Glen Williams is a hamlet in the Credit River valley in the province of Ontario, Canada. It is part of Halton Hills in the Halton Regional Municipality. The Credit River extends over 1500 km from the Niagara Escarpment, emptying into Lake Ontario at Port Credit, Mississauga. Glen Williams is also home to many species of birds, mammals and fish, with the river providing an exemplary habitat for them.
In 1825, Benajah Williams, a United Empire Loyalist of Welsh stock, purchased a 200 acre (0.8 km²) parcel of land in Esquesing township, on the Credit River. There he settled with his third wife and children. As in most emerging settlements, the power of the local stream, in this case the Credit River, was used to run saw and flour mills. But for the local farmers, the Williams were more than just millers. They were blacksmiths (Joel Williams), cabinetmakers (Isaac Williams), leather tanners (David Williams), and general store (Charles Williams). Since Benajah had run a textile mill in the Niagara peninsula before moving to the Credit, it was natural for his son Jacob to open a woollen mill here in 1839. By 1833, Williams had purchased another 200 acre (0.8 km²) parcel, giving him the 400 acres (1.6 km²) that became Glen Williams. The Williams' Mill is where the first industry stood, a saw mill built by Benajah and sons Joel and Charles in 1825. In the years to come, Benajah's son Charles became the leading figure in the community. Charles owned and operated the sawmill, and eventually he also owned the grist and woolen mills in the small community of Williamsburg, as it was then known.
In 1882, Joseph Beaumont built the Beaumont Knitting Mill to replace the earlier structure destroyed by fire. The Knitting Mill was carried on by the family until 1957, when it was sold to Grew, Penrice and Graham . The Beaumonts produced socks, blankets and mittens in this mill for over 100 years. In 1982 the mill was sold and closed. Today the building serves as the Beaumont Mill Antiques & Collectibles market. Visitors can see the ongoing restoration work of the mill from the inside as they shop at the market.
One of the first buildings in Glen Williams to be designated a historic site was the original Williams saw mill. After he lost his flour mill to fire in 1890, Joseph Williams converted his saw mill into a hosiery factory and electric power plant. In 1898 he sold out and moved. In 1901, a local company, the Georgetown Electric Power and Light, built a generating plant on the ruins of the burned-out flour mill. This closed in 1913 with the coming of Ontario Hydro. In 1926 the old saw mill and hydro plant became "Apple Products", a seasonal fruit processing plant run by the Lindner family. Since its closure by Reinhart Vinegars in 1985, Douglas Brock has restored it and it serves as the Williams Mill Arts Centre.
The Apple Products was designated by the town LACAC Local Architectural Conservation Advisory Committee, just a part of many town buildings & cemeteries investigated for designation to which committee member Robert Heaton was also a part, unfortunately the Historical District designation work has so far failed to happen & may never arise.
Since the population has expanded due to political influences forced on it by the Ontario Government since 1974, by the Region of Halton, a 3rd generation resident who was raised there, a Robert Heaton ran for Council & shepherded the Village for 9 tumultuous years upgrading the infrastructure with 1/3rd funding from Provincial & Federal Government Sources before he retired without a Pension like what Federal & Provincial members receive for the same period of Service.
Reeve & Clarke Fine & Rare Books are located in the storefront in which Timothy Eaton first worked in retail. The Glen Oven Bakery Cafe and The Copper Kettle Pub are also located in the village. The Copper Kettle Pub is particularly known for its authentic and traditional British fare and atmosphere and for its colourful staff. It occupies the former General Store and Post Office, built in 1852 by Charles Williams.
Three Churches serve the village. St. Alban the Martyr Anglican Church and St. John's United Church are historic buildings still used for worship, and are located on either side of the Credit River on Main Street. Union Presbyterian Church is located north-east of the village at Winston Churchill.
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 1915 are now available [October 2014]; 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, known to Canadians as "LAC". Copies of original microfilms are online at the LAC website for all censuses up to 1911. Each census database is preceded with an explanation of the geographical area covered, the amount of material retained (some census division material has been lost), the questions on the census form, and whether there is a name index. Census divisions were redrawn as the population increased and more land was inhabited. The 1921 census is only available through Ancestry.ca, but it is free-to-view.
E-books and Books
Some websites with more local information on Halton County