Place:Conestogo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Coordinates43.533°N 80.5°W
Located inWaterloo, Ontario, Canada
See alsoWoolwich, Waterloo, Ontario, Canadatownship in which Conestogo located
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names

Conestogo is a "compact rural community" located in Woolwich Township in Waterloo County in southwestern Ontario. In 1973 Waterloo County became the Regional Municipality of Waterloo, and Woolwich Township increased its area by amalgamating the eastern side of Waterloo Township, the section that was not swallowed up by the Cities of Waterloo, Kitchener and Cambridge.

Conestogo is located at the junction of the Grand and Conestogo Rivers and near the northern border of the City of Waterloo.


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

The area in the vicinity of present day Conestogo was first settled in 1820s, on the Grand and Conestogo Rivers. The first settlers were predominantly Mennonites who had emigrated from Pennsylvania. They were followed by people of German and British background. The first mill in Woolwich Township was built in Conestogo in 1844 by David Musselman. Known earlier as Musselman's Mills, the settlement was renamed Conestogo in 1852. The name originated from the town and river of Conestoga in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. By the middle of the 19th century, Conestogo was a thriving community of about 300 people. It boasted a number of businesses, including a foundry, flour mill, sawmill, furniture factory, paint factory, flax mill, distillery, four hotels, three blacksmiths, two wagon makers and a cooperage, among others. Two local brickyards produced the bricks of which many Conestogo buildings were constructed. The slow pace of Conestogo's development after the 1870s has resulted in much of the architectural heritage being well preserved.

Research Tips

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.

Early Records

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.
Images and indexes of civil registrations for the "viewable" years can be found on paid websites, and indexes only on FamilySearch. The latest year published is not yet available online. The FamilySearch Wiki on Ontario Vital Records explains how these records are organized and their availability.

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.
Other websites, some paid and some free, also provide Canadian census originals and/or indexes online. One can view censuses on microfilm at the Archives of Ontario or at big libraries throughout Canada.

E-books and Books

source: Family History Library Catalog