This article is based on one in Wikipedia.
At the time of the arrival of the Europeans in the 1600s, both Iroquoian and Algonquian-speaking peoples already lived in the Credit River Valley area. One of the First Nations groups the French traders found around the Credit River area were the Algonquian Mississaugas, a tribe originally from the Georgian Bay area. By 1700 the Mississaugas had driven away the Iroquois.
Toronto Township was formed on August 2, 1805 when officials from the Town of York (now Toronto) purchased 84,000 acres (340 km²) of land from the Mississaugas.
After the land was surveyed, the Crown gave much of it in the form of land grants to United Empire Loyalists who emigrated directly from the Thirteen Colonies during and after the American Revolution, as well as to loyalists who spent time in New Brunswick before proceeding to Upper Canada. The government wanted to compensate the Loyalists for property lost in the colonies and encourage development of what was considered "frontier". In 1820, the government purchased additional land from the Mississaugas. European-Canadian growth led to the eventual displacement of the Mississaugas. In 1847, the government relocated them to a reserve in the Grand River Valley near present-day Hagersville.
In 1873, in light of the continued growth seen in this area much as a result of the many railway lines passing through the township which spurred on industry, the Toronto Township Council was formed to oversee the affairs of the various villages that were unincorporated at that time. The Council's responsibilities included road maintenance, the establishment of a police force, and mail delivery service. Except for small villages, and some gristmills and brickworks served by railway lines, most of the township was agricultural land, including fruit orchards, throughout much of the 19th and first half of the 20th century.
The original villages (and some later towns) settled included: Lakeview, Clarkson, Cooksville, Streetsville, Churchville, Dixie, Springfield (Erindale after 1890), Lorne Park, Port Credit, Sheridan, and Summerville.
The Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) highway, one of the first controlled access highways in the world opened from Highway 27 to Highway 10, Port Credit, in 1935. It was later extended to Hamilton and Niagara in 1939. The first prototypical suburban developments occurred around the same time, in the area south of the Dixie Road/Queen Elizabeth Way interchange. Gradually development moved north and west and established towns expanded their boundaries. Large-scale developments, such as those that occurred in Meadowvale and Erin Mills, sprang up in the 1960s and 70s.
In 1968 the township settlements of Lakeview, Cooksville, Lorne Park, Clarkson, Erindale, Sheridan, Dixie, Meadowvale Village, and Malton were amalgamated by a somewhat unpopular provincial decree to form the Town of Mississauga. Port Credit and Streetsville remained independent island towns encircled by the Town of Mississauga. In 1974, both were annexed by Mississauga when it reincorporated as a city.
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