The map of Simcoe County circa 1951 from Ontario Archives locates the individual municipalities, townships, city, towns and villages of the county. (Click at the bottom of the page to see the map enlarged.)
The municipality of Clearview Township was established on January 1, 1994, when the Town of Stayner, the Village of Creemore and the Township of Nottawasaga and the Township of Sunnidale were amalgamated. The Townships of Nottawasaga and Sunnidale were incorporated in 1851 and 1858, respectively.
Early settlement on the site of Stayner coincided with the construction of a railway line from Toronto, Ontario to Collingwood, Ontario between 1851 and 1855. The community of Stayner, which was originally called Nottawasaga Station, developed into a significant agricultural and lumbering centre. Stayner was incorporated as a village in 1872, and as a Town in 1888, and the Village of Creemore was incorporated in 1889.
The towns of Collingwood and Wasaga Beach, on the shore of Georgian Bay, are now independent municipalities and not part of Clearview, however, in the 19th century the administration of the town areas would have been covered by the townships.
Two sketchmaps show the whole of Simcoe County and the alterations of boundaries that came with the change from townships to municipalities in the 1990s. The web page also leads to a considerable amount of information about the municipality of Clearview Township and its history. (source:Simcoe GenWeb)
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
Websites with more local information on Simcoe County