Place:Acton, Halton, Ontario, Canada

Watchers
NameActon
TypeTown
Coordinates43.633°N 80.067°W
Located inHalton, Ontario, Canada
See alsoEsquesing, Halton, Ontario, Canadatownship in which Acton located until 1973
Halton Hills, Halton, Ontario, Canadamunicipality in which Acton located since 1973
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names


Acton is a town located in the former Esquesing Township in Halton County in southern Ontario. When Halton County was reorganized into the Regional Municipality of Halton in 1973, Esquesing Township was reduced in size and became the municipality or Town of Halton Hills.

Acton has a population of less that 10,000 [2011 census].

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Acton was first named Danville when Settler Wheeler Green opened a dry-goods store in 1828. It was later called Adamsville, after three settlers from a family of that name. In 1846, the postmaster named the community after the area of Acton in West London, England.

Originally part of Esquesing Township, Acton was a station on the Grand Trunk Railway with a population of 700 by 1869. The principal trade was in grain, lumber, cordwood, leather and hops. Land averaged from $28 to $35 per acre.

Acton was incorporated as a village in 1874, and erected into a town in 1950.

On January 1, 1974, Acton amalgamated with the Town of Georgetown and most of the Township of Esquesing to form the Town of Halton Hills.

Tanning has been an important industry in Acton since 1844, when the first tannery was established, as the area was attractive to the leather industry because of the large numbers of trees. The tannery was subsequently purchased by Beardmore & Co. in 1865, and over time became the largest tanner in Canada. It was sold to Canada Packers in 1944, and continued in operation until its closure in September 1986.

Other specialty tanners were also established in the town. In the early 20th century, Acton was the main urban community of Esquesing Township, much larger than nearby Georgetown, Ontario which now has four times the population.

Because of the extensive tanning industry that was located in the area during the 19th Century and early 20th Century, the area has earned the nickname of Leathertown. The industry continues today in diminished form at The Olde Hide House and Superior Glove Works Ltd.

Research Tips

The primary source for basic documents (vital statistics, land records, wills) for people who lived in the Province of Ontario is the Archives of Ontario, 134 Ian Macdonald Blvd, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M7A 2C5.

Early Records

Civil registration did not begin in the province until 1869. Before then there may be church records of baptisms and burials. For the most part these are still held by the denomination who recorded them. Copies of marriage records made pre-1869 had to be sent by individual clergymen to the registrar of the county in which the marriage took place. These marriage records are available through Ontario Archives, on micorfilm through LDS libraries, and on paid and unpaid websites, but because they were copied at the registrars' offices, they cannot be considered a primary source.

Vital Records after 1869

Birth, marriage and death registrations are not open to the public until a specific number of years after the event occurred. Births to 1914 are now available [October 2012]; dates for marriages and deaths are later. Birth and death registration was not universally carried out in the early years after its adoption. Deaths were more apt to be reported than births for several years. The more rural the area, the less likely it would be that these happenings were reported to the authorities.
Images and indexes of civil registrations for the "viewable" years can be found on paid websites, and indexes only on FamilySearch. The latest year published is not yet available online. The FamilySearch Wiki on Ontario Vital Records explains how these records are organized and their availability.

Land Records and Wills

Information on how to access land records and wills is best sought on the Archives of Ontario website. An ancestor's land holding might be found on Canadian County Atlas Digital Project if he was in occupancy circa 1878.

Association for the Preservation of Ontario Land Registry Office Documents (APOLROD). A list of Land Registry Offices for all Counties of Ontario.

Censuses

The original censuses are in the hands of Library and Archives Canada. All of the original census (1851-1911) images are online with the exception of that for 1861. Not all of them are indexed. Later censuses are not yet available. Census divisions were redrawn as the population increased and more land was inhabited.
Other websites, some paid and some free, also provide Canadian census originals and/or indexes online. One can view censuses on microfilm at the Archives of Ontario or at big libraries throughout Canada.

E-books and Books

  • The Internet Archive, particularly texts from Canadian universities, can contain interesting material
  • Our Roots is a Canadian website similar to The Internet Archive
  • Global Genealogy is an online bookshop specializing in Ontario material who will ship anywhere in the world.

Some websites with more local information on Halton County

source: Family History Library Catalog
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Acton, Ontario. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.