Place:Willoughby, Welland, Ontario, Canada

Watchers
NameWilloughby
TypeTownship
Coordinates43.01°N 79.07°W
Located inWelland, Ontario, Canada     ( - 1970)
See alsoNiagara, Ontario, Canadacounty municipality established 1970


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Willoughby Township is the rural southern portion of Niagara Falls, Ontario, between the village of Chippawa and the boundary with Fort Erie. Included is historic Navy Island in the Niagara River and the site of the Battle of Chippawa, fought between British and American forces on July 5, 1814. In 1970, most of the township merged with the city of Niagara Falls with the creation of the Regional Municipality of Niagara, ending county government in Niagara.

European settlement began in the 1770s and 1780s, with Willoughby mostly uncleared and covered in thick forests and shrubs. These first settlers were mainly United Empire Loyalists escaping the American Revolution. More groups of pacifist Pennsylvania Dutch families arrived in the 1790s. The 19th century saw increasing settlement, mainly by German-speaking farmers from Alsace-Lorraine, Switzerland, and other German regions attracted by cheap land. Today their names continue to dot the township's roads and cemeteries. The Willoughby Township Hall opened in 1877 and is still used for community events and meetings.

The Willoughby Historical Museum has displayed the township's history since 1968 in a former school house along the riverside Niagara Parkway, three miles south of Chippawa. The Willoughby Historical Society also continues to operate as an organization dedicated to the area's unique history.

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.

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 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.
Images and indexes of civil registrations for the "viewable" years can be found on paid websites, and indexes only on FamilySearch. The FamilySearch Wiki on Ontario Vital Records explains how these records are organized and their availability.
In September 2014 Ancestry.ca announced that its paid website has been subjected to a "houseclean" of its Ontario BMD database, adding data that had been omitted and making many corrections. Its provision now includes

  • Births, with 2,172,124 records covering 1869-1913.
  • Marriages, with 3,393,369 records for 1801-1928 including Ontario county, district and Roman Catholic origins as well as province-wide civil registration.
  • Deaths, with 2,190,030 records comprising Ontario civil registrations of deaths, 1869-1938 and registrations of Ontario overseas deaths for 1939-1947.


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, 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.
Other websites, some paid and some free, also provide Canadian census originals and/or indexes online. One can also view censuses on microfilm at the LAC, at the Archives of Ontario (see address above), or at large 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.

Some websites with more local information on Welland County

  • Niagara GenWeb provides a combined site for Lincoln and Welland. In places it appears to be "under construction" but another click away is a list of early settlers for a township with the date they settled, birthplace, post office address and business. There is also a surname database, a query page, a list of the census microfilms with LAC code numbers (not FamilySearch), a list of cemeteries in the county, biographies of settlers, libraries and county offices, land records, links to family websites and other links.
  • The Niagara Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society have a list of their publications both online and off- and their research facilities. Niagara Branch will be hosting the OGS annual province-wide conference in 2014.
  • Niagara Falls City Hall has a cemetery search website
  • Willougby Historical Museum appears to be a place to visit.
source: Family History Library Catalog
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Willoughby, Ontario. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.