Place:Perth, Ontario, Canada

Coordinates43.5°N 81°W
Located inOntario, Canada     (1850 - )
Also located inUpper Canada, Canada     (1792 - 1841)
Canada West, Canada     (1841 - 1867)
See alsoHuron District, Upper Canada, Canadadistrict administration for part of Perth County until 1850
Wellington District, Upper Canada, Canadadistrict administration for part of Perth County until 1850
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names

NOTE: One should not confuse Perth County with the town of Perth in Lanark County.

The following section is based on an article in Wikipedia.

Perth County is a county in the Canadian province of Ontario, in the southwestern section of the province, 100 kilometres or 62 miles west of Toronto. The county seat is at Stratford. It encompasses 548,179 acres (856.53 sq mi; 2,218.40 km2). 90% of the county's land is classified as "prime agricultural (Classes 1, 2, and 3)". According to the 2011 census, the population of Perth County was 75,112.

The following section is based on Ontario GenWeb: Perth County

Originally Perth County was part of the Huron Tract, an area owned by the Canada Company. The company sold land to settlers (as opposed to the government who gave free grants) and preference was given to those who would make good farmers or who were tradesmen or members of the professions. The population 15,545 in 1852.

The county was named for Perthshire in Scotland where the first settlers of the Easthope townships had emigrated from. Most of the early settlers were German, followed closely by British emigrants.

Since the restructuring of the county's municipalities on 1 January 1998, it is comprised of:

Historic townships

The following section is condensed from an article in Wikipedia.

Perth County was mainly settled through the agency of the Canada Company which opened a road from the site of Stratford to Goderich. It was officially created in January 1850 out of the former Huron and Wellington Districts and had 11 original townships:

Over time, another four additional towns were incorporated as urban municipalities: St. Marys, Mitchell, Listowel and Milverton.

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

A sketchmap from Ontario GenWeb provides a simple illustration of the location of the 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 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 Perth County

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