Clinton is a community in the Canadian province of Ontario, located in the municipality of Central Huron. Established in 1831, Clinton first began when Jonas Gibbings, Peter and Stephen Vanderburg cleared out a small area to start. Clinton started to grow in 1844 when William Rattenbury laid out the plans to began making a village. In 1954, Clinton's population was 2625 people. Today, it has an estimated population of 3201.
Clinton is known as Canada's home of radar and has a huge radar antenna in the downtown due to its association with RCAF Station Clinton during World War II. Clinton was known as The Corners or "Rattenbury Corner" in its earlier days.
The School On Wheels, a school car that visited remote Northern Ontario communities to educate children who would otherwise not have access to school, is permanently on display in Clinton as a museum about education.
Clinton was the home of the highly influential 19th century ethnologist and anthropologist Horatio Hale, who involved himself locally in real estate development and other business and educational endeavours. Several of the streets in the centre of the town were personally named by him. Hale is interred in the municipal cemetery north of the community.
Clinton is home to three elementary schools, Clinton Public School, St.Joseph's School, and Huron Christian School (formerly Clinton and District Christian School); and to two high schools, Central Huron Secondary School and St. Anne's Catholic Secondary School. Because of its centrality in the county, most students are bussed into the schools from surrounding areas.
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 1915 are now available [October 2014]; 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, known to Canadians as "LAC". Copies of original microfilms are online at the LAC website for all censuses up to 1911. Each census database is preceded with an explanation of the geographical area covered, the amount of material retained (some census division material has been lost), the questions on the census form, and whether there is a name index. Census divisions were redrawn as the population increased and more land was inhabited. The 1921 census is only available through Ancestry.ca, but it is free-to-view.
E-books and Books
Websites with more local information on Huron County