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Port Hope, Ontario
A  Living  Past
Ontario Genealogical Society


This site was created in March 2000 with the hope of expanding our family research. In the process, we began transcribing available Port Hope and Hope Township historical resources. We hope you find something of value in these 250+ pages.

In 2017, we were honoured to have the Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) approach us to partner with them, ensuring our continued free future online presence. To visit their website, click the Ontario Ancestors logo.

Barbara Kyle & Peter Bolton


  Help! Canada General Service Medal

I am hoping someone might lead me to the whereabouts of the Canada General Service Medal (hover over the sample on the right to enlarge) received by my great-grandfather, Henry Skitch, a bugler with the 46th East Durham Battalion in the 1866 Fenian raids. His name is inscribed on the medal's rim. A long shot, but if I don't try...!

Peter Bolton


The first section below gives the lineages of our family, while the second is there for you to help discover and share information about members of your ancestors who may have lived in the area.

To display a page, click or tap the maple leaf icon.

Our families

See anyone you know?

maple leaf  We are hoping that relatives will browse through these family pages, recognize a connection, and get in touch!

  • Bolton, Gray, Powell, Thomas (Buckinghamshire/Middlesex)
  • Skitch, Peardon, Bailey, Harris (Cornwall/Devon)
  • Nicholas (Yorkshire)
  • Holloway (England)
  • Kyle, Carse, Oliver, White (Northumberland, England)
  • Currie (Argyll, Scotland)
  • Monaghan, Mills, Beatty, McCleary, Campbell (Ireland)
  • Frederick, Rush (Loyalists from New Jersey)
  • Greenleaf (Bergen Co., New Jersey)
  • Marshall, O'Connell (Quebec)

Your families

maple leaf  Feel free to list the local surname(s) you are researching.

maple leaf  Local family histories we have received. If you would like yours added, please remove any living relatives from the file (privacy concerns).

Port Hope and Hope Township resource materials

This section provides links to information about Port Hope and Hope Township. Before manually exploring the various sections, try using the following tools.

  Search the website

1. Search box

Spelling, especially with surnames, varies considerably on many of the earlier documents, so you may still need to do some manual searching.
Note There may be some pages that this free version does not search.

Search tips   Advanced search
Search engine by freefind

2. Categorized index

This link provides you with a categorized index of all of the webpages on this site.


maple leaf The following census (and related) materials are available for online searching:

  • Crown Deeds of Hope Township
  • Elias Smith's 1799 Hope Township report
  • Augustus Jones' 1799 Hope Township report
  • 1801-1806 Port Hope/Hope Township Oaths of Allegiance
  • 1802-1807, 1842-1847 Hope Township tax assessment rolls
  • 1803-1841, 1850 Hope Township census indexes
  • 1847, 1913 Port Hope assessment rolls
  • 1851-1921 Port Hope/Hope Township census returns
  • 1856, 1857/'58 business directories
  • c1898, 1900 Port Hope Bell Telephone directories
  • 1920 Hope Township voters list
  • 2008 Port Hope/Hope Township assessment rolls

  Vital statistics

maple leaf  An index of 36,000+ local births, marriages, and deaths, as reported in the 1832-2009 Port Hope newspapers.

maple leaf  152 Port Hope/Hope Township marriages (1804-1854) from Reid's Marriage Notices of Ontario, Wilson's Ontario Marriage Notices, and Marriage Bonds in Ontario.

maple leaf  133 baptisms (1854-1884) from Our Lady of Mercy Roman Catholic Church (Port Hope) registers
The entire BMD (1853-1920) image set for the Church online has not been indexed, so you will need to go through them page by page. You will need to open a free account with the LDS, at which point the above link will work.

maple leaf  148 baptisms (1875-1914) from the Garden Hill Presbyterian Church register

maple leaf  Port Hope/Hope Township extractions from Trent University Archive's extensive collection (#83-016), beginning with this listing of 273 births (1869-1872) from the United Counties of Northumberland and Durham Vital Statistics fonds and transcribed through the kindness of Archivist Bernadine Dodge.

maple leaf  238 Port Hope/Hope Twp. marriages (1869-1872) from the United Counties of Northumberland and Durham Vital Statistics fonds (#83-016). Included are several recently-discovered marriage entries in the 1825-1848 range.

maple leaf  Extracts from the United Counties of Northumberland and Durham Vital Statistics Additions fonds - 1838-1855 (#84-004): baptismal records; marriage lists; and burial lists. The transcription maintains the original spelling - except where known errors have been corrected - so it would be advisable to manually check the database, in addition to using the search engine.

maple leaf  260 Port Hope/Hope Township inquests from the United Counties of Northumberland and Durham Court Records fonds - 1832-1914 (#84-020). This transcription also maintains the original spelling, so you should manually search the database.
Examples of the inquest procedure are shown for Robert Best, who died of exposure in the northern section of Hope Township in 1867, and for James McCabe, a Kingston Penitentiary escapee, shot in Port Hope by Constable William Rankin in 1883.

maple leaf  Vital statistics from local family Bibles

maple leaf  495 local emigrants, mostly to the United States (1889)

maple leaf  CemSearch—an online database of 442,000+ interments. Information is also provided about local cemeteries.

maple leaf  142 death/funeral notices from 1861-1916

maple leaf  Local funeral home records dating from 1864

maple leaf  Elizabeth Hancocks, of Generation Press, has given permission to list the Port Hope/Hope Township probate entries from Surrogate Court Index of Ontario (1859-1900) Volume 4, Northumberland and Durham Counties.

maple leaf  1,400+ probates (1821-1997) of area residents


Cenotaph postcard c1930

maple leaf  WWII veteran and author, George Sweanor's Military Contributions of a Small Town, honouring over 2,200 Port Hope veterans who served in our nation's conflicts

maple leaf  A booklet prepared for the Annual Meeting of the Midland Regiment Association, held in Port Hope 05 May 1973. Many local members are listed, as well as a history of the Regiment and the service for that day.

maple leaf  Over the past thirty years, Gerry Collette has gathered information on artillery used in war and later presented to the towns from London to Kingston for use as memorials, including the two pieces in front of the Town Hall.

 Conflicts prior to the two world wars

maple leaf  1st Regiment of the Durham Militia (15 Dec 1837)

maple leaf  1st-6th Durham Battalions of the Militia of Canada (1847)

maple leaf  1st Battalion of the Durham Regiment of Militia (1856)

maple leaf  The Prince of Wales' Canadian Dragoons (c1857), an article by Neil Dukas

maple leaf  Royal Hospital Chelsea out-pensioners in the Toronto District (1859)

maple leaf  Port Hope Light Infantry Volunteer Company (01 May 1866)

maple leaf  Photograph of the 46th Battalion band at the Commons, southeast of the viaduct (1869)

maple leaf  Photograph of the Fenian Raid veterans of the 46th Battalion of Port Hope (c1870)

maple leaf  With the Midland Battn. during the North West Rebellion of 1885—William E. Young's personal diary

maple leaf  From the 15 Nov 1935 Evening Guide, featuring a reprint of the 1915 Fenian Raid veterans' banquet

 World War I

Maude Bowman, Nursing Sister

maple leaf  Officers of the 136th Durham Overseas Battalion (15 May 1916)

maple leaf  Decisions of the Appeal Tribunal in Port Hope and Hope Township cases (25 Jan 1918)

maple leaf  Hope Township WWI soldiers (24 Dec 1918)

maple leaf  Book of Remembrance: Local Participants in the Great War (1914-1918)
This transcription of the original 1919 book (only two copies were made) includes the photographs on permanent display at the Town Hall.

maple leaf 200 letters written at the WWI front and published in the local newspaper. Many of these letters are included in the Port Hope Archives' 2007 reprint of the Book of Remembrance.

maple leaf  Library and Archives Canada's digitization of 620,000+ Canadian Expeditionary Force WWI personnel service files

maple leaf  Library and Archives Canada's digitization of the images from the Circumstances of Death Registers for World War I soldiers. The records for Sims-Z have not survived.

 World War II and the Korean War

maple leaf  Biographies and/or photos of the WWII and Korean War soldiers whose names are inscribed on the Port Hope Cenotaph

maple leaf  Service Files of the Second World War - War Dead, 1939-1947 at Library and Archives Canada

maple leaf  Photos of some of Port Hope's WWII veterans, published in the Evening Guide's 11 May 1945 issue

maple leaf  Pushing the Boundaries: Canadian Women’s Experiences in World War II
Susan Rafuse has graciously given permission to present her 2004 Master of Arts thesis. In her words:
"This thesis contextualizes the use of oral narratives with the academic and popular literature written during World War II and since 1945. The work focuses upon the experiences of various [local] Canadian women during the war. The thesis illustrates how the circumstances of the war provided many women with new found opportunities which were created from the disruption and loosening of numerous social conventions which defined the gender order."


maple leaf  Portions of the Port Hope Model High School Register (1891-'92) and the complete Training Register (1884-1904) for those in teacher training. There's also a link to a report card from 1880.

maple leaf  Hope Township School Section student Registers (1892, 1893, 1896, 1897)

maple leaf  Morrish School S.S. #5: A history, by Marian Marvin, a teacher at the school in the 1930s

maple leaf  Port Hope High School Commencement Exercises (15 Dec 1899), held at the Opera House


maple leaf  Tax assessment rolls provide a property's physical address, description, and year of building construction. With this information and instrument number one can search the history of a property online.

maple leaf  Port Hope in 1834, with map

maple leaf  By-Laws of the newly-formed Board of Police (1834)

maple leaf  Early Council: the Chief Magistrates/Mayors of Port Hope from 1834 to the present day (a work in progress)

maple leaf  Port Hope harbour, as shown in an 1854 plan for the proposed Grand Trunk Railway, with links to an 1831 letter to the editor about the harbour conditions, and the 1846 projected harbour plans

maple leaf  Highlights of the History of the Port Hope Hospital (1911-1963)

  Social & fraternal organizations

maple leaf  Souvenir booklet produced for the 1901 Port Hope Old Boys Reunion, with thanks to Kit Kennard and the Port Hope Archives

maple leaf  The Durham Lodge, No. 78, IOOF annual report, year ending 31 Dec 1907

maple leaf  Ten community plays, performed by Port Hope citizens (1908-1933)

maple leaf  Local I.O.O.F. Decoration Day services (1918, 1921, 1923, 1926, and 1939)

  Miscellaneous historical

maple leaf  Letters, diaries, and logs dating from 1819, penned by residents of the Port Hope area, including the 1890 log of Sylvan Glen Camp

maple leaf  Port Hope breweries (c1817-1911), compiled by Doug Mannen

maple leaf  Port Hope hotels and their owners/operators over the years

maple leaf  The local church was the social hub of the community, providing a regular opportunity for families to come together for worship and special events.

maple leaf  Port Hope Fire Brigade members (1891), with some history of the Brigade

maple leaf  Port Hope's daguerreotypists, ambrotypists, and photographers in the 1850s-1940s (a useful aid for dating ancestral studio portraits)

maple leaf  Louis Bertolotto of 1830s London, England, flea circus fame, buried in Port Hope's Union Cemetery

maple leaf  History of Elizabethville, by Vivian Quantrill

maple leaf  History of Perrytown, by Edith Carruthers

maple leaf  A History of Port Britain, with an 1860 map, by Harold Reeve (1937)

maple leaf  A History of the Port Hope & District Pipes and Drums (1958-1987), by John A. Elliot

maple leaf  A March 2000 inquiry into the frequency of the number 13 in Port Hope house addresses by noted Canadian medical author, Robert E. Popham. Click here to read a 13 October 2000 Evening Guide article about the investigation.


maple leaf  The Port Hope Archives is located in the refurbished former County Registry Office at the foot of Walton Street.
Note The Archives is closed indefinitely, pending amalgamation with the Northumberland County Archives & Museum (NCAM) at its new facility.

maple leaf  The Port Hope Public Library has a number of resources, including microfilms of the available newspapers. The Ancestry (Library Edition) programme can also be accessed at the library.

maple leaf  An extensive collection of photos and information gathered by the late local historian, Cal Clayton.

maple leaf  Sites, including the Upper Canada Land Petitions, that we have found useful for research.

Peter and Barbara at the grave of  William George Lightle, France

If you are looking for information beyond what we have on this site, you might try the sources listed above. Happy searching!

UEL flag

Barbara Kyle & Peter Bolton, UE
Port Hope, Ontario, Canada

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In partnering with us, the Ontario Genealogical Society has assumed our costs of operating this site, as it has done with other sites that it feels should continue to exist when the original owners can no longer maintain them.
As is the case with all charitable organizations, it relies upon donations to help defray these increasing costs. If you would like to help, please click on the 'Donate' logo. Thank you!


Captain Lawrence Robb Batchelor in France, shown here as a Staff Sergeant (c1916)

Website structural development by Lee R. Batchelor
Technical Writer - Port Hope, Ontario

Dedicated to the memory of my grandfather, Captain Lawrence Robb Batchelor, 17th Duke of York’s Canadian Hussars, who courageously fought at and survived the battles of the Somme, Vimy Ridge, and Passchendaele. Did he spend a few moments with some of the Port Hope boys before engaging in one of those battles? I would like to think so.

Material provided is for personal use only and not to be used for profit.
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