Cooksville is a fairly large community in the former Toronto Township in Peel County in south-central Ontario, Canada. Since 1968 Cooksville has been located in the municipality of the City of Mississauga.
Cooksville is a neighbourhood at the intersection of Dundas Street and Hurontario Street.
The entrepreneur won the contract to deliver the mail from York to Niagara, operated several stage coach lines, was the local magistrate and built the Cooksville House, the first licensed tavern in the area at the northwest corner of Dundas and Hurontario streets in 1829.
Cooksville grew in size and influence until the Great Fire of 1852 razed much of it. A tornado hit the area on June 24, 1923 destroying mostly rural farmhouses around the town. There was a 182 acre brickyard that sprawled south of the CP rail line from 1912 until its closure in 1995, employing many Cooksville residents over that period. The Italian Heavyweight champion boxer, Primo Carnera had worked at the yard for a short period during his youth. Today, the converted site is a medium density residential and retail zone along Shorline Dr., not far from the infamous 1979 Mississauga train derailment site at the CP crossing (Mavis & Dundas St. W.).
Cooksville was the residence of HIH Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna of Russia while in exile in Canada. As well, Harland Sanders lived here when he was supervising the introduction of Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises in Canada.
Much of the growth that occurred in Mississauga in the 1960s before amalgamation was based around Cooksville. It is home to highest concentration of high-rise condominium and rental buildings in Mississauga, mostly on or close to Hurontario Street just south of the City Centre; many are home for newer immigrants to Canada. The area is also the main transportation hub in Mississauga, with GO Transit rail and bus service and express city buses to Toronto Union Station. The Mississauga Transit and GO Bus Terminal is adjacent to the north parking lot of the Square One Shopping Centre. The population of the area is highly diverse with people from originating from all over the world, over half are visible minorities.
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