Kingston Mills, located approximately 7 km north of downtown Kingston, Ontario, is the southern-most lockstation and one of 24 lockstations of the Rideau Canal system. Kingston Mills is a component of the Rideau Canal National Historic Site, and along with the rest of the Rideau Canal, is a World Heritage Site. The site is managed and operated by Parks Canada.
Kingston Mills developed because of a series of falls (known as Cataraqui Falls) on the Cataraqui River. In 1784, a grist mill and saw mill were built by the British government on the falls to serve the residents of the growing Loyalist settlement at what is now Kingston. "King's Mill", the area's original name, became a major location for settlers to bring produce. Several mills were built over the years; the structures were often damaged by fire or water, or left abandoned.
Beginning in 1827, the site was cleared to begin building locks for the Rideau Canal. The locks would enable boats to bypass the falls. Four locks (Nos. 46, 47, 48, and 49) were constructed, all of which have a lift of 3.6 metres.
A defensive blockhouse was constructed beginning in 1832. It housed militia and British regular troops from 1838 to 1841. It is one of four situated along the Rideau Canal. The blockhouse has been restored to the condition it may have looked like in the 1830s.
Since 1909, several bridges over the canal along Kingston Mills Road have been constructed and replaced. The last bridge, a steel swing bridge, was built in 1988.
Other structures that were built at Kingston Mills include storage barns, stables, railway buildings, living quarters, and the lockstation office, which was once a store house. The only buildings still existing, other than the generating station and the blockhouse, are the lockstation office and the original lockmaster's house which is now a visitor centre known as Lockmaster Anglin's Visitor Centre.
Kingston Mills was designated a National Historic Site in 1925, and a World Heritage Site in 2007.
In 2009, four women were found dead in a car underwater at Kingston Mills. It was determined that the four had been murdered. Family members of the deceased were convicted.
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 Frontenac County