Adolphustown is a geographic area located in Greater Napanee, Ontario, Canada, at on the Adolphus Reach of the Bay of Quinte in Lake Ontario. It was founded in 1784 by United Empire Loyalists. The original Loyalist Landing site is now the U.E.L. Heritage Centre & Park, a museum, public park, and family campground.
Adolphustown is now part of the town of Greater Napanee.
The settlement serves as the eastern terminus of a ferry crossing to Glenora, Ontario as part of one of the oldest colonial roads in the province, the Loyalist Parkway. This crossing appears in use at least as early as 1802, when an extension of Asa Danforth Jr.'s pioneering road from eastern Toronto through what is now Trenton first reached the Bay of Quinte at Stone Mills (Glenora).
As later development (such as the 1817 York Road, the 1856 Grand Trunk Railway and a 1964 segment of Highway 401) took a more northern route through Napanee-Belleville the rural character of the Adolphustown region remains largely undisturbed today and the area, with its picturesque lakefront location, remains popular for the cultivation of apples and strawberries.
The website of the County of Lennox and Addington provides a short history of Greater Napanee.
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.
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.
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.
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.
E-books and Books
The website of the County of Lennox & Addington Museum and Archives lists useful websites for genealogical research. Their own "Local Resources" come last. They include