Place:Pickering, Ontario, Ontario, Canada

Alt namesDuffins Creeksource: Wikipedia
Cantonsource: Wikipedia
Coordinates43.852°N 79.051°W
Located inOntario, Ontario, Canada     ( - 1974)
Also located inDurham, Ontario, Canada     (1974 - present)
See alsoPickering (township), Ontario, Ontario, Canadatownship in which Pickering Village located until 1974
Pickering, Durham, Ontario, Canadamunicipality in which Pickering Village located since 1974
Contained Places
St. Francis de Sales Cemetery

The Village of Pickering was a Quaker settlement, established by Timothy Rogers who moved north from the United States with a number of Quaker families. The original settlement was based on a purchase of 800 acres (3.2km2) of land. The village started out being named Canton and then Duffin's Creek, but the post office was named Pickering and eventually the village adopted the same name. There is an early Quaker cemetery in the village.

In 1941 an industrial community named Ajax, producing ammunition and other war supplies, was established adjacent to Pickering, which at that time was little more than a hamlet. After the war the new town continued to flourish, bringing in other industries to replace the original ones that were no longer needed. In 1953, with a population of nearly 900, Pickering was incorporated as a village. By the 1971 census, the population had increased to 2,535.

After the Regional Municipality of Durham was created in 1974, the Village of Pickering was located within the boundaries of the Town of Ajax. It became known as Pickering Village to differentiate it from the Town of Pickering, which constituted the remainder of the former Pickering Township.

An historical plaque installed in October, 1976 reads:

The Founding of Pickering
"Between 1801 and 1807 a settlement developed here in Pickering Township where the Danforth Road crossed Duffin's Creek. Among the early settlers was Timothy Rogers, a prominent Quaker and colonizer who built a saw and grist-mill in 1809. A post-office was established in 1829 but the hamlet of Duffin's Creek developed slowly. The construction of the Grand Trunk Railway, completed in 1856, and growing agricultural prosperity stimulated the community's development as an important grist-milling and local commercial centre. Known as Pickering from the late 1870s, it became a police village in 1900 with about 1,000 inhabitants. In 1953 it was made an incorporated Village and in 1974 amalgamated with the Town of Ajax."

For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article Pickering Village, Ontario.

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 Ontario County

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