This article is based on one in Wikipedia.
Chinguacousy Township is a former municipality and geographic township in Peel County, Ontario. In its original state it contained Brampton. In 1973, when Peel County became the Regional Municipality of Peel, Chinguacousy was split in two sections, with the northern section becoming part of the town of Caledon, and the southern part, including the town of Bramalea, along with the northern part of the township of Toronto Gore, joining the town of Brampton.
Chinguacousy was opened in 1819 and named, probably, in honour of a loyal Chippewa chief who fought at the capture of Michilimackinac. His name was Shinguacose, "the small pine." Born to a Scottish officer and Chippewan mother, Shinguacose died around 1858. The name of the township may also be from an Indian word meaning "the place where young pines grow."
Several historical villages were once located within Chinguacousy Township, including Churchville. However, only small remnants like churches and cemeteries, of these former villages exist. Churchville remains as a hamlet, maintaining its identity as a historic community due to historic structures, its proximity to a river, and "Churchville Road," while the rest seem to have been subsumed by suburban developments.
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 Peel County