The text in this section is a precis of an article in Wikipedia.
Dufferin County is a county in the Canadian province of Ontario. The county covers an area of 1,486.31 square kilometres (573.87 sq mi), and its population in 2011 was 56,881. It is a lofty table-land that is about 1,700 feet (518 m) above sea-level and about 1,400 feet (427 m) above the level of downtown Toronto.
Orangeville, the county seat, is situated on the southern border of the county and is the largest urban centre, with just over half the county's population. The town is very small in area and geographically compact.
Originally an agriculturally based economy, Dufferin's economy has diversified to include commercial and retail businesses, industries related to residential and commercial construction (building, supplies, aggregates, real estate) and manufacturing. A portion of Dufferin’s economy still depends on agriculture but tourism is becoming more important as the county takes a more positive role in attracting visitors.
Dufferin was formed in 1874 from parts of the counties of Grey and Simcoe, on the north and east, and from the County of Wellington on the south and west. The county gets its name from the Marquess of Dufferin, who was Governor General of Canada between 1872-1878. Compared with other counties, there has been very little change to Dufferin's municipal structure since its formation.
The following municipalities are separate incorporations:
In addition, East Luther has had a name-change to East Luther-Grand Valley, recognizing Grand Valley, the largest community in the township. Date of change unknown.
Ontario Archives provides a map of Dufferin illustrating the townships, villages and towns in the timeframe 1946-1950.
Historic map of Dufferin Co showing cemeteries and historic communities. A click on any one of the townships leads to a second page of very useful historical information and links to other sources.
NOTE: References to the former districts and counties which represented the various townships prior to the founding of the county in 1874 will be found with the townships themselves.
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
Dufferin Ontario GenWeb provides a valuable variety of references, including transcribed indexes to most BMDs.