Place:Muskoka, Ontario, Canada

NameMuskoka
Alt namesMuskoka District Municipality
Muskokasource: WeRelate abbreviation
Muskoka Districtsource: Family History Library Catalog
TypeDistrict
Coordinates45.1°N 79.3°W
Located inOntario, Canada
See alsoVictoria, Ontario, Canadacertain townships before 1888 (see below)
Simcoe, Ontario, Canadacertain townships before 1888 (see below)
Contained Places
Inhabited place
Aspdin
Bala
Beaumaris
Cognashene
Crooked Bay
Darling
Gravenhusrt
Kilworthy
MacTier
Port Carling
Port Sydney
Severn Bridge
Uffington
Utterson
Vankoughnet
Windermere
Municipality
Bracebridge
Georgian Bay ( 1971 - )
Gravenhurst
Huntsville
Lake of Bays ( 1971 - )
Muskoka Lakes ( 1971 - )
Township
Baxter ( - 1971 )
Brunel ( 1868 - 1971 )
Cardwell ( 1868 - 1971 )
Chaffey ( - 1971 )
Draper ( 1868 - 1971 )
Finlayson ( - 1971 )
Franklin ( - 1971 )
Freeman ( - 1971 )
Gibson ( - 1971 )
Macaulay ( 1868 - 1971 )
McLean ( - 1971 )
Medora ( 1870 - 1971 )
Monck ( 1870 - 1971 )
Morrison ( 1868 - 1971 )
Muskoka (township) ( 1868 - 1971 )
Oakley ( - 1971 )
Ridout ( - 1971 )
Ryde ( 1868 - 1971 )
Sinclair ( - 1971 )
Stephenson ( 1868 - 1971 )
Stisted ( - 1971 )
Watt ( - 1971 )
Wood ( 1870 - 1971 )
Unincorporated area
Dorset

This article is based on one in Wikipedia and also on notes provided by Ontario GenWeb.

Muskoka extends from Georgian Bay in the west, to the northern tip of Lake Couchiching in the south, to the western border of Algonquin Provincial Park in the east. Located approximately two hours north of Toronto, Muskoka spans 6,475km2 (or 2500 sq mi). Its 1600 or so lakes make it a popular resort destination.

The name of the district derives from a First Nations chief of the 1850s. Lake Muskoka was then the hunting grounds of a band led by Chief Mesqua Ukie or Yellowhead. He was revered by the government, who built a home for him in Orillia where he lived until his death at the age of 95.

Muskoka has just over 50,000 permanent residents, but an additional 100,000 seasonal property owners spend their summers in the region every year.

History and Original Organization

Muskoka District was established in 1868 by the government of Ontario in its first session of the legislature following the Confederation of Canada in 1867.

The first recorded inhabitants of what is now known as Muskoka were nomadic Indians of various tribes.In 1763 when the British took over, an Ojibway band was located in the Muskoka District. A treaty made in 1850 with the Ojibway ceded an ill-defined area in Muskoka to the Crown." (source: Places In Ontario by Nick & Helma Mika, 1977)

Originally the plan was that Muskoka should be an Indian reserve, but in 1859 applications for settlement at Severn Bridge were received and 17 location tickets were issued.(source:ibid)

Although Muskoka District was established in 1868 it was not officially recognized until 1888. Until then several townships that are now in Muskoka District were to be found in the adjoining counties of Victoria and Simcoe.

The first townships to be opened for settlement in 1861 were

A second group were opened for settlement in 1868

The remaining townships which were settled later were:

Ontario Genweb provides a sketchmap of the original townships of Muskoka.

The map of Muskoka District circa 1951 from Ontario Archives locates the individual municipalities, townships, towns and villages of the district.

Organization since 1971

In 1971 Muskoka District was made into the The District Municipality of Muskoka, similar to many other "regional municipalities" across southern Ontario. The seat of the regional government is Bracebride. Since municipal reorganization in 1971 the area is divided into the municipalities or townships of

and the towns of

The First Nation reserves of Wahta Mohawk Territory and Moose Point 79 are also in the district.

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 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

source: Family History Library Catalog
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Muskoka District Municipality, 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.