The Township of Rama was first named in 1820 and was originally part of York County, but was transferred to Ontario County when it was established in 1852. At that time it was incorporated as an amalgamated municipality with the neighbouring township, Mara. The two townships were later reincorporated as separate municipalities in 1869.
Ontario County was dissolved upon the formation of the Regional Municipality of Durham in 1974, and both townships were transferred to Simcoe County. As part of the municipal restructuring of Simcoe County, Mara and Rama Townships were reamalgamated to form Ramara in 1994.
A portion of Rama Township was allocated to form what became the Mnjikaning First Nation 32 Indian reserve of the Chippewas of Mnjikaning First Nation. Prior to 1836 when the lands were surrendered by treaty, many natives were living on the narrow strip of land that separates lakes Simcoe and Couchiching between Atherley and Orillia. After that time, the local Indian Agent began purchasing lands in Rama Township and the natives were relocated there.
The geographical makeup of Rama and Mara is best shown in a map of Ontario County circa 1951 from Ontario Archives from which the sketchmap on this page has been taken.
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