Wolfe Island is an island at the entrance to the Saint Lawrence River in Lake Ontario near Kingston, Ontario. Wolfe Island is part of Frontenac County, Ontario and the Township of Frontenac Islands. It is the largest of the Thousand Islands. The largest community on the island is Marysville. The island was part of the traditional hunting lands of the Tyendinaga Mohawk people and the original name of the island is Ganounkouesnot ('Long Island Standing up'). It was called Grand Ile by the French, but was later named after British General James Wolfe by British settlers.
The island is about 29 km long, with its width varying from around 9 km to a few hundred metres at some points; it has an area of approximately . The resident population is approximately 1400 people, but this number can double or triple during the summer months. Wolfe Island has its own post office (K0H 2Y0) and telephone exchange (+1-613-385-).
Wolfe Island can be reached by ferry from both Canada and the United States. The ferry from Kingston (Wolfe Islander III) is operated by the Ministry of Transportation and is free of charge. This ferry operates from two locations: the Summer Dock located in Marysville and the Winter Dock located at Dawson Point. This route includes a bubbler system that stretches to the Barrack Street Dock in Kingston, Ontario. This ferry service is currently being examined in an ongoing transportation study. The seasonal Horne's Ferry (May to October) toll ferry to Cape Vincent, New York, first licensed in 1802, is still operated by the descendants of the first licence-holder and is one of the rare Canada-US international border crossings to be privately operated (the others are the Windsor-Détroit's Ambassador Bridge and Sombra–Marine City (Bluewater) Ferry).
A third ferry runs seasonally to join Wolfe Island to Simcoe Island.
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
Some websites with more local information on Frontenac County