This section is based on an article in Wikipedia.
Bobcaygeon is a community on the Trent-Severn Waterway in the former County of Victoria (since 2001, the City of Kawartha Lakes), in east-central Ontario, Canada. It is geographically surrounded by the township of Verulam.
Bobcaygeon was incorporated as village in Victoria County, Ontario, Canada, in 1876, and became known as the "Hub of the Kawarthas". The first lock in the Trent-Severn Waterway was built in Bobcaygeon in 1833.
By the early 1830s, the government of Upper Canada had completed its survey of the Township of Verulam and the area began to attract settlers. Thomas Need, who arrived in 1832 is recognized as one of the earliest settlers of the Township of Verulam and is the founder of Bobcaygeon. With his purchase of 3000 acres (12 km²) of land, Need built a sawmill, gristmill, and the first store.
In 1833, the provincial government began construction of a lock and canal at the narrows between Sturgeon and Pigeon Lakes. Soon a community began to develop around the lock and the Thomas Need's sawmill and gristmill. In the 1850s, the economic development of Bobcaygeon was stimulated by Mossom Boyd's lumbering business.
The provincial government had reserved and surveyed a town site on the north bank of Bobcaygeon River between Sturgeon and Pigeon Lakes, which was named Rokeby by visiting Lieutenant Governor Sir John Colborne. Need laid out streets and plotted lots on the island, which was named Bobcaygeon. Today, Bobcaygeon designates both sides of the Bobcaygeon River, after the post office was established on the island by the first postmaster, Thomas Need.
In 1844, Thomas Need sold his profitable business interests to Mossom Boyd, and returned to England. Boyd and his sons built up a logging enterprise that was recognized as the third largest logging operation in Upper Canada. In addition to timbering, the Boyds also operated a system of steamboats under the name Trent Valley Navigation Company as well as an experimental beefalo herd on Boyd Island. Descendants of this herd remain in Alberta.
Bobcaygeon, with a population of about 1,000, was incorporated as a village by a Victoria County by-law of 1876. During a series of restructuring moves, the village government joined with the Township of Verulam in 1999, and then was ordered amalgamated the other municipalities of Victoria County by the Kitchen Commission in 2000. Now Bobcaygeon exists as a community within the City of Kawartha Lakes.
Today, Bobcaygeon's chief industry is tourism, particularly related to recreational fishing. Bobcaygeon is a hub for the region, providing many of the services unavailable in the smaller neighbouring communities.
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
Some websites with more local information on Victoria County