Ontario Genealogy

This guide contains a sample of The Newberry's resources on this topic. To locate additional resources, please check our catalog or consult a reference librarian.


Baxter, Angus. In search of Your Canadian roots: Tracing Your Family Tree in Canada. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing, 1994. Call # Local History Ref CS82 b388 (2nd floor open shelf).

Kidd, Betty H. Using Maps in Tracing Your Family History. Ontario Genealogical Society, 1974. Call # folio E6.4585. Useful for researchers who are relying on geographical information, or dealing with geographical name changes.

Merriman, Brenda Dougall. Genealogy in Ontario: Searching the Records. Ontario Genealogical Society, 1996. Call # Local History Ref CS88.06 M46 (2nd floor open shelf). A comprehensive guide to records and primary sources concerning genealogy in Ontario.

Taylor, Ryan. Books You Need to Do Genealogy in Ontario: an annotated bibliography. Fort Wayne, IN: Round Tower, 1996. Call # Local History Ref Z5313.C2 T395 (2nd Floor open shelf). Provides alternative sources to consider for your research.


Carter, Floreen E. Place Names of Ontario. London, Ont.: Phelps, 1984. 2 vols. Call # Local History Ref F1056.4 C37 (2nd floor open shelf).

Mika, Nick and Helma. Places in Ontario: Their Name Origins and History. Belleville, Ont.: Mika Publishing, 1977. 3 vols. Call # Local History Ref F1056.4 M53 (2nd floor open shelf).


Consult the 2nd floor reference desk binder, the Canadian Public Archives’ Catalogue of Census Returns on Microfilm (2nd open shelf oZ7554. C2H55) and the Newberry’s catalog to determine the reel number for a given locality. Newberry holdings are complete for the years

  • 1851 (Call # Microfilm 896)
  • 1861 (Call # microfilm 990)
  • 1871 (Call # Microfilm 1064)
  • 1881 (Call # CD-ROM CS83 .E35)

No province-wide indexes exist; however, published indexes for several counties and municipalities in 1871 are found on the LFH open shelf in the F1059 range. Additionally, records from the 1901 Canadian Census for Essex South County can be found in the General Collections (Call # F1059.E7 N55).

Land Records

Ontario Archives Computerized Land Records Index. Two separately cataloged alphabetical listings: arranged province-wide by individual (call # Microfiche 412) and arranged by individual within town or township (Call # Microfiche 648). Only original land sales or grants are listed, ranging from Loyalist grants in the 1780s to sales as recent as the First World War era.

Source Manuals and Local Histories

Consult the catalog under the subject heading of the specific town, city, or county in which you are interested. The Newberry has many local cemetery and municipal records that may be of use. You might also wish to check the International Genealogical Index online at https://familysearch.org/. The following may also be of interest:

Britnell, William E. and Elizabeth Hancocks. County Marriage Registers of Ontario, Canada, 1858-1869. Agincourt, Ont.: Generation Press, 1979-. Call # CS88.06 C68. This series is organized into one volume per county. Consult catalog for volume numbers.

Crowder, Norman K. Early Ontario Settlers: A Source Book. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing, 1993. Call # Local History Ref CS88.O6 C75 (2nd floor open shelf). Includes lists of settlers in various areas of Ontario from 1783 to 1789, as well as guides to historical place names.

Elliot, Noel Montgomery (editor). The Central Canadians, 1600-1900: An Alphabetized Dictionary of the People, Places and Vital Dates. Toronto: Genealogical Research Library, 1994. 3 vol. Call # Local History Ref CS88. O6 C42 (2nd floor open shelf). Indexing to a wide range of sources.

Gagné, Peter J. Links to Your Canadian Past. Pawtucket, RI: Quintin, 1999. Call # CS93. G34. Online sources for Canadian genealogical research; information about Ontario can be found in Tome 3.

McKenzie, Donald A. Obituaries From Ontario’s Christian Guardian: 1861-1870. Ottawa, Ont.: Hunterdon. Call # F1056.8. M234. Organized alphabetically, not chronologically.

Reid, William D. Marriage Notices of Ontario. Lambertville, NJ: Hunterdon, 1980. Call # Local History Ref F1056.8 .R47 (2nd floor open shelf). Information drawn from many different newspapers and periodicals published between 1813 and 1854.

Reid, William D. Death Notices of Ontario. Lambertville, N.J.: Hunterdon, 1980. Call # Local History Ref F1056.8 .R45 (2nd floor open shelf). The companion volume to Marriage Notices of Ontario; information is drawn from various news sources published between 1810 and 1849.

Rumpel, Renie A. and Carrie J. Slingsby. Index to Marriage Registrations of Ontario, Canada, 1869-1873. Waterloo, Ontario: Ontario Indexing Services. Call # folio CS88.O6 R86. This series is organized into 31 volumes roughly organized by date that list last names in alphabetical order, and then provide the location where the registration was recorded. The series is contained in six books.

Wilson, Thomas B. Marriage Bonds of Ontario 1803-1834. Lambertville, NJ: Hunterdon, 1985. Call # Local History Ref CS88. O6 W545 (2nd floor open shelf). Abstracts made from the records in the Public Archives of Canada. Not a comprehensive listing of Ontario marriages for this period.

Specific Populations

Eker, Glen. Jews Resident in Ontario According to the 1851 to 1901 Censuses of Canada. Ontario Genealogical Society, 2002. Call # CS88.06 E52.

Faux, David K. Understanding Ontario First Nations Genealogical Records: Sources and Case Studies. Ontario Genealogical Society, 2002. Call # Local History Ref E78.05 F38 (2nd floor open shelf).

Noonan, Barry Christopher. Blacks in Canada, 1861. Madison, WI: 2000. Call # folio F1035. N3 N66. Volume consists of lists of all persons enumerated as “Black” or “Mulatto” in the 1861 censuses of Ontario, Quebec, and New Brunswick.


Families (Ontario Genealogical Society). Call # CS1. F33. Subject indexing in Periodical Source Index (2nd floor open shelf Z5301.P47).


Antliff, W. Bruce. Loyalist Settlements 1783-1789: New Evidence of Canadian Loyalist Claims. Toronto: Ministry of Citizenship and Culture, 1985. Call # Local History Ref oversize F1058.L85 (2nd floor open shelf).

Coldham, Peter Wilson. American Loyalist Claims. Washington: National Genealogical Society, 1980. Call # Local History Ref E277. C64 (2nd floor open shelf). A comprehensive record of claims loyalists sent to the British government for property lost during the American Revolution. Paragraphs of information about individual loyalists compiled from various sources including the post-American Revolution Claims Commission.

Fitzgerald, E. Keith. Loyalist Lists: Over 2000 Loyalist Names and Families from the Haldimand Papers. Ontario Genealogical Society, 1984. Call # F1058. F58. Information taken directly from the Haldimand papers, which were muster rolls updated every two months during the American Revolution.

Fitzgerald, E. Keith. Ontario People: 1796-1803. Genealogical Publishing, 1993. Call # CS88.06 F57. Has special emphasis on lists of loyalists by region.

The Old United Empire Loyalists List. (Reprint) Baltimore, M.D.: Genealogical Publishing, 1969. Call # Local History Ref F1058.O54 (2nd floor open shelf). Primary source information about Loyalist settlements in Canada, including city lists.

Palmer, Gregory. Biographical Sketches of Loyalists of the American Revolution. Westport, CT: Meckler, 1984. Call # Local History Ref E277.P24 (2nd floor open shelf). Reid, William D. The Loyalists In Ontario: The Sons and Daughters of the American Loyalists Of Upper Canada. Lambertville, NJ: Hunterdon. Call # F826.Includes alphabetical lists of settlers taken from primary sources in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.