Place:Petrolia, Lambton, Ontario, Canada

Watchers
NamePetrolia
TypeTown
Coordinates42.886°N 82.144°W
Located inLambton, Ontario, Canada
See alsoEnniskillen, Lambton, Ontario, Canadatownship surrounding Petrolia
the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia

Petrolia is a town near Sarnia in Lambton, Ontario. The town is an enclave within Enniskillen Township and is billed as "Canada's Victorian Oil Town" and is often credited with starting the oil industry in North America.

Further information on the history of oil production in Petrolia from the 1850s can be found at Wikipedia.

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

  • 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.

Some websites with more local information on Lambton County

  • Lambton County GenWeb has a website of links to various other website.
  • The Lambton Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society has a list of printed and online (pay-site) publications including an Early Settlers Database. It also leads to a couple of interesting detailed maps of the county (current-day).
  • Lambton County Genealogy Links provides a link to the local 1901 and 1911 censuses provided by the Ontario GenWeb Census Project. The Lambton County censuses (1851-1911) are almost completely transcribed by the Ontario GenWeb Project (free access). Their transcriptions, used in conjunction with inspection of the actual census images from Library and Archives Canada (LAC--see above), would be very useful.
  • Canadian Genealogy Lambton page has links to Ontario-wide genealogy websites and also a descriptive list of places in the county produced by Lambton County Council in 1925.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Petrolia, 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.
source: Family History Library Catalog