Place:Merritton, Lincoln, Ontario, Canada

Watchers
NameMerritton
Alt namesWelland Citysource: wikipedia
TypeCommunity
Coordinates43.139°N 79.21°W
Located inLincoln, Ontario, Canada
See alsoGrantham, Lincoln, Ontario, Canadatownship in which Merritton located until 1960
St. Catharines, Lincoln, Ontario, Canadacity in which Merritton located since 1960
Niagara, Ontario, Canadaregional municipality which Lincoln County joined in 1970


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

Merritton is both a distinct community within and a council ward of St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. It was named after William Hamilton Merritt, a prominent local entrepreneur and founder of the Welland Canal Company. Until 1858, Merritton was named Welland City, but exchanged names that year with Merrittsville (Today's Welland City), when that town became the "seat" of Welland county.

Merritton is often referred to as The Heart of St. Catharines, due in large part to the location. Prior to amalgamation in 1960 which saw the original city of St. Catharines absorb several satellite towns, Merritton was a separate entity (along with Grantham and Port Dalhousie). To this day, residents maintain a sense of distinct community identity. The original town hall, on Merritt St., once the City of St. Catharines Museum, is now home to the St. Catharines Senior's Centre.

Merritton has developed a significant system of community organizations, including the Merritton Lions, who oversee the Community Days Parade (formerly known as the Labour Day parade) and Carnival, the Dunc Schooley Memorial Pool, and several other sports and recreation facilities. It is also home to one of St. Catharines' arenas, and a Community Centre.

As a former industrial center on the Welland Canal, Merritton retains a small yet impressive number of heritage sites. Among them are the Merritton Tunnel (under the third Welland Canal), remnants of the three previous Welland Canals and several early industrial ruins, and The Keg restaurant, which is housed in the former Independent Rubber Company / Merritton Cotton Mills Annex. The area has undergone a major infrastructure facelift involving the re-alignment of Glendale Avenue and the replacement of the Merritt Street Bridge. It is also experiencing a significant increase in residential construction, especially on property designated as brownfield by the city.

Research Tips

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 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.
Images and indexes of civil registrations for the "viewable" years can be found on paid websites, and indexes only on FamilySearch. The latest year published is not yet available online. The FamilySearch Wiki on Ontario Vital Records explains how these records are organized and their availability.

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. 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.
Other websites, some paid and some free, also provide Canadian census originals and/or indexes online. One can view censuses on microfilm at the Archives of Ontario or at big 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 Lincoln County

  • Niagara GenWeb provides a combined site for Lincoln and Welland. In places it appears to be "under construction" but another click away is a list of early settlers for a township with the date they settled, birthplace, post office address and business. There is also a surname database, a query page, a list of the census microfilms with LAC code numbers (not FamilySearch), a list of cemeteries in the county, biographies of settlers, libraries and county offices, land records, links to family websites and other links.
  • The Niagara Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society have a list of their publications both online and off- and their research facilities. Niagara Branch will be hosting the OGS annual province-wide conference in 2014.
  • The St Catharines Public Library has a website devoted to their genealogical holdings.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Merritton, Ontario. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.