Stamford Township was a township in Welland County on the Niagara Peninsula in Upper Canada, later Ontario. It faces the Niagara River with the Falls of Niagara at the centre of that boundary.
The first survey of the area took place around 1776, and twelve families came to settle. Since it was the second township in the region to be surveyed, it was named Township #2, and later Mount Dorchester for Sir Guy Carleton who was Lord Dorchester. A second survery was conducted in 1787 and the area was renamed Stamford by John Graves Simcoe. The first municipal government was established in 1793.
Stamford was situated on the Niagara Portage Road which took traffic away from the precipice of the Falls--a 19th century "ring road". The town, later city, of Niagara Falls expanded as its popularity as a tourist attraction increased and Stamford Township became more urbanized as time went on. In 1962 it was amalgamated with the neighbouring city of Niagara Falls, Ontario.The map of Welland County circa 1951 from Ontario Archives locates the individual townships, city, towns and villages of the county. (Click at the bottom of the page to see the map enlarged.)
A sketchmap from Ontario GenWeb provides a simple illustration of the location of the former townships.
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
Some websites with more local information on Welland County