Genealogy & History Resources
that concern more than one County
More Ontario resources listed by County or Topic
GUIDE - Ontario Municipal Records - Beginner's Guide
By Fraser Dunford
This edition published by Global Heritage Press, Carleton Place, 2023
Originally published by Ontario Genealogical Society, 2015
Few genealogists appreciate the goldmine that is municipal records. Municipalities provided an astonishing variety of records, all of them local (by definition!) and many just loaded with names of people living in that locality. This source is not well-known because: (a) you must know the municipality your ancestor was in, (b) you have to know where that municipality’s records are now, and (c) the records will almost certainly be completely, totally, absolutely un-indexed. This guidebook is an introduction to the long list of municipal records that are helpful to family history researchers. It provides a brief history of municiple records that have been collected in Ontario and a short description of records that researchers can find. The author included maps that clearly show district, county and regional municipality boundary changes from 1788 to 1979. More information
BOOK - Municipal Records in Ontario, History and Guide [detailed]
By Fraser Dunford
This edition published by Global Heritage Press, Carleton Place, 2023
Originally published by Ontario Genealogical Society, 2005
This book provides the detail necessary to identify, locate and access a wide range of municipal records that provide researchers with valuable information. Appendices list every municipality that could have produced records including dates of establishment, amalgamation or elimination, and dates of boundary changes.Two more appendices give details on Assessment Rolls and Collector Rolls, showing what information can be found in them in different time periods. Essential for those researching Ontario ancestors. More information
BOOK - Ontario Genealogy for Beginners, Nineth Edition (2017)
By Ruth M. Burkholder
First 7 editions published by author, Toronto, 1999-2011
This 8th edition published by Global Heritage Press, Milton, 2017
Ruth Burkholder welcomes readers to one of the most rewarding, most frustrating, most enjoyable, most addictive and fastest growing hobby in the world - Genealogy. She explains that there is no right or wrong way to “do” your family history. You already have the information you require to get started. This book suggests many ways of using the information that you know now to point you to the records that will help you find out what you don’t know. Clear concise instructions help you identify useful surviving records, where those records are located (both online and otherwise), and how to use them. A reliable resource to start you on your journey to discover your Ontario roots. ISBN 978-1-926797-60-1 More information
BOOK - Leaving Ontario, Sources for Tracking Ontario Migrants
By Fawne Stratford-Devai
Published by Global Heritage Press, Milton, 2008
Leaving Ontario is an essential guide for family history researchers in search of the records of those who left Ontario. As family historians we often hit a brick wall when family members seem to simply disappear from the province. However, in this era of online databases and indexes we now have an opportunity to look beyond communities and countries and track family members across time and boundaries. Leaving Ontario will provide you with an understanding of the traditional and online records that are available to trace your family members who left Ontario to seek their fortunes elsewhere. ISBN 978-1-897446-92-8 More information
BOOK - 1837-38 Rebellion Losses of Upper Canada (Ontario)
Published by Provincial Parliament, Montreal, 1849
This edition published by Global Heritage Press, Milton, 2013
A comprehensive source for names of the claimants and their losses during the Rebellion of 1837-38 in Upper Canada including subsequent restitution amounts or rejection of claims in whole or in part. Some years ago we purchased a forty eight page document originally printed in 1849, that lists the individual claimants by their name, the amount of their claim in currency (sums claimed), the amount paid (sums allowed) or denied (rejected altogether) and the District in which the claimant resided. The Johnstown District claims include "Nature of Claim" and "remarks". Those entries shine much light on which side of the conflict that the claimants sympathized with along with details of ownership or personal information. More information
BOOK - Ontario Land Registry Office Records: A Research Guide.
By Fawne Stratford-Devai & Ruth Burkholder.
Published by Global Heritage Press, Milton, 2003
Land records are essential to understanding the history of Ontario and its peoples. The purpose of this guide is to explain the various types of land records that can be found in Local Land Registry Offices in Ontario, and to provide specific examples of where to locate the records and how to use them. ISBN 1-894571-84-3 More information
BOOK - Vital Records In Ontario Before 1869, A Guide to Early Ontario Vital Records
By Fawne Stratford-Devai & Ruth Burkholder
Published by Global Heritage Press, Milton, 2003
The value of this research guide is that it helps you to discover which records were kept, for for which time frames they were kept and how those records can be accessed. Of particular value is a listing of resources that are available on microfilm including the microfilm numbers for the resources, and identification of which records have been transcribed into book or database form. This Global Guide is essential for everyone who is researching family history in the early Ontario period.
BOOK - The Irish Palatines in Ontario: Religion, Ethnicity, and Rural Migration - Second Edition
By Carolyn A. Heald.
Published by Global Heritage Press, Milton, 2009
This new book provides a broad history of the Palatines in Ontario, where they came from, where they settled, and what characterized their communities. It is not a catalogue of every Irish Palatine who settled in Ontario. However, the book does contain lists of individuals and many references to specific persons and families. In this new second edition of The Irish Palatines in Ontario the author has corrected known errors from the original 1994 edition and added a completely new chapter on Barbara Heck and the Loyalist Palatines plus other refinements and new material. ISBN: 978-1-897446-37-9 (hardcover edition is out of print, pdf versions available) More information
BOOK - Province of Ontario Immigration Records, An Overview.
By Fawne Stratford-Devai.
Published by Global Heritage Press, Milton, 2003
Researchers in search of immigration records are often not aware of the diverse records created at the provincial level. This book is designed to provide an overview of immigration records created by and for the Province of Ontario in the 18th and 19th centuries. More information
BOOK - The Pioneers of Old Ontario
By W. L. Smith
Originally published by George N. Morang, Toronto, 1923
This edition published by Global Heritage Press, Milton, 2006 (CD 2010)
In 1897 Smith began a series of trips through rural Ontario with to obtaining first-hand settlement information from its residents. He found a "warehouse" of information was carried in the memories of men and women - memories that went back to the days of the virgin forest, of log cabins surrounded by blackened stumps in the midst of scanty clearings, of bush trails and corduroy roads over which settlers toiled with their grists to distant mills, of old-time logging bees, and of the circuit riders who carried the Gospel message to those real heroes. This book is the result of that effort. ISBN: 1-897210-90-6 (Hardcover) More information
BOOK - History of the Settlement of Upper Canada, With Special Reference to The Bay of Quinte [Ontario]
By William Canniff
Originally published by Dudley & Burns, Ontario, 1869
This edition by Global Heritage Press, Milton, 2008, 2011 (CD 2011)
This book grew from modest beginnings into a comprehensive history. The author originally accepted the responsibility to assemble a paper on the topic of the settlement of the Bay of Quinte Region. The "paper grew into a book which went far beyond the history of the settlement of the Bay of Quinte Region. As the work proceeded, Canniff soon realized that in order to prepare a book about the settlement of the Bay of Quinte Region, one had to discuss many topics that concerned the entire province. The final result was this substantial and highly regarded book, which provides an informed insight into the history of the entire province as it was known in 1869 with a focus on the the Bay of Quinte region. ISBN 978-1-897446-27-0 (Hardcover) More information
BOOKS - County Marriage Registers of Ontario 1858-1869, Second Edition - 38 volumes organized by County
By Elizabeth Hancocks C. G. & W. E. Britnell and Donald A. McKenzie
Published by Global Heritage Press, Milton/Carleton Place
Legislation passed in 1857 that required registration of all marriages performed by all clergymen in the Province of Canada West (Ontario). The marriages were recorded in County Marriage Registers. They were to begin on January 1, 1858 and finish on July 1, 1869. Some counties started early, including marriages performed before 1858, and some registers include marriages performed in the later months of 1869 even though formal provincial civil registration of birth, marriage and death began in the summer of 1869.
These books are more than just an indexes of the original registers. They contain transcriptions of names, dates and places and oftentimes, ages of bride and groom, and names of parents. If you are looking for a marriage recorded in Ontario between 1858-1869, this is first resource to check.
More information - 1958-1869 Ontario Marriages organized by County
BOOKS - District Marriage Registers of Ontario 1786-1870 - 32 volumes organized by District, referencing contained counties
By Dan Walker, Fawne Stratford-Devai
Published by Global Heritage Press, Milton/Carleton Place, 1999-2013
Prior to counties becoming administrative entities in the 1850s, the province of Upper Canada (Ontario) was initially divided into four administrative Districts which subdivided as population grew to become twenty five Districts. Early efforts at civil registration were recorded by those Districts. In spite of Counties becoming administrative authorities in the 1849, a few District marriage registers continued to be updated as late as 1870.
During the early period of settlement all ministers who performed marriages with the exception of Anglican and Roman Catholic ministers, were required to submit returns to the Clerk of the Peace for the District where the minister resided. That said, plenty of Anglicans and Catholics were married by nonconformist ministers, usually as a result of their preferred church not having been established in their locale yet. The majority of returns begin in the 1830s with a few Districts recording marriages as early as 1786. The Clerk of the Peace then recorded the returns in a District register kept in the District office. Most of the original District Marriage Registers survive and have been reliably transcribed into this series of books. The section also include a few volumes of 'District Vital Records' which include transcriptions of vital records (BMDs) from other sources in the same time period.
More information - 1786-1870 Ontario Marriages organized by District
BOOKS - Surrogate Court Indexes of Ontario, Canada, 1859-1900 (Wills), Second Edition - 27 volumes organized by County
Compiled by June Gibson, Indexed by Elizabeth Hancocks, C. G. & Shannon Hancocks
Published by Global Heritage Press, Milton/Carleton Place, 2005
Wills and the documents that contribute to the process of distributing the estate of a deceased individual can be a wonderful source of information about the deceased, their family and those who survived. Estate Files are of great interest because of the bounty of detailed information that they contain about the deceased, and about those who survive. The Surrogate Court used the documents in order to disperse the deceased's estate, whether he/she died with (testate) or without (intestate) a Will. These indexes are designed to assist researchers in finding estate and death information for those who died in Ontario from the mid to late 1800s
More information - 1859-1900 (Estates) organized by County
By Glenn Phillips
Published by Global Heritage Press, Milton 2003, 2010
Invaluable guides to help you identify the place and date when a photograph was taken. Many family history researchers have boxes of photographs, but do not know who is depicted in the photo nor when or where it was taken. These books list individual photographers, where they worked and when. That means that if you have a photograph that includes a photographer's stamp or other identification you can easily find out when and where that picture was taken. Oftentimes that will help you to identify who is in the picture. Both volumes are organized alphabetically by municipality. However, a comprehensive index is also included. Historical place names have been kept. More information
BOOK - Emigration: The British Farmer's & Farm Labourer's Guide To Ontario (1880)
By "Issued by authority of the Government of Canada"
Published by C. Blacket Robinson, Toronto 1880
This edition by Global Heritage Press, Milton, 2001
An historical reprint of a nineteenth century publication (1880) that was produced for potential emigrants from the United Kingdom to Ontario, Canada. Ouotstanding background information for those researching immigration and settlement in Canada during the last half of the nineteenth century. ISBN 1-894378-43-1 More information
BOOK - Smith's Canadian Gazetteer of Canada West, 1846 [Upper Canada, Ontario]
By WM. H. Smith
Originally published by H & W Rowsell, Toronto, 1846
This edition published by Global Heritage Press, Milton, 1999, 2010 [CD 2010]
The primary purpose of a gazetteer, for many modern researchers, is to identify a place by name, its location, and to learn some details about the place, as they were known at the time that the gazetteer was compiled. This book serves that purpose very well, being the first major work of its kind in Canada West, a region that was previously known as Upper Canada (pre-1841), and later named Ontario (1867). ISBN 1-894378-12-1 (Hardcover) More information
MAPS - Southern Ontario Counties in 1852 -- Ten Map Set
Originally published by W. H. Smith, Toronto, 1852
This edition published By Global Heritage Press, Milton, 1999
This set of 10 maps was drawn by Thomas Maclear to illustrate W.H. Smith's Canada: Past, Present and Future. Published in 1852, shortly after the Municipal Act came into effect, these maps show township and county boundaries, major settlements, rivers, lakes and transportation routes, in the surveyed townships of Canada West, which covered a large portion of what is now Southern Ontario. More information
BOOK - Narrative of a Voyage to Quebec and the Journey from Thence to New Lanark in Upper Canada
By John McDonald, A Lanark Society Settler, 1821
Originally published by author, Edinburgh, 1823
This edition published by Global Heritage Press, Ottawa, 2018
John McDonald emigrated from Scotland to Lanark in Upper Canada (Ontario) in the Spring of 1821, during the second year of the assisted emigration scheme known as The Lanark Society Settlers. John McDonald's account provides first person insight into what early settlers encountered during their journey to a better life for themselves and their families. Though tinged with the negativity of his own experience, McDonald breathes life into our understanding of the obstacles that our ancestors overcame. Most of The Lanark Society Settlers stayed, weathered the discomfort of pioneering, and found a way to succeed in their new land.. ISBN 978-1-772400441 More information
BOOK - Across the Waters: Ontario Immigrants' Experiences, 1820-1850
By Frances Hoffman and Ryan Taylor
Published by Global Heritage Press, Milton, 1999
Across the Waters is an assembly of the first-hand written accounts of 150 individual immigrants, skillfully bridged by authors Frances Hoffman and Ryan Taylor, to tell the fascinating story of what it was like to leave a familiar homeland to pioneer in the virgin forests of early Ontario. By allowing the personal writings of the early settlers to guide us through their experiences, we come to better appreciate the process of settlement. By examining the various stages of emigration, such as preparing for the journey, ocean crossings, obtaining and clearing land, building a shelter - then a house, and living in the clearings, we gain a clearer understanding of nineteenth century emigrant experience. ISBN 1-894378-00-8 (Hardcover); ISBN 1-894378-01-6 (Softcover) More information
BOOK - Authentic Letters From Upper Canada [Ontario], Including an account of Canadian Field Sports [1831-1833]
By T W Magrath; Etchings by Samuel Lover; Edited by Rev. Thomas Radcliff
Originally published by Wm. Curry, Jun. and Company, Dublin, 1833
This edition published by Global Heritage Press, Milton, 2007, 2012
This book contains clear accounts of setting up a homestead in the woods, complete with lists of necessary supplies and expenses to be encountered by the new settler. Topics covered in the letters include descriptions of the hardships of crossing the Atlantic, the roughness of the settlement, and other experiences of settling in the "new country". Of interest to everyone who studies early Ontario settlement, are candid descriptions of Upper Canada (Ontario) as the settlers found it in 1831-1833, the people, and its institutions. ISBN: 978-1-897466-04-1 More information
BOOK - Life of Colonel Talbot and the Talbot Settlement
By Edward Ermatinger
Originally published by A. McLachlin's Home Journal Office, 1859
This edition published by Global Heritage Press, Milton, 2001, 2006
This book gives a near-contemporary view of the life and settlement activities of Colonel Thomas Talbot. Talbot brokered a "special" deal with the crown that provided him with a bounty of free land in return for settling pioneers in the southwest portion of present-day Ontario. By the time that the deal was discontinued, Talbot had settled thousands of people in twenty seven townships, assembling a considerable amount of land for himself in the process.
ISBN: 1-894378-94-6 More information
BOOK - The Talbot Regime or "The First Half Century Of The Talbot Settlement"
By C.O. Ermatinger, K.C. - Junior Judge, County of Elgin
Originally published by The Municiple World Ltd, St. Thomas, 1904
This edition published by Global Heritage Press, Milton, 1999
This rare volume illustrates early settlement and historical events of the southwestern portion of Upper Canada, which became the province of Ontario. Topics include, settlement begun, early settlers, establishment of the Talbot road, Port Dover burned, the Talbot settlement in London township, farming in 1825, St. Thomas in 1830, London's early settlers, official, lawyers, and doctors, new arrivals in 1832, Rebellion of 1837, progress of settlement including towns villages and townships described, Chatham, and Windsor in the 1840's, Muster Rolls to the War of 1812, lists of persons plundered in Long Point Settlement, and the Talbot Settlement, and much more.
ISBN 1-894378-10-5 More information
BOOK - Crime and Punishment in Upper Canada, A Researcher's Guide [Ontario]
By Janice Nickerson
Published by Ontario Genealogical Society/Dundurn, Toronto, 2010
Provides genealogists and social historians with context and tools to understand the criminal justice system and locate sources on criminal activity and its consequences for the Upper Canada period (1791–1841) of Ontario’s history. An entertaining, educational read, the book features chapters with detailed inventories of available records in federal, provincial, and local repositories; published transcripts and indexes; online transcripts and indices; and suggestions for additional reading. Also included are engravings (jails and courthouses, public hangings, judges), maps (showing the boundaries of districts), charts (for statistics such as frequencies of different kinds of offences), and document examples (court minutes, jail registers, newspaper reports, et cetera), while case studies demonstrate the use and relevance of various records. More Information
BOOK - In Duty Bound, Men, Women, and the State in Upper Canada, 1783-1841 [Ontario]
By J. K. Johnson
Published by McGill-Queen's University Press, Montreal, 2014
An unprecedented look at Upper Canada's forgotten people and the ways in which their lives were by necessity bound in a mutual relationship of duty and obligation to the Upper Canadian state. This neglected area of Canada's history has been preserved, in part, in the form of personal petitions submitted to the lieutenant-governor and legislature for land, government jobs, pensions, pardons and the lessening of court sentences, for compensation for damages done by, or work done for, the state, and for relief. Using these and other previously unexamined government records, J.K. Johnson illustrates that, popular knowledge aside, Upper Canada was not simply a land of self-sufficient farmers and artisans and that many had to turn to and rely on the state for their livelihoods. The major themes of Upper Canada's history, from war and rebellion to immigration and settlement, are well-documented. This book fleshes out the lives of ordinary people in Upper Canada and clarifies how several branches of government worked for, or against, the interests of the population. ISBN 978-0-7735-4278-5 More Information
BOOK - William Wye Smith: Recollections of a Nineteenth Century Scottish Canadian
Edited by Scott A. McLean and Michael E. Vance
Many writers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries emphasised the virtues of early rural pioneers and life on the land as a general criticism of what they perceived to be the negative, alienating influence of Ontario's rapid urban and industrial expansion. William Wye Smith, a popular nineteenth century Upper Canadian (Ontario) poet, was no exception. This fully annotated version of Smith's unpublished manuscript highlights Smith's unwitting testimony to the social life of the province, his relationship to the construction and maintenance of Scottish and Canadian identity, as well as his position in literary history.
ISBN: 978-1-55002-804-1 More information
BOOK - Assisting Emigration to Upper Canada: The Petworth Project 1832-1837
By Julie Johnston
Assisting Emigration to Upper Canada examines the way new attitudes and policies towards the English poor in the 1830s affected the British government's approach to emigration and to new immigrants in British colonies. Using a rich collection of contemporary sources, Wendy Cameron and Mary McDougall Maude focus on one group of English immigrants sent to Upper Canada from Sussex and other southern counties with the aid of parishes and landlords. Following the work of the Petworth Emigration Committee over six years, they trace the emigrants sent by the Committee from their place of origin to their first settlement in Upper Canada. Their work demonstrates that new rules for poor relief in England were reflected in Colonial Office instructions for receiving new immigrants in Upper Canada.
ISBN 0-7735-2034-1. More information
BOOK - Susanna's Quill (Susanna' Moodie)
By Julie Johnston
Susanna is a work of historical fiction based on the life of Susanna Moodie, writer and pioneer, by award-winning author Julie Johnston. The story takes us into Susanna’s genteel English childhood, through her humorous teenage attempts at writing, growing to her burgeoning independence, marriage to Dunbar Moodie, and their decision to emigrate from England. To the Moodies, Canada (Ontario) was the answer to their prayers. They would have the life they could no longer afford in Britain and they could raise their children to become wealthy landowners in their own right. The adventures that thwart this dream become a story of lost illusions and a found sense of self-reliance and inner strength.
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