East Garafraxa is a rural township in Dufferin County, Ontario, Canada, to the west of Orangeville and within relative commuting distance of Toronto, Brampton, Guelph, and Kitchener. East Garafraxa Township was first surveyed in 1821. It was settled mostly between 1833 and 1850.
Ontario Archives provides a map of Dufferin illustrating the townships, villages and towns in the timeframe 1946-1950.
Map of Dufferin Co provided by Dufferin County GenWeb shows cemeteries and historic communities. A click on a township leads to a second page of very useful historical information and links to other sources.
A sample of Ontario Birth Registrations for the period 1870 to 1877 indicate that East Garafraxa township was in Wellington County so more research is required to determine when it became part of Dufferin County. "An Act to separate the Town of Orangeville and certain Townships in the Counties of Wellington, Grey and Simcoe, from the said Counties, and to erect the same into the County of Dufferin" was assented to on Dec 21, 1874. Google Books - Statutes of the Province of Ontario, page 100, Cap. 31 (XXXI)
A Provisional County administration was established in 1879, and once county buildings were completed in 1881 separation was finalized. History of Dufferin County, Stephen Sawden, 1952, page 13
For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article East_Garafraxa.
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.