Place:Windsor, Essex, Ontario, Canada

Watchers
NameWindsor
Alt namesPetite Côte(before 1792)source: Wikipedia
Sandwich (1792-1854)source: Family History Library Catalog
TypeCity
Coordinates42.3°N 83.017°W
Located inEssex, Ontario, Canada     (1792 - )
See alsoSandwich, Essex, Ontario, Canadaannexed into Windsor in 1935
Ford City, Essex, Ontario, Canadaannexed into Windsor in 1935
Walkerville, Essex, Ontario, Canadaannexed into Windsor in 1935
Sandwich West, Essex, Ontario, Canadatownship partly amalgamated into Windsor in 1991
Sandwich East, Essex, Ontario, Canadatownship partly amalgamated into Windsor in 1991
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


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

Windsor is the southernmost city in Canada and is located in Southwestern Ontario. It is located in Essex County although administratively separated from the county government. Separated by the Detroit River, Windsor is located south of Detroit, Michigan in the United States. Windsor is known as "The City of Roses" and residents are known as Windsorites.

History

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

Prior to European exploration and settlement, the Windsor area was inhabited by the First Nations and American Indian people. Windsor was settled by the French in 1749 as an agricultural settlement. It is the oldest continually inhabited European settlement in Canada west of Montreal. The area was first named Petite Côte ("Little Coast" – as opposed to the longer coastline on the Detroit side of the river). Later it was called La Côte de Misère ("Poverty Coast") because of the sandy soils near LaSalle.

Windsor's French Canadian heritage is reflected in many French street names, such as Ouellette, Pelissier, François, Pierre, Langlois, Marentette, and Lauzon. The current street system of Windsor (a grid with elongated blocks) reflects the Canadien method of agricultural land division, where the farms were long and narrow, fronting along the river. Today, the north-south street name often indicates the name of the family that at one time farmed the land. The street system of outlying areas is consistent with the British system for granting land concessions. There is a significant French-speaking minority in Windsor and the surrounding area, particularly in the Lakeshore, Tecumseh and LaSalle areas.


In 1794, after the American Revolution, the settlement of "Sandwich" was founded. It was later renamed to Windsor, after the town in Berkshire, England. The Sandwich neighbourhood on Windsor's west side is home to some of the oldest buildings in the city, including Mackenzie Hall, originally built as the Essex County Courthouse in 1855. Today, this building functions as a community centre. The oldest building in the city is the Duff-Baby House built in 1792. It is owned by Ontario Heritage Trust and houses government offices. The François Baby House in downtown Windsor was built in 1812 and houses Windsor's Community Museum, dedicated to local history.

The City of Windsor was the site of the Battle of Windsor during the Upper Canada Rebellion in 1838. It was also a part of the Patriot War, later that year.

Windsor was established as a village in 1854 (the same year the village was connected to the rest of Canada by the Grand Trunk Railway/Canadian National Railway), then became a town in 1858, and ultimately gained city status in 1892.

The Windsor Police Service was established, on July 1, 1867.

A fire consumed much of Windsor's downtown core on October 12, 1871, destroying over 100 buildings.

On October 25, 1960, a massive gas explosion destroyed the building housing the Metropolitan Store on Ouellette Avenue. Ten people were killed and at least one hundred injured. The 45th anniversary of the event was commemorated by the Windsor Star on October 25, 2005. It was featured on History Television's Disasters of the Century.

The Windsor Star Centennial Edition in 1992 covered the city's past, its success as a railway centre, and its contributions to World War I and World War II fighting efforts. It also recalled the naming controversy in 1892 when the town of Windsor aimed to become a city. The most popular names listed in the naming controversy were "South Detroit", "The Ferry" (from the ferries that linked Windsor to Detroit), Windsor, and Richmond (the runner-up in popularity). Windsor was chosen to promote the heritage of new English settlers in the city and to recognize Windsor Castle in Berkshire, England. However, Richmond was a popular name used until the Second World War, mainly by the local post office.

Sandwich, Ford City and Walkerville were separate legal entities (towns) in their own right until 1935. They are now historic neighbourhoods of Windsor. Ford City was officially incorporated as a village in 1912; it became a town in 1915, and a city in 1929. Walkerville was incorporated as a town in 1890. Sandwich was established in 1817 as a town with no municipal status. It was incorporated as a town in 1858 (the same year as neighbouring Windsor).

These three towns were annexed by Windsor in 1935. The nearby villages of Ojibway and Riverside were incorporated in 1913 and 1921 respectively. Both were annexed by Windsor in 1966. During the 1920s alcohol prohibition was enforced in Michigan while alcohol was legal in Ontario. Rum-running in Windsor was a common practice during that time period.

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 Essex County

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Windsor, 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.