards the anticipated war with America. A number of chapters cover the activities of the War of 1812 in the area, including the burning of the town of Newark [Niagara-on-the-Lake).

After the war, commerce develops with the building of the canal, but trouble brews again with the Rebellion followed again by peace and celebrations for the centenary of the Loyalist settlers and the centenary of the formation of parliament.

This is a high level view of the history of the area. There is no index, but a modern table of contents has been created to give the reader a sense of where to look for information about a specific topic or period.
    Source: This book review was originally published in the Federation of Genealogical Societies' FGS Forum, Summer 2008, Volume 20, Number 2, page 37-38. It is reprinted here with permission.

    Contributor: Paul Milner is a professional genealogist, lecturer and author. He is the book review editor for the FGS FORUM and a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, the Society of Genealogists (London), and several English family History Societies. Click here for Paul Milner's biography.



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The Merivale Cemeteries
(Protestant - Ottawa area)