Stoney Creek was an independently incorporated town located in the former Saltfleet Township in Wentworth County in southern Ontario. In 1974 the town was amalgamated with the surrounding Saltfleet Township to form the Municpality of Stoney Creek at the same time as the Regional Municipality of Hamilton-Wentworth was established. Since 2001 the area is a part of the new single-tier City of Hamilton.
History and attractions
Historic Stoney Creek was settled by Loyalists after the American Revolution and was nondescript until it was put on the map as it were by the Battle of Stoney Creek during the War of 1812. In a night-time surprise attack, the outnumbered British overwhelmed the Americans and forced their retreat to Forty Mile Creek (now Grimsby). In a forty minute battle, hundreds were killed, and the two American Generals were captured. The site of the Battle of Stoney Creek near Centennial Parkway and King Street has been preserved as Battlefield House with its associated museum, monument and park.
The Erland Lee Museum, site of the first Women's Institute in the World, is also located in Stoney Creek.
Branches of the Bruce Trail provide access to Battlefield Park as well as the Devil's Punch Bowl. The latter is marked by a large illuminated cross and offers an excellent lookout for both Stoney Creek and Hamilton. Other green spaces of note include Fifty Point Conservation Area, which includes camping and a small craft harbour.
Both the Devil's Punch Bowl and the large cross mentioned above were featured in the 2006 horror film Silent Hill. It can be seen during the first few scenes. Another movie filmed in the area was the 1998 film The Big Hit starring Mark Wahlberg.
On a more commercial note, the Winona Peach Festival serves up homegrown fruit, crafts and music. Like the peach festival, the Stoney Creek Flag Festival is also held every summer. The Stoney Creek Dairy on King Street — with a stylized Battlefield Monument in its logo — has offered frozen treats to people in the region for decades under a variety of ownership, the current one being Ben & Jerry's. In 2013, the former dairy has been torn down for re-development. Eastgate Square Mall straddles the former border between Hamilton and Stoney Creek.
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 Wentworth County