Place:Lanark, Ontario, Canada

Coordinates45.1°N 76.3°W
Located inOntario, Canada     (1824 - )
Also located inUpper Canada, Canada     (1792 - 1841)
Canada West, Canada     (1841 - 1867)
See alsoBathurst District, Upper Canada, Canadaadministrative district 1824-1849

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

Lanark County is a county located in the Canadian province of Ontario. Its county seat is Perth, which was first settled in 1816. Most European settlements of the county began in 1816, when Drummond, Beckwith and Bathurst townships were named and initially surveyed. The first farm north of the Rideau was cleared and settled somewhat earlier, in 1790. The county took its name from the town of Lanark in Scotland. Nearly all the townships were named after British public and military figures from the era of early settlement.[1]

The map of Lanark County circa 1951 from Ontario Archives locates the individual municipalities, townships, city, towns and villages of the county.

Early History

Lanark County was established in 1824 from Carleton County which at that time was part of the Bathurst District. When the District form of administration was abolished in 1849, Lanark joined with the neighbouring county of Renfrew in a judicial union. This was dissolved in 1866 and the counties have since been independent of each other.

The following section is taken from the Ontario GenWeb article on Lanark County:

Settlement began in 1815 when free passage was offered to British emigrants to Canada. The first settlers arrived from Scotland that fall but were unable to take possession of their land until 1816. They settled near the military settlement of Perth where soldiers had lived since the end of the 1812 war.

There were several emigration schemes that helped to settle Lanark County, like "such organizations as the Lesmahago and Transatlantic Societies which sent groups of Scottish settlers to Dalhousie Township in 1820" (source:Places In Ontario by Nick & Helma Mika, 1977).


The map of Lanark County circa 1951 from Ontario Archives locates the individual municipalities, townships, city, towns and villages of the county.

Original townships

Lanark went through its municipal reorganzation in 1997. The new townships and towns have all been identified as "municipalities" for the sake of uniformity here. Wikipedia has producted a series of diagrammatic maps of the county indicating the new municipalities.


Census Districts

For the first two censuses (1851/2 and 1861), Lanark County was Census District 79. For the 1881 and following censuses, the county was divided into Lanark North and Lanark South. For 1881 and 1891 these Districts were numbered 110 and 111. In 1901 the numbering was again changed to the following:

Lanark North (District 80) with Sub-Districts

  • A Almonte (Town)
  • B Dalhousie and Sherbrooke North
  • C Darling
  • D Fitzroy
  • E Huntley
  • F Lanark
  • G Lanark (Village)
  • H Lanark
  • H Lavant
  • I Pakenham
  • J Carleton Place (Town)
  • J Ramsay

Lanark South (District 81) with Sub-Districts

  • A Bathurst
  • B Beckwith
  • C Burgess North
  • D Carleton Place (Town)
  • E Drummond
  • F Elmsley North
  • G Montague
  • H Perth (Town)
  • I Sherbrooke South
  • J Smiths Falls (Town)

As the list shows, each township and incorporated town was a sub-district.

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 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.


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 1921. 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.
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.

Hard-to-Find Places

E-books, Books and Newspapers

  • 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.
  • The Ancestor Hunt is a blog listing old Ontario newspapers that are available online, both free and pay websites. This is a very extensive list.

Some websites with more local information on Lanark County

source: Family History Library Catalog
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Lanark County, 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.