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Ontario Canada Genealogy and History Guide

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Ontario Canada Genealogy and History Guide

This is a locality guide to help with your family history and genealogy research in the Ontario region of Canada to include birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.

Ontario Information

Ontario is located in central Canada and is it's most populous province. First Peoples in the region include: Algonquian (Ojibwe, Cree and Algonquin) in the northern and western portions, and Iroquois and Wyandot (Huron) people toward the southeast. In 1611, explorer Henry Hudson sailed into Hudson Bay and claimed the area for England. By 1615, French missionaries had established trading posts along the Great Lakes. This settlement was hampered by hostilities with the Iroquois who had allied themselves with the British. Soon the British had begun establishing posts on Hudson Bay and struggled with the French for domination of Ontario. The first European settlements began in 1782-1784 when 5,000 American loyalists entered Ontario following the American Revolution. The British granted them 200 acres of land and also set up reserves for the Mohawks who had fought on the side of the British and lost their New York lands. They were joined by other Iroquois who had also lost New York land and also by the Mississaugas who were displaced by European settlements.

The Constitutional Act of 1791 split Quebec into Upper and Lower Canada. After the War of 1812, greater stability saw increased European immigration. Upper and Lower Canada were merged into the Province of Canada by the Act of Union in 1840 and Upper Canada was now known as Canada West. The British North America Act of 1867 established the Dominion of Canada with four provinces: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario.

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