Killaloe is a village in the former Hagarty Township in Renfrew County in eastern Ontario, Canada. Since 2001 Killaloe has been located in the municipality named Township of Killaloe, Hagarty and Richards.
Killaloe and Killaloe Station or Old Killaloe are separate places 1km apart.
The name Killaloe (pronounced "KILL-a-LOO") hails from an Irish community in Ireland of the same name and salutes the Irish heritage of many of the first settlers to this area who came to Canada in the early 19th century seeking a better life. The early beginnings of this little town centered around the lumber trade. Built in 1849, and rebuilt in 1870 after a devastating fire, the mill at Old Killaloe harnessed waterpower to grind grain for area residents up to 1930, and planed lumber until the 1960s. In those days it was known as Fort McDonnell, but it became known as Killaloe Station circa 1868 when the Ottawa, Arnprior, Parry Sound Railway was expanding at a furious pace through the rugged countryside of the Madawaska Valley in response to the demands of the lumber industry.
In 1854 the construction of the Opeongo Line brought settlers and the logging industry to this area which originally had been occupied by the Algonquins. The Algonquin in the area still continue an ongoing land claim which covers the entire region. A majority of the settlers were French Canadians and Irish Catholic immigrants but among them were Poles, Kashubians and Germans as well.
With the railroad construction essentially finished, and the forestry industry declining many of the people took to farming. Unfortunately the soil was poor. Rocky land and short growing seasons meant that many farms failed. The population went into a steady decline which has only leveled off in the past few decades.
Today the lumber industry is still important to the livelihood of many in the surrounding communities. Both large and small logging operations and sawmills still support the local economy even though the railway no longer runs through the village. The last passenger train rolled through in 1962, and in 1968 the train station was torn down. Killaloe still maintains a flavour of the turn of the century in many of the commercial buildings which are more than 100 years old.
For years, Killaloe was known across Canada for its radio and weather station, which operated here from 1938 to 1972 as part of a country-wide chain of sites designed for aircraft communication. The site was a frost pocket with nightly minimum temperatures among the coldest in eastern Canada. A small airstrip operated at the weather station until 1953 before services were moved to neighbouring Bonnechere.
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 Renfrew County