upload image

Early Upper Canada Settlers (Pre 1800s)

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: Before 1800 to 1800
Location: Upper Canadamap
Surname/tag: Early_Upper_Canada
Profile manager: Daniel Ward private message [send private message]
This page has been accessed 445 times.

The goal of this project is to identify resources and methods that can assist in tracing the origins of the early settlers that settled in Upper Canada prior to 1800. These were primarily loyalists and "late-loyalists" (early emmigrants from the new United States)


  • Primarily due to a lack of records until the Land Grant system was in place
    • Many of the early district or parish records were lost or did not survive.
    • Other events like the [New York State Library fire of 1911] make it very hard to trace families of early Upper Canada settlers.
  • To educate others facing this challenge

History of Upper Canada pre-1800s

  • By the end of the American Revolution in 1783, over 10,000 loyalist refugees had entered Quebec
  • Many settled along the northern shores of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.
  • In 1788 four districts were created: Lunenburgh, Mecklenburg, Nassau, and Hesse.
  • From 1789 to 1794, each of those districts had an administrative board that oversaw land matters. These were abolished in 1794.
  • A number of "Late-Loyalists" arrived in the late 1790s
  • Land Petitions started in 1790s
  • Upper Canada was established in December of 1791. It was created in order to separate the French from the English, and allow the English speaking settlers to continue the same British way of life they had experience in the thirteen colonies.
  • The borders that define Upper Canada were drawn in 1795

Here are some of the tasks that I think need to be done. I'll be working on them, and could use your help.

  • Identify sources and methods of finding information on the early settlers of Upper Canada:
    • Before they arrived in Upper Canada
    • After they arrived in Upper Canada (e.g. Heir & Devisee Records and Land Petitions)
    • Tracking their movements

Will you join me? Please post a comment here on this page, in G2G using the project tag, or send me a private message. Thanks!

  • Login to edit this profile and add images.
  • Private Messages: Send a private message to the Profile Manager. (Best when privacy is an issue.)
  • Public Comments: Login to post. (Best for messages specifically directed to those editing this profile. Limit 20 per day.)

Comments: 3

Leave a message for others who see this profile.
There are no comments yet.
Login to post a comment.
While I don't have the time to work on general early Ontario research, my McCool Name Study - Townsend Ontario Line Loyalist ancestors came to Ontario in 1794 (along with their Walker relatives) from North Carolina. Suggestions about how to best link to your project or others are welcome.
posted by Kevin Ireland
Hi, I'm new to the Canada project and have ancestors from various counties in Upper Canada. I have Workman's from Peterborough, Henderson's from Emily Twp. McKay's from Bruce County. Do these areas coincide with what you're working on and if so, can I help. I'm looking for information and am willing to help too.
posted by Leonard Olson
Those areas came much later - circa 1830 to 1860s. There are many types of records that can be found for that period. The EARLY_UPPER_CANADA tag was created due to the scarcity of records in the period prior to 1800 .. as a way to assist others trying to dig that far back. This is a map of Upper Canada in 1798 to give you an idea: http://www.archives.gov.on.ca/en/maps/textdocs/districts1798big.aspx
posted by Daniel Ward

Categories: Canadian Projects