Genealogical Research

Genealogical Research at the Archives
The Archives contain a number of tools which may be of value to those researching their family history. These include a variety of City Directories, telephone company directories, newspaper articles and historic photographs, maps and plans. These are accessible during regular days/times of operation.

However, the archives does not maintain actual family trees, nor are we genealogical researchers per se.

When researching genealogy, it can be helpful to know things such as who was mayor at what time and what the old neighbourhoods looked like. We have some of that information posted online for you:
– The Historic Neighbourhoods

– Timeline of Cornwall Mayors

House of Refuge & Industry (check your brick walls)

Those who’ve accessed the Archives have suggested the following to be among their most-referenced family search sites. No endorsement is intended nor implied; the list is provided as a convenience.

Some local history online:
– A few select titles from the SD&G Historical Society are online HERE.

Heritage Highlights of Cornwall Township – online book

Some external Family Search sites:
Cornwall Roots – Photos of local tombstones and scanned death notices (offline indefinitely)

Find a Grave – Photos of tombstones from across North America & overseas

Find a Grave (by Country) – Accesses above site, but narrows search

Canadian Headstones – Photos of tombstones across Canada

Library and Archives Canada – online and in-person research

Ontario & Upper Canada Genealogy and History – several databases

– The LDS Family Search site – extensive collection

– The Drouin Collection online – Death Notices from 250 Canadian sources

Automated Genealogy – Indecies to Canadian Censuses

– The Ontario Vital Statistics Project on Ancestry – B/M/Ds

Ontario Vital Statistics & Church Records on Olive Tree – B/M/Ds

Ontario Vital Statistics on Cyndi’s List – B/M/Ds

Stormont Cemeteries on OGS

Bible Records Online – tucked inside family Bibles

– The Ontario Locator – locate places by their former/historic names

– Heritage Property Index – Pre-Confederation Patent Maps

Dusty Docs – search parish registers from the U.K. and Ireland

UEL Assoc. of Canada – Online Directory of Loyalists

– NY Public Library – Dispossessed Loyalists

Using Google Earth for Genealogy – How to

Images at Our Ontario – Old Ontario family photos

Images at Dead Fred – Old family photos from many countries

General Research:
McGill Digital Collections – historic maps, plans, photographs, land grants

Fire Insurance Plans:
Cornwall (Apr 1895 rev. Dec 1916)

Index to McNiff’s Maps (transcribed by Edward Kipp) (1786)

Index to McNiff’s Cornwall Twp Map (transcribed by Edward Kipp) (1786)

McNiff’s Cornwall Twp Map (1786)

Historical Ontario Road Maps (1923-2011)

Historical Topographical Maps (Cornwall 1909-1976)

Aerial Photos:
– 1954 Southern Ontario, Cornwall & Lost Villages, etc

– City of Cornwall – Interactive Mapping (1957, 72,86 aerial photos)

Historic City Directories – Canadian:
Chatham (1876-2005)

Hamilton (1853-1895)

Kingston (1855-1923)

London (1875-1899)

Peterborough (1858-2010)

Toronto (1833-1922)

Historic  Directories – European
Scotland Post Office Street Directories (1773-1911)

Historic Newspapers – Digitized
Blythe, Exeter, Goderich, Wingham (1848-1977)

Kingston (1810-1900)

Historic Newspapers – Index
Various (1810-Present)

Thunder Bay & Fort William (1875-2015)

Military Records
Soldiers of the First World War – CEF


Title Author
As Others See Us:
Scots of the Seaway Valley
Robert J. Fraser
Cornwall Justice:
The Story of Cornwall’s Jail
Bowering, Menard
from Friendly Town to Seaway City
Vol 1: 1900-1999
Cornwall Scrapbook Bowering
Down the Lane Volume I Wilson, Manson, Worrall
Down the Lane (Again) Volume II Wilson, Manson, Worrall
From Royal Township to Industrial City:
Cornwall 1784-1984
Elinor Kyte Senior
In My Mother’s Footsteps:
Memories of Smithville
Dorothy Donihee
Lunenburgh or the old Eastern District:
1816-1901  ONLINE or  ONLINE
Judge J.F. Pringle
Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry 1945-1978 Clive and Frances Marin
Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry 1975-2007: A Chronicle of Our Life and Times Clive and Frances Marin
Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry: A History 1784-1945 ONLINE John Graham Harkness, K.C
The Friendly Town that Grew:
A Reminiscence of Cornwall, Ontario
Eileen Merkley

Researching UEL land grants
If the land was obtained by land grant, there must have been an application for it. KRRNY vets should have been eligible. It was quite common for people to swap their land with another, usually so that family could have adjoining property. Many did not apply for nor hold on to their granted property. Not all were farmers, especially pioneer farmers. Land not granted or abandoned (they had three years to do something productive) could have been purchased by anyone.

Cornwall (local history) Room at the Cornwall Public Library
Volunteers and a reference librarian can be of assistance or browse the collection on your own inside the Cornwall Room as well as at a nearby stack in the main library. You’ll find historic City Directories (our collection overlaps with theirs, but they are not entirely the same), compilations of birth, marriage and death listings by parish and cemetery, United Empire Loyalists lists and more. There is no fee for guidance unless you contract with an individual to conduct research on your behalf.

Additionally members of the local Franco Ontarian genealogy group are available also in the Cornwall Room. There is a cost to access certain of their records. Membership is $30/year, otherwise there is a  $10/day fee to access the group’s records – there is never a charge to access the Library’s reference collection.

At times people desire to know who lived on a particular Lot in early Cornwall and in the former Cornwall Township. Those records are bulky and delicate and therefore are stored in the Library basement. They can be accessed via the Franco Ontarian genealogy group. Those charts include:

Book 1     1950s onward     5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th Sts in the Square Mile
Book 2     1880s-1949        Water, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th Sts in the Square Mile
Book 3                                   The Glebe, Lorneville, Sheik’s Island
Book 4     Until ca. 1855     1st – 9th Concessions, and more
Book 5     1920s-1945        Square Mile and Canal Lands
Book 6     1900-1950s        Riverview
Book 7     1900-1950s        Riverdale, Laflecheville, Lakeview, Riverview
Book 8     1866-1900s        1st – 9th Concessions, Sheik’s Is, Potash Pt, Glebe, Cwl Is
Book 9     1870-1960s        Gladstone, Cornwall East, Canal Lands, CGH, Potash Pt, etc

For those looking for lists of “inmates” of local institutions, the Public Library also carries copies of the following booklets:
– The House of Refuge 1913 to 1952: Index of Names (Kitchener)
– Nazareth Orphanage 1909 to 1950 (Roy)

Interested in local historical sites:
– Self-guided Walking tour (heritage plaques and panels)
– Links to Designated Properties
– City general info on historic sites

For information on Cornwall’s Square Mile and the 40+ neighbourhoods and subdivisions which existed prior to the Annexation, please see our section on the Historic Nieghbourhoods LINK.

Cornwall Industry

A Cornwall Community Museum Blog

Cornwall Canal and Shipping History

A Cornwall Community Museum Publication

Cornwall Community Museum

In The Wood House at the waterfront, Cornwall, Ontario, Canada

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