Place:Georgetown, Halton, Ontario, Canada

Watchers
NameGeorgetown
TypeTown
Coordinates43.646°N 79.91°W
Located inHalton, Ontario, Canada
See alsoEsquesing, Halton, Ontario, Canadatownship in which Georgetown located until 1973
Halton Hills, Halton, Ontario, Canadamunicipality in which Georgetown located since 1973

Georgetown is a town located in the former Esquesing Township in Halton County in southern Ontario. When Halton County was reorganized into the Regional Municipality of Halton in 1973, Esquesing Township was reduced in size and became the municipality or Town of Halton Hills.

History

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

By 1650, the once plentiful Hurons had been wiped out by French missionaries, European diseases, and the Iroquois. The region was now open to the Algonquian Ojibwa (also known as Mississauga), who moved in. By 1850 the remaining Mississauga natives were removed to the Six Nations reserve, where the New Credit Reserve was established.

Commencing in 1781, the British government purchased blocks of land from the Mississauga Nation. In 1818, they purchased land that later became the townships of Esquesing and Nassagaweya. The task of laying out the townships fell to Timothy Street and Abraham Nelles. Charles Kennedy was hired by Nelles to survey the northern part of the townships, and Charles Kennedy received a significant parcel of land as payment for his work.

The brothers of Charles Kennedy, (John, Morris, Samuel and George) all acquired land close to each another in the Silver Creek Valley. A sawmill was built by Charles Kennedy where today Main Street meets Wildwood Road. George Kennedy also built a sawmill which became the centre of a small settlement, which was located near 10th line.

Esquesing Village (Stewarttown) was the capital of the township. In addition, it was on the main north-south route to the steamships at Oakville. The Stewart Brothers had a prosperous mill in Esquesing Village, and James McNab had a prosperous mill in Norval.

In 1828, John Galt opened the road which connected the settlement around George Kennedy's Mill with the other two settlements in the area. As Kennedy's Mill prospered, he built a grist mill, foundry and a woolen mill. Unfortunately, business was poor, which led to the nickname 'Hungry Hollow'. Around 1834 the Barber brothers arrived and within three years had purchased the mills from Kennedy.

Around 1837, the area adopted the name Georgetown. It was also the year that two of the Barber Brothers (William and James) purchased the mill and land from George Kennedy.

In May 1852 a rail route through Georgetown, Brampton and Weston to Toronto was announced.

On May 13, 1895, brothers Sam & John McGibbon leased, in partnership, Thomas Clark's Hotel for $600/year. "The Hotel McGibbon" was originally built by Robert Jones and was sold to Clark in about 1867. A double veranda graced the Main & Mill Street side of the building until the hotel was ravaged by fire in the 1880s. After the fire, a third floor was added to part of the building.

The McGibbon family lived at the hotel and took great pride in the business they had established. Sam's wife, Ann, kept white linen in the dining room, and in its earliest years had been a popular place for wedding receptions and banquets.

When Sam McGibbon died August 20, 1940 (only a few months after Ann's death), a daughter, Gladys, and a son, Jack, took over the business until 1962. The McGibbon Hotel was sold to Isaac Sitzer Investments and in 1967 to Gladbar Hotels Ltd. George and Nick Markou purchased the hotel in 1978 and have run business to the present day under the McGibbon name, returning its connection to the downtown Georgetown business community since 1895.

Guelph Radial Line

The Toronto Suburban Railway Company ran the Toronto-Guelph Electric Suburban Railway line through Georgetown for 14 years from the time it was opened in 1917 until it was closed in 1931.

Georgetown Boys

July 1 has additional significance for Canadian-Armenians. In 1923, 46 orphans of the Armenian Genocide arrived in Georgetown, Ontario to be raised and provided for in a safe environment. In total, 109 boys and 40 girls were taken in by the Canadian government, considered by many as its first humanitarian initiative. One of these fortunate young men carried the last name Alexanian and was the founder of Alexanian Rugs which has grown and is now known as Alexanian Carpet and Flooring.

French presence

The area had no early history of a concentration of French-Canadians, but that changed after World War II. One boy who went to fight in World War II was George Stanley Latimer. He died on December 20, 1944. First, in 1947, a boys' orphan farm relocated from St. Catharines, Ontario, to Georgetown. This orphanage was operated by Father Clovis Beauregard and his niece, Therese St Jean. The Acadian boys from the orphanage decided to remain here in adulthood. The boys had learned apple farming and other Acadian families moved here to assist them with their apple business. Second, in 1957 a French-Canadian Association was formed. By 1966, about 150 French-speaking Catholic families created their own parish when the old Holy Cross Church was rededicated as L'Eglise Sacre Coeur.

Halton Hills

On January 1, 1974, Georgetown became part of the Town of Halton Hills when it amalgamated with the Town of Acton and most of the Township of Esquesing. Together with the Town of Milton, the Town of Oakville and the City of Burlington, the Regional Municipality of Halton was formed, replacing Halton County.

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.

Censuses

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

  • The Internet Archive, particularly texts from Canadian universities, can contain interesting material
  • Our Roots is a Canadian website similar to The Internet Archive
  • Global Genealogy is an online bookshop specializing in Ontario material who will ship anywhere in the world.

Some websites with more local information on Halton County

source: Family History Library Catalog
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Georgetown, Ontario. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.