Manotick, Ontario, is a suburb of Ottawa on the Rideau River, immediately south of the suburbs Barrhaven and Riverside South and is about 25 km (16 mi) from downtown Ottawa. It has been part of the City of Ottawa since amalgamation in 2001. It had a 2011 population of 4520.
In the 1830s, a small settlement formed in the area of the newly constructed Long Island locks on the Rideau Canal, but no development was done in the area of present day Manotick. In 1859, when a bulkhead was constructed across the west branch of the Rideau River in the location of present day Manotick, entrepreneur Moss Kent Dickinson and his partner Joseph Merrill Currier obtained the water rights and constructed a stone mill, on the shores of the Rideau River. Mills established by Dickinson and Currier helped spur the development of the settlement. One of these, Watson's Mill, survives today (open to the public).
It was Dickinson, who in 1864 named the new village "Manotick," after the Ojibwa word meaning "island in the river". Dickinson House, built in 1863, was the first major building in Manotick. It served as a general store, bank, post office, and telegraph office. The Dickinson, Spratt, and Watson families, who owned/operated the grist mill, now known as Watson’s Mill, used the house as their residence from 1870 to 1972. The house is currently furnished to give visitors an interpretation of what the space was like when the Dickinson family was in residence.
The original St. James Anglican Church was built of wood in a Norman style in 1876, on land donated by Moss Kent Dickinson. When a larger church was built in 1985, the original style and appearance, including a Norman tower, the original stained glass windows, plaques and much of the other furnishings were maintained.
As commercial traffic on the Rideau became less important, the population in the village declined. The population in the village rebounded as Manotick came to be viewed by some as a commuter community for Ottawa. It joined the City of Ottawa in 2001.
Map of Ottawa and Carleton County from Wikipedia Commons
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
Researching in Eastern Ontario
The website of the Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society offers a number of search engines for databases of material they maintain:
The Society covers the counties of Carleton (combined with the city of Ottawa), Lanark, Renfrew, Prescott and Russell. There is a note on the website that the URL will be changing soon (Jun 2012). It may be best to “google” the Ottawa Branch of OGS.