Geographically and historically, Cannington was an incorporated village within Brock Township in Ontario County in the Province of Ontario, Canada. Prior to 1852 Ontario County was part of York County. Since 1974 the Township of Brock has been a part of the Regional Municipality of Durham (Durham Region). (See History section below.)
Cannington should not be confused with Clarington which is a large municipality formed since 1974 within Durham Region.
Originally part of the original Brock Township, Cannington was first settled in 1833. It was originally known as McCaskill's Mills after a local mill-owning family. In 1849, a post office was opened, at which point the settlement was renamed Cannington after former British foreign secretary and prime minister George Canning (1770–1827). Cannington separated from Brock Township in 1878 when it was incorporated as a village.
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