Milton is a town in Halton County in southern Ontario, Canada. The original town grew from a population of about 100 in 1838 to about 7000 in 1971. In 1973 as part of the restructuring of the county, Milton amalgamated with neighbouring towns and townships so that its population in 2011 is 84,000.
The map of Halton 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 town took root out of a settlement by Jasper Martin along the Sixteen Mile Creek; Martin immigrated from Newcastle, England with his wife Sarah and two sons on May 17, 1818. Martin was granted of land, from the Crown in 1820, designated Lot 14, Concession 2, Township of Trafalgar, Halton County, in the District of Gore. Martin later built a grist mill along the creek and created a pond, known as Mill Pond, to power his mill. The mill became the centre of settlement for others as they settled in the region. In 1837 the area had a population of approximately 100 people and was named Mill Town. The town, as it is today, soon after became known as Milton. The two principal property owners of the young town were the Martins and the Fosters. The current site of Milton's town hall was donated from Mr. Hugh Foster (and thus, Hugh Foster Hall).
Milton was incorporated into a town in 1857, after being chosen as county seat for Halton. In 1974, the present municipal structure was created when the Regional Municipality of Halton replaced Halton County. The new town of Milton added parts of the former township of Esquesing (most of this township comprises Halton Hills), all of Nassagaweya Township including the village of Campbellville, and the northern sections of Trafalgar and Nelson from (a 1962 annexation of the former townships) Oakville and Burlington respectively.
With the addition of the Niagara Escarpment lands, tourism, recreation, and heritage conservation have increased in importance. The Halton Region Museum which has a large number of historic agricultural buildings and the Halton County Radial Railway museum are located in Milton, as is Country Heritage Park (formerly the Ontario Agricultural Museum). Five large parks operated by Conservation Halton reside in the town and Mohawk Raceway is located near Campbellville. It is also home to Maplehurst Correctional Complex and the Vanier Centre for Women.
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
Some websites with more local information on Halton County