Place:Westminster, Middlesex, Ontario, Canada

Watchers
NameWestminster
Alt namesWestminstersource: WeRelate abbreviation
TypeTownship
Coordinates42.909°N 81.3°W
Located inMiddlesex, Ontario, Canada     ( - 1993)
See alsoLondon, Middlesex, Ontario, Canadacity into which the better part of Westminster Township amalgamated in 1993

Westminster was a township in the county of Middlesex. It is south of the Thames River and south of the centre of the City of London Ontario. The majority of Westminster Township was amalgamated into London, Ontario, in 1993.

The township map in the 1878 Atlas of Middlesex County showed the following villages and inhabited places: Tempo (Lots 50 & 51 North Talbot Road), Lambeth (Lots 70 & 71 North Talbot Road), part of Nilestown (Lot 1 Concession B), Westminster(Lots 29-31 Concession B), Byron (Lot 45 Concession B), Grove (Lots 12 & 13 Concessions 2 and 3), part of Derwent (Lot 1 concessions 3 & 4), part of Belmount (Lot 1 Concession 7), Glanworth (Lots 15 & 16 Concessions 7 & 8).

Westminster village was just south of the Thames River and contiguous with the City of London. It appears to have merged with the city early in its history.

Current (2007) maps show the following additional communities within Westminster Township's boundaries of 1878: Scottsville, Littlewood, Wilton Grove, Brockley, Hubrey, White Oak, Lockwood Park, Westmount, Glendale, Southcrest Estates, Kensale Park, Manor Park, Cleardale, Pond Mills, Southdale, Glencairn Wood.

The map of Middlesex 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 townships.

Research Tips

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.

Early Records

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.
Images and indexes of civil registrations for the "viewable" years can be found on paid websites, and indexes only on FamilySearch. The latest year published is not yet available online. The FamilySearch Wiki on Ontario Vital Records explains how these records are organized and their availability.

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.

Censuses

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.
Other websites, some paid and some free, also provide Canadian census originals and/or indexes online. One can view censuses on microfilm at the Archives of Ontario or at big libraries throughout Canada.

E-books and Books

  • The Internet Archive, particularly texts from Canadian universities, can contain interesting material
  • Our Roots is a Canadian website similar to The Internet Archive
  • Global Genealogy is an online bookshop specializing in Ontario material who will ship anywhere in the world.

Websites with more local information on Middlesex County

  • Middlesex GenWeb has short "biographies" of each of the townships and a database of all the cemeteries in Middlesex, complete with street addresses for all and GPS co-ordinates for some. This is part of a province-wide project to provide cemetery information. There is also a link to completed and incomplete census transcriptions on a township by township basis.
  • London & Middlesex Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society
source: Family History Library Catalog