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The Township of Mariposa is located in the southwest corner of the former Victoria County, now the city of Kawartha Lakes, in the Canadian province of Ontario. The other municipal neighbors of Mariposa are Ops and Fenelon on the east, Eldon on the north, Brock on the west, and Scugog on the south, with the latter two located in the Durham Regional Municipality. The former township includes the communities of Little Britain, Manilla, Mariposa, Valencia, and Oakwood.
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Ontario GenWeb has a sketchmap of the original townships of Victoria County.
The map of Victoria County circa 1951 from Ontario Archives locates the individual municipalities, townships, city, towns and villages of the county.
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 1914 are now available [October 2012]; 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. All of the original census (1851-1911) images are online with the exception of that for 1861. Not all of them are indexed. Later censuses are not yet available. Census divisions were redrawn as the population increased and more land was inhabited.
E-books and Books
All the following sources are known to be available at a Victoria County location.
The best place to start researching Victoria County or its Townships is the City of Kawartha Lakes Public Library Lindsay Branch although one would never know it from the website. The reference section of the library has books,indexes, donated family histories, microfilm, directories, fire insurance maps, a very large photo collection, etc. and an excellent staff. Send enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org. There is a charge for large searches however the facilities are free for anyone able to visit the library.
The Victoria County Genealogy Group has volunteers who will search within Victoria County and its immediate surrounding counties for free, time permitting. Enquiries can be made at email@example.com
Local History Book
Ross Irwin's book, Mariposa, the Banner Township is the best source, however names are not indexed. Fortunately it is available in a digital form and is searchable. There is a 1964 edition of the book which is not as complete as the 1984 edition but does have about 40 short biographies.
The booklet Little Britain United Church Centennial 1939 is about half biographies and has a few interesting pioneer anecdotes. This booklet which was probably printed by the church for members only and may be hard to find. The Lindsay library has one copy with a repaired cover.
The Little Britain United Church Cemetery Records lists all deaths from 1840 to 1987 often with father's name, and place born and died.