- source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
Miami Beach is a lakeshore community in the former North Gwillimbury Township in York County, Ontario, Canada; now located in the Town of Georgina in York Region.
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.
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.
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.
=== Websites with more local information on York County (York Region) ===
- York County GenWeb. Worth a reference, but some pages need updating, particularly addresses for archives and libraries.
- York Region Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society. Serves Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King, Markham, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Vaughan, Whitchurch-Stouffville. Website has recently been updated (at August 2012).
- Canadiana Library at North York Public Library This library houses a wide collection of local genealogical material, provides microfilm readers for the Canadian census and for local newspapers, and is the home of the Ontario Genealogical Society's own library.
- The Richmond Hill Public Library houses the largest collection of genealogical material in York Region.
- Markham Museum and Historic Village. This used to be a library holding original documents such as township land records. It now includes an outdoor museum of old buildings from around the township.
- The Newmarket Era newspaper has a digitized version online covering its last 125 years.
- Toronto Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society. Serves the current City of Toronto including Etobicoke, York Township, Weston, Long Branch, New Toronto, Mimico, Swansea, Forest Hill, East York, Leaside and North York as well as the original City of Toronto. Contains a table of links to Toronto City Directories to be found online. Many other services and publications.
- Heritage Toronto has a large website and newsletter outlining Toronto's history and includes a series of links to other organizations.
- There may be many other libraries and museums housing information for genealogical searching in York County or York Region including others with more of a Toronto bias.