Place:Penetanguishene, Simcoe, Ontario, Canada

Watchers
NamePenetanguishene
TypeTown, Municipality
Coordinates44.783°N 79.933°W
Located inSimcoe, Ontario, Canada
See alsoTay, Simcoe, Ontario, Canadatownship surrounding Penetanguishene
Tiny, Simcoe, Ontario, Canadatownship surrounding Penetanguishene
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia

Penetanguishene, sometimes shortened to Penetang, is a town in Simcoe County, Ontario, Canada. It is located west of Midland on the peninsula between Georgian Bay and Severn Sound. The town was incorporated on February 22, 1882. As is decribed below, Penetanguishene is a bilingual (French and English) community. Its population in the 32st century is just under 10,000.

The name Penetanguishene is believed to come from either the Wyandot language or from the Abenaki language via the Ojibwa language, meaning "land of the white rolling sands".

The map of Simcoe County circa 1951 from Archives of Ontario identifies the individual cities, towns and villages covered by the sketchmap. There is a facility to enlarge it at the bottom for the page.

History

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

As early as AD 800, the Wyandot people settled in semi-permanent villages in the area. The young French translator, Étienne Brûlé, was the first European to set foot in the Penetanguishene area, some time between 1610 and 1614.

In 1793, John Graves Simcoe, the first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada, visited the area and saw the location's potential as a naval base. He wanted to use the bay to shelter warships to protect British interests on lakes Huron, Erie and Michigan. Beginning in 1814, the British-Canadians built the Penetanguishene Road to provide the area a land route to Barrie and Toronto, as it was previously accessible only by water transport along the rivers or across Georgian Bay.

In 1817, naval units from Michilimackinac and Schooner Town (near modern-day Wasaga Beach) were consolidated at the Penetanguishene Naval Yard. But, because treaty limitations with the U.S. limited both countries' naval power on the Great Lakes, two British armed topsail schooners, HMS Tecumseth and HMS Newash were laid up "in ordinary", and eventually reported to have sunk at their moorings in the harbour in 1828. Some other small craft were headquartered in Penetanguishene for the exploration and mapping of the Great Lakes' coastline. In 1828, the main British military establishment on the Upper Lakes moved from Drummond Island to Penetanguishene. Families of Métis fur traders who had moved with the British from Michilimackinac to Drummond Island after the War of 1812, moved again to Penetanguishene. They settled in the town and the surrounding area. Although the naval base was closed in 1834, the military base remained until 1856. Some of the troops settled in the area after their service was complete providing an English-speaking population.

In the 1840s, French-speaking families from Quebec (mainly from the area immediately east of Montreal), attracted by promises of cheap and fertile land, joined the French-speaking Drummond Island settlers already in the area. Later, as the logging industry began to develop, more English-speaking settlers arrived. Penetanguishene became the local market and meeting place for these individuals. Many of Penetanguishene's families today are descended from the Québécois settlers who arrived in the 1800s, giving the town a marked bilingual nature.

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 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.

Websites with more local information on Simcoe County

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