Dashwood is a locality in the former township of Usborne in Huron County in Ontario, Canada. Since the county reorganization of 2001 it has been located in the municipality or Township of South Huron.
Dashwood is on the border of Hay Township (now the Municipality of Bluewater).
Dashwood began when the brothers Noah and Absalom Fried formerly of Blenheim Township in Oxford County, resettled in the area in 1853. They first erected a saw mill, followed shortly by a grain mill, on the site of the future community serving the needs of the influx of mainly European settlers brought about by the local development of Canada Company lands earlier in the century. The location of the initial development of the mills was intended to occur at Sarepta, east of the present site of Dashwood on Dashwood Road. A change of circumstances brought about an alteration of the plans of the two brothers and lower cost land became available at the current site of the community. The name of the community changed from Friedsburg to Dashwood in December 1871, when a post office was opened, Noah Fried became the first postmaster. Although the subject of some debate Dashwood was likely named after Dashwood House, in London England, the headquarters in Britain of the once regionally important Grand Trunk Railway. Peak economic activity occurred in Dashwood in the early to mid 20th century and at its height included a number of mills, hotels, general stores, a regionally large scale window manufacturing company and an assortment of shops and services geared to its rural surroundings.
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 Huron County