York County, Ontario Genealogy
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Guide to York County ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.
- 1 History
- 2 Civil Registration
- 3 Census Records
- 4 Church Records
- 5 Cemetery Records
- 6 Populated Places Table
- 7 Websites
York County is a historic county in Upper Canada, Canada West, and the Canadian province of Ontario.
York County was created on 16 June 1792 and was part of the jurisdiction of the Home District of Upper Canada. It originally comprised all of what is now the regional municipalities of York, Peel, and Halton, and the city of Toronto, as well as parts of Durham Regional Municipality and the city of Hamilton. Toronto was the county seat.
In 1816, Wentworth and Halton counties were created from York County. In 1851, Ontario and Peel counties were separated from York.
In 1953, the city of Toronto; the towns of New Toronto, Mimico, Weston, and Leaside; the villages of Long Branch, Swansea, and Forest Hill; and the townships of Etobicoke, York, North York, East York, and Scarborough seceded from York County to form Metropolitan Toronto. The county office was moved to Newmarket from Toronto. The Adelaide Street Court House and the Old City Hall remain from buildings used by York County during this time period.
In 1971, the remaining portion of York County was replaced by the York Regional Municipality.
- 1869 - 1911 Ontario Births, 1869-1911 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1858 - 1913 - Ontario, Canada Births, 1858-1913 at Ancestry.com--index and images. ($)
- 1869 - 1912 - Ontario Births, 1869-1912 at --index. ($)
- 1801-1858 - Ontario, District Marriage Registers, 1801-1858 at FamilySearch — index and images.
- 1801-1928, 1933-1934 - Ontario, Canada, Marriages, 1801-1928, 1933-1934 at Ancestry.com--index and images. ($)
- 1858-1869 - Ontario, County Marriage Registers, 1858-1869 at FamilySearch — index and images.
- 1869-1937, and some 1939-1947 - Ontario Deaths, 1869-1937 and Overseas Deaths, 1939-1947 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1869-1938, 1943-1944, and some 1939-1947 - Ontario, Canada, Deaths, 1869-1938, 1943-1944, and Deaths Overseas, 1939-1947 at Ancestry.com--index and images. ($)
Writing for a More Recent Birth, Marriage, or Death Record
- ServiceOntario, Birth Records is the only government-authorized source for obtaining birth certificates. Go to the section entitled "Order a Birth Search". This is the most economical, searches the widest time period, and allows searches for people not immediately related. A letter of information is provided rather than a certificate.
- ServiceOntario, Marriage Records offers a marriage search option and a historical certificate option.
- ServiceOntario, Death Records offers a death search option and a historical certificate option. Also official death certificates are available to a wider range of relatives than birth and marriage certificates.
FamilySearch Library Microfilmed Records
Some of the church/civil records have been microfilmed by FamilySearch.These microfilms may be viewed at the Family History Library or some family history centers. To find a microfilm:
- a. Click on records for Canada, Ontario, York County. You will see a list of available records for the county.
- b. You will also see above the list the link Places within Canada, Ontario, York County. This will take you to a list of towns in the counties, which are links to records for the specific town.
- c. Click on any topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
- d. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the microfilm listed for the record. . The magnifying glass indicates that the microfilm is indexed. Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the microfilm.
Ontario and Nova Scotia Census, 1800-1842
Canada Census, 1851
Census of Canada, 1861
Census of Canada, 1871
Census of Canada, 1881
Census of Canada, 1891
Census of Canada, 1901
Census of Canada, 1911
Census of Canada, 1921
Church records can include baptisms, marriages, burials, membership lists, financial business, and other records for a particular congregation. They may be available online or on microfilm, but frequently they are still with the local church or in centralized archives by religion. The Canadian census records asked for the religion of those listed, so you will be able to narrow down which archives to consult. For help with writing a letter requesting copies of records, see Letter Writing Guide for Genealogy.
- Link to Anglican church archives
- Link to Baptist church archives
- Link to Catholic church archives
- Link to Lutheran church archives
- Link to Moravian church archives
- Link to Presbyterian church archives
- Link to United Church of Canada (including Methodist) church archives
Online Church Records
These records are incomplete.
- Ontario Births and Baptisms, 1779-1899 collection includes indexed Ontario church records.
- Ontario Marriages, 1800-1910.
- Ontario, Roman Catholic Church Records, 1760-1923., images only.
- Ontario, Canada, Roman Catholic Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1760-1923, index and images, ($).
- Ontario, Canada, Catholic Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1802-1967
- Ontario, Canada, Roman Catholic Marriages, 1827-1870, ($).
- Various individual church records at FindMyPast, ($).
See, Ontario Cemeteries for information on cemetery record collections not yet digitized, but available in published sources and on microfilm.
Online Cemetery Records
- Ontario Cemetery Finding Aid website has a free, searchable database of over 2 million burials in Ontario. It can be searched by name, cemetery, county and town, but its references do not include dates of death. Although it does not include any gravestone inscriptions, it can be used to locate graves in Ontario.
- Ontario Cemetery Ancestory Index
- Ontario Name Index (TONI)
- The Ontario section of Canada GenWeb Cemetery Project
- Ontario, Canada Headstones.com
- Ontario, Toronto Trust Cemeteries (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Canada, Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current
Read more about Ontario Maps.
From 1793 to 1858, two court systems worked side-by-side to handle estate matters in Ontario. The Court of Probate was the superior court and had jurisdiction over estates with real property in more than one District or county. Most York County estate matters were handled locally by the Home District Surrogate Court (until 1849) or the York County Surrogate Court (from 1850 to 1858). Name indexes for the Court of Probate and the Surrogate courts (pre-1859) are available online on the Archives of Ontario's interloan pages. The estate files are available on microfilm from the Archives of Ontario or through the Family History Library. The previously mentioned name index refers to Archives of Ontario film numbers. You'll find a conversion list to GSU film numbers on the Archives' interloan pages.
In 1859, the Court of Probate was abolished, and all estates were handled by the York County Surrogate Court. Semi-alphabetical name indexes (created by the court) and the estate files are available on microfilm at the Archives of Ontario up to 1967. (Many are also available through the Family History Library.) Estate files older than 40 years are also held at the Archives of Ontario. Order a day or two in advance so they can be retrieved from offsite storage. More recent estate files can be obtained from the courthouse for a fee. See the Archives of Ontario's finding aids for current addresses and instructions.
For more information, see Inheritance in Ontario: Wills and Other Records for Family Historians
A searchable version of the 1853 assessment rolls of the City of Toronto are available in Toronto in the 1850s : a transcription of the 1853 tax assessment rolls and guide to family history research.
Populated Places Table
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The Forebears website will give you an extensive list of websites that could have information for people who lived in this county. Some sites cover just the county, some cover all of Ontario, and some cover all of Canada. Some sites are databases of names and facts about people; other sites cover background information such as maps, history, geography, or genealogy strategies and methods for the region.
- Forebears, York County
- For King and Country - A project to transcribe the war memorials in Toronto schools.
- Simcoe's Gentry: Toronto Park Lots - The story of Toronto’s Park Lots.
- Toronto Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society
- Indexes to books of genealogical and historical interest in Ontario, index.