Place:Hastings, Ontario, Canada

Watchers
NameHastings
TypeCounty
Coordinates44.76°N 77.67°W
Located inOntario, Canada     (1792 - )
Also located inUpper Canada, Canada     (1792 - 1841)
Canada West, Canada     (1841 - 1867)
See alsoMidland District, Upper Canada, Canadalocation during "district administration" 1792-1837
Victoria District, Upper Canada, Canadalocation during "district administration" 1837-1849
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names


This section is taken from an article on Ontario GenWeb.

Hastings County was established in 1792 and named for military leader Francis Rawdon-Hastings. The county is the second largest in Ontario in terms of area.

Early settlers were mainly Loyalists who arrived in 1784. Among the first were members of the Mohawk Tribe from New York's Mohawk Valley. By the 1850's the southern part of the county was fairly well settled so the northern part was opened for settlement. Gold was discovered near Eldorado (Madoc Twp) in the 1860's. The county seat is at Belleville.

The map of Hastings County circa 1951 from Ontario Archives locates the individual municipalities, townships, towns and villages of the county.

Subdivisions

The municipalities within the county are:

The cities of Belleville and Quinte West are separated municipalities, meaning that they are within the boundaries of the county and included in the census division, but not under the administration of the county government.

History

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

The first boundaries of Hastings County were established 1792 by Lieutenant-Governor John Graves Simcoe. The southern boundary was the Bay of Quinte, the eastern boundary was Lennox County and the western boundary ran from the Trent River to the Ottawa River, in a triangular shape. The County consisted of Sidney, Thurlow, Rawdon, Huntingdon and Hungerford townships as well as the Mohawk Tract. The area was named for Francis Rawdon-Hastings.

Three new townships; Elzevir, Madoc and Marmora were created in 1821 and on Monday, October 1, 1821 the first Hastings County fair was held in Belleville . The largest prize paid was to Captain Daniel Ostrom of Sydney at $20 and Ruliff Purdy of Sidney received the most prizes totaling $106.50.

While in this time agriculture was the most important industry in Hastings County, by 1822 (when the Marmora Iron Works was approaching its peak production) mining was playing an increasingly more important role in the area's economy.

Prominent citizens of Hastings County and Ameliasburgh Township unsuccessfully petitioned the provincial government for district status during 1817, 1818, 1823 and 1825. After Prince Edward County successfully achieved its own government in 1831, Hastings County continued to send petitions throughout the 30s before finally achieving the status of a separate district in March 1837. Belleville was named the county's District Town.

From 1839 until 1849, Hastings County was renamed Victoria District after Queen Victoria. By 1841 the district had access to local courts but no local government was in place. On February 8, 1842 the Victoria District's first council met under warden William Hutton. During much of this time roads and bridges were the most important issues the council dealt with.

Edward Fidlar became the first warden of Hastings County with their first meeting on January 28, 1850. By this time the Hastings County Council was also interested in education and the building of the railroad.

On October 27, 1856 the first railroad train arrived in Belleville and by 1864 around 100 people were employed by the railroad.

In August 1866, discovery of gold at Eldorado, near Madoc, caused great excitement throughout Hastings County as people flooded to the area from all over North America. The railroads and of good gravel roads opened these areas to settlement by 1880.

In 1889 the Belleville Waterworks was created as a private company, which was then bought by the city of Belleville in 1889. In 1911, Hastings County was the first in the province to appoint a reforestation committee, which was instrumental in passing laws around county forests. Postal service began in the area in 1913.

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 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.
Images and indexes of civil registrations for the "viewable" years can be found on paid websites, and indexes only on FamilySearch. The FamilySearch Wiki on Ontario Vital Records explains how these records are organized and their availability.
In September 2014 Ancestry.ca announced that its paid website has been subjected to a "houseclean" of its Ontario BMD database, adding data that had been omitted and making many corrections. Its provision now includes

  • Births, with 2,172,124 records covering 1869-1913.
  • Marriages, with 3,393,369 records for 1801-1928 including Ontario county, district and Roman Catholic origins as well as province-wide civil registration.
  • Deaths, with 2,190,030 records comprising Ontario civil registrations of deaths, 1869-1938 and registrations of Ontario overseas deaths for 1939-1947.


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, 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.
Other websites, some paid and some free, also provide Canadian census originals and/or indexes online. One can also view censuses on microfilm at the LAC, at the Archives of Ontario (see address above), or at large 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 Hastings County

source: Family History Library Catalog
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Hastings County, 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.