Parry Sound District is a census division of the Canadian province of Ontario. Its seat is Parry Sound. Its boundaries are Muskoka to the south, the Sudbury District, the French River and Lake Nipissing in the north, Nipissing District, Ontario and North Bay in the north and east and parts of Algonquin Park in the northeast.
In 2011, the population was 42,162. The land area is 9,322.80 square kilometres (3,600 sq mi); the population density was 4.5 per square kilometre (12 /sq mi).
Although geographically in Southern Ontario, the Parry Sound District is the only census division in the southern part of the province which does not have an incorporated county, regional municipality or district municipality level of government, instead serving as a purely territorial division like the districts of Northern Ontario.
In lieu of an upper tier of municipal administration, all government services in the district are provided either by the local municipalities or by the provincial government itself. Some communities which are not part of any incorporated municipality are served by local services boards. The district is also included in the service area of FedNor and the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund. Accordingly, in some contexts the division is grouped with the Northern Ontario region instead of Southern Ontario.
The map of Parry Sound District circa 1951 from Ontario Archives locates the individual municipalities, townships, towns and villages of the district.
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