Place:Matilda, Dundas, Ontario, Canada

Watchers
NameMatilda
TypeTownship
Coordinates44.92°N 75.37°W
Located inDundas, Ontario, Canada     ( - 1998)
Also located inStormont Dundas and Glengarry, Ontario, Canada    
See alsoSouth Dundas, Dundas, Ontario, Canadamunicipality into which merged in 1998

Matilda has an area 62,327 acres (252 km2) and is located on the St Lawrence River in eastern Ontario. It was first settled in 1784 by Loyalists to the British crown after the American Revolutionary War. Many of these Loyalists were of German descent and had been settled in America for two or three generations.

The Township was formally organized in 1787 and named in honour of the Princess Royal, Charlotte Augusta Matilda, who married the King of Württemberg in 1797. During the War of 1812 a fort was located at Point Iroquois.

Communities: Iroquois, Irena, Dundela, Glen Stewart, Brinston, Hulbert and Pleasant Valley.

Since 1998 this Township has been part of Municipality of South Dundas.

History

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

The county was named in 1792 to honour Henry Dundas, who was Lord Advocate for Scotland and Colonial Secretary at the time. Matilda and Williamsburgh were two of Upper Canada's original eight Royal Townships. The northern portions of Matilda and Williamsburg townships were separated in 1798 to form the new townships of Mountain and Winchester within Dundas County.

The McIntosh apple was invented, or discovered, in South Dundas near Williamsburg. John McIntosh's parents emigrated from Inverness, Scotland to the Mohawk Valley in New York, and John moved to Upper Canada in 1796. In 1811 he acquired a farm in Dundela, and while clearing the land of second growth discovered several apple seedlings. He transplanted these, and one bore the superior fruit which became famous as the McIntosh Red apple. John's son Allan established a nursery and promoted this new species extensively. It was widely acclaimed in Ontario and the northern United States, and was introduced into British Columbia about 1910. Its popularity in North America and propagation in many lands attest the initiative and industry of John McIntosh and his descendants.

Morrisburg took its name from James Morris, Canada's first postmaster general. Morris also played an important role in canal-building in the area.

James Pliny Whitney, Ontario's sixth premier, is buried here in the cemetery of Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Riverside Heights, just east of Morrisburg and north of County Road 2 (formerly Highway 2). Whitney was born in Williamsburg in 1843, represented Dundas County in the Legislature from 1888 to 1914 and served as Premier from 1905 to 1914.

Morrisburg and Iroquois were partially flooded by the creation of the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1958. Unlike the Lost Villages of Cornwall and Osnabruck Townships, however, the two towns were simply relocated to higher ground in the same area. There was an international design competition in 1954 to design the new Iroquois townsite. Canadian-British architect Wells Coates was among those who submitted redevelopment concepts.

An artificial lake, Lake Saint Lawrence, now extends from a hydroelectric dam at Cornwall to the control structure at Iroquois, and replaces the formerly narrow and turbulent section of river that was impassable to large vessels. It replaces, in part, the Long Sault rapids.

Several buildings from the Lost Villages were moved to a site near Morrisburg to create Upper Canada Village, a living museum which depicts 19th century life in Upper Canada.

In 1976, stuntman Ken Carter attempted to jump a one mile portion of the Saint Lawrence River by taking a one million dollar Lincoln Continental rocket car off an eight-storey ramp. This was billed as The Super Jump. The ramp and its runway were located in a field just west of Hanes Road, South of County road 2. The ramp has since been demolished, but the concrete runway still exists as of 2012.

Charles A. Barkley, who was elected mayor of the municipality in the 2006 municipal elections, died unexpectedly on June 17, 2009. He was a municipal politician since 1981 when he joined the Township of Matilda council. He was succeeded by deputy mayor Robert Gillard.

Research Tips

The map of Dundas County circa 1951 from Ontario Archives locates the communities and physical features of the county. (Click at the bottom of the page to see the map enlarged.)

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 Dundas County

  • Locally provided information on genealogical sources in Dundas County is limited. The Dundas GenWeb portion of Ontario GenWeb is "under construction" and contains no available information. There is no local branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society extant. Leeds & Grenville Branch of the OGS have printed transcriptions of three cemeteries in Dundas available.
  • There is The Dundas County Genealogy Loyalist Resource Centre, a centre in Morrisburg containing "land records, church records, tombstone inscriptions, published genealogy, history books, family pedigrees and indexed censuses for 10 townships in SDG". Vistors by appointment.
  • Internet Archive has a large collection of Ontario references and is always worth checking. Enter the town or township in the seach engine.

This information was gathered July 2012.

source: Family History Library Catalog