Queenston is a "compact rural community" located in the former Niagara Township in Lincoln County in southern Ontario. Queenston is now found in the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake in the Regional Municipality of Niagara. The change took place in 1970 when the regional municipality was created.
Queenston is a town located 5 km north of Niagara Falls, Ontario in the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake. It is bordered by Highway 405 and the Niagara River; its location on the Niagara Escarpment led to the establishment of the now-defunct Queenston Quarry in the area. Across the river and the American border is the village of Lewiston, New York. The two communities, and countries, are linked by the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge.
Queenston was first settled in the 1770s by United Empire Loyalist refugees and immigrants from the United States. During the War of 1812, British, Mohawk and Canadian colonial troops repelled an American invasion force here in the Battle of Queenston Heights. British Major-General Sir Isaac Brock was killed in the battle; the victory and his death are commemorated by an impressive stone monument located atop the Niagara Escarpment and surmounted by a large stone statue of Brock overlooking the village below. Also nearby is a smaller monument to Brock's gray horse, Alfred. It was also the home of Laura Secord, a Canadian heroine of the 1812 war.
RiverBrink Art Museum is also located in Queenston. It is home to a unique collection of over 1,400 artworks and artefacts by Canadian and international artists, assembled by Samuel E. Weir. Completed in 1970, the building features Georgian-style architecture, including a mansard roof and gabled windows. It served as Weir's country residence, and was converted into an art museum following his death in 1981.
This village is the point where the Niagara River began eroding the Niagara Escarpment. During the ensuing 12,000 years the Falls cut an long gorge in the Escarpment southward to its present-day position.
In the early 19th century, the community's name was spelled as Queenstown.
Queenston marks the southern terminus of the Bruce Trail. The cairn marking the terminus of the trail is in a parking lot, about 160 metres (520 ft) from General Brock's Monument on the easterly side of the monument's park grounds.
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 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.
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, 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.
E-books and Books
Some websites with more local information on Lincoln County