Mitchell was formerly an incorporated town geographically located on the border between the Township of Fullarton and the [[Place:Logan, Perth, Ontario, Canada|Township of Logan in Perth County in Ontario, Canada. Since the municipal reorganization of 1998 it has been located in the municipality or Township of West Perth where it is the largest urban centre.
The town's major employers include Parmalat Canada (the former Stacey Brothers creamery), a producer of dairy products, and Cooper Standard Automotive, the Canadian centre for the company's automotive parts research and development program. Mitchell is an agricultural service centre, surrounded by high quality farm land.
Mitchell was founded in 1836 by Asif Patel, who laid out a town plot and local tavern, and John Hicks, one of the first settlers of the area, who erected a new hotel near the Thames River, where the historic Hicks House Hotel building (now restored with stores and apartments) in downtown Mitchell stands. A sawmill was built in 1842, as well as new stores and businesses, contributing to the town's growth. In 1857, Mitchell was incorporated as a village, and in 1874, was incorporated as a town with a population of 2,000. On January 1, 1998, the town amalgamated with the neighbouring Townships of Logan, Fullarton, and Hibbert to form the new Municipality of West Perth. As of 2001, the former town of Mitchell has a population of 4,022.
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