Useful sources

Upper Canada Land Petitions (1763-1865)

With this online database, researchers can access 77,000+ references to petitions for grants or leases of land by individuals who lived in present-day Ontario.

Before the arrival of the Loyalists and British military settlers, present-day Ontario was part of province of Quebec. Following the Constitutional Act of 1791, Quebec was divided to create Upper Canada (Ontario) and Lower Canada (Quebec). Many early settlers, both military and civilian, submitted petitions to the Governor to obtain Crown land. Sons and daughters of Loyalists were also entitled to free land.

UCLPs often contain an applicant's story detailing services, losses, and sufferings during the Revolutionary War or the War of 1812. They may also contain discharge certificates, letters of introduction from prominent individuals in Britain, reports by the Surveyor General or the Attorney General on technical and legal matters, and some lists of settlers by region.
The database is available at Library & Archives Canada.

Once you have located the file information from the above site, you can view the original forms. Unfortunately, they are not indexed, requiring some browsing.

McGill University has digitized its collection of Ontario's County Atlases (1874-1918). Researchers have long recognized the importance of the increasingly-scarce print versions. McGill's Rare Books and Special Collections Division is fortunate in owning copies of forty-three original atlases. The County Atlas Digital Project is a searchable database of the property owners' names which appear on the township maps in the county atlases. Township maps, portraits and properties have been scanned, with links from the property owners' names.

The Wesleyan Methodist baptismal records (1820+) from the United Church Archives in Toronto are now online and searchable.

The Archives of Ontario website.

The Ontario (Upper Canada) Genealogy site, aminained by Michael Stephenson, has local material and is well worth a visit.

Tax assessment rolls provide a property's physical address, description, and year of building construction. With this information, one can research the history of a property at the Port Hope Archives, where the land registry books (Crown grants to 1955) and deeds (1867-1955) are located. Any information later than 1955 can be found at the Land Registry Office at Sir Sandford Fleming College, Cobourg.
Click for Ward 1 (Port Hope) or Ward 2 (Hope Township) to access the databases.

Cyndi's List, naturally!

Ontario ancestors can sometimes be found in New York's Ellis Island records.

FamilySearch, the genealogy site of the Latter Day Saints.

A useful calendar site that allows you to calculate the day of the week if you know the date.


Peter and Barbara Bolton - Port Hope, Ontario
www.alivingpast.ca