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Ontario GenWeb Project: 1880-1889
Research By Year
  • Overview
  • Timeline
  • Governing Entity

  • Places
  • What's Available
  • Related Material

  • Presented here is the information we currently have to offer on this decade. A writer is needed to finish this page!!


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  • Timeline

    1880(24 Jun 1880) O Canada! is performed publicly for the first time
    1881Population of Ontario: 1,923,228
    1881Province-wide Census
    1882First shipload of sponsored immigrant children arrive in Canada (Dr. Barnardo Homes etc.)
    1884(2 Jan 1884) Grand Trunk Train Wreck in Toronto kills 30
    1884The Timothy Eaton Company, now known as Eaton's, publishes its first catalogue
    1884Nickel and copper are discovered in Sudbury
    1884Married Women's Property Act; married women allowed disposal of property and earnings, e.g. through wills
    1884Smallpox Epidemic in Stoco, Hungerford Township, Hastings County
    1884Spinsters and widows are permitted to vote in municipal elections
    1884Women permitted to attend University of Toronto
    1885Construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) is complete
    1885Standard Time is adopted
    1885Ontario's Milita participate in the North West Rebellion
    1888Vote is extended to all adult male British subjects except unenfranchised Indians living on reserves
    1889Ontario's boundary is extended to James Bay, Albany River, and Lake of the Woods

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    Governing Entity


  • Victoria [1837-1901] Queen of England
    Canada's Head of State; Ruling Monarch of Britain

    Prime Minister of Canada:

  • Sir John A. Macdonald [1878-1891] {Liberal-Conservative}
    Head of Canada's government. Usually the leader of the political party that received the most seats in the House of Commons at the last federal election becomes Prime Minister for a four year term.

    Governor General of Canada:

  • Marquess of Lorne [1878-1883]
  • Marquess of Lansdowne [1883-1888]
  • Lord Stanley [1888-1893]
  • John Beverley Robinson [1880-1887]
    Personal representative of the Sovereign and acting out the duties of Canada's Head of State on their behalf. Also is Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian Armed Forces. Governor General's are chosen by the Prime Minister and appointed by the sovereign. This role is mostly ceremonial, and lasts 5-7 years.

    Lieutenant Governor of Canada:

  • John Beverley Robinson [1880-1887]
  • Sir Alexander Campbell [1887-1892]
    The lieutenant governor (pronounced lef'ten-ent gov'er-ner) is a representative of the monarch, and appointed by the Prime Minister of Canada for a term of five years. Each province in Canada has their own provincial lieutenant governor.

    Prime Minister of Ontario (now known as "Premier"):

  • Sir Oliver Mowat [Oct 1872-Jul 1896] {Liberal}
    Head of Ontario's government.

    What Places Existed

  • Algoma District [Est. 1858]
  • Bothwell County [Est. 1871]
  • Brant County [Est. 1853]
  • Bruce County [Est. 1849]
  • Cardwell County [Est. 1871]
  • Carleton County [Est. 1800]
  • Dundas County [Est. 1792]
  • Durham County [Est. 1792]
  • Elgin County [Est. 1851]
  • Essex County [Est. 1792]
  • Frontenac County [Est. 1792]
  • Glengarry County [Est. 1792]
  • Grenville County [Est. 1792]
  • Grey County [Est. 1851]
  • Haldimand County [Est. 1800]
  • Haliburton County [Est. 1874]
  • Halton County [Est. 1816]
  • Hastings County [Est. 1792]
  • Huron County [Est. 1835]
  • District of Keewatin [Est. 1876]
  • Kent County [Est. 1792]
  • Lambton County [Est. 1837]
  • Lanark County [Est. 1824]
  • Leeds County [Est. 1792]
  • Lennox & Addington County [Est. 1800]
  • Lincoln County [Est. 1792]
  • Middlesex County [Est. 1800]
  • Monck County [Est. 1871]
  • Nipissing District [Est. 1858]
  • Norfolk County [Est. 1792]
  • Northumberland County [Est. 1792]
  • Ontario County [Est. 1851]
  • Ontario [Est. 1867]
  • Oxford County [Est. 1800]
  • Parry Sound District [Est. 1869]
  • Peel County [Est. 1851]
  • Perth County [Est. 1849]
  • Peterborough County [Est. 1838]
  • Prescott County [Est. 1800]
  • Prince Edward County [Est. 1792]
  • Renfrew County [Est. 1845]
  • Rupert's Land [Est. 1670]
  • Russell County [Est. 1800]
  • Simcoe County [Est. 1821]
  • Stormont County [Est. 1792]
  • Thunder Bay District [Est. 1871]
  • Upper Canada [Est. 1791]
  • Victoria County [Est. 1821]
  • Waterloo County [Est. 1840]
  • Welland County [Est. 1845]
  • Wellington County [Est. 1851]
  • Wentworth County [Est. 1816]
  • York County [Est. 1788]

    What's Available

    Below are the resources that are generally available for most time periods. Under each title is a blurb telling you if the resource is available for this time period. For more general information on each resource, how to use it, where to find it, click on the title.

    Birth Records
    If you are seeking an ancestor born during this decade you may be in luck! In 1869 the Vital Statistics Act was introduced requiring all births to be registered.

    Books are an often overlooked resource especially now that the internet appears to have all the information you need at your fingertips. Local histories, period histories, and even transcripts are available, not just locally, but worldwide. Is your ancestor hiding in a book?

    Cemetery Records
    Finding a cemetery record for this time period could be hit or miss. Most people were either buried on family land, or in their church cemetery (what was their religion?).

    Census Records
    Starting in 1851 a census was taken every ten years. The 1881 census is available on microfilm.

    Church Records
    Depending on the religion of the church records you're seeking you may, or may not, be successful with your search.

    Citizenship/Naturalization Records
    If your ancestor was a British subject (born in Canada, England, or one of England's colonies) you will not find a Citizenship or Naturalization Record because they were already considered a citizen. If your ancestor was born elsewhere they were eligible to apply for Citizenship or Naturalization after living in Canada for three years and declaring loyalty to the British Crown.

    Court Records

  • Coroner Records
  • Correctional Records
  • Divorce Records
  • Guardianship Records
  • Surrogate Court
  • Wills & Estate Files

    Death Records
    If you are seeking an ancestor who died during this decade you may be in luck! In 1869 the Vital Statistics Act was introduced requiring all deaths to be registered.

    Funeral Records
    Funeral Records for this time period will be hit or miss

    Emigration Records
    Not available for this time period

    Immigration Records

  • Quarantine Records
  • Ship Lists: If your ancestor was a British subject, or arrived by ship prior to 1865 it's possible but unlikely you'll find them on a ship passenger list.
  • Train Records

    Land Records

  • Land Patents
  • Ontario Land Registry Office

    Marriage Records
    If you are seeking an ancestor who married during this decade you may be in luck! In 1869 the Vital Statistics Act was introduced requiring all marriages to be registered.

    Military Records
    Some records are available

    Misc Records

  • Directories
  • Newspapers
  • Biographies
  • Fraternal Organizations
  • Employment Records
  • Education Records
  • Alumni Records

    Do you know of another resource that could be used to research this time period?
    Your name:

    Email address:

    What is the resource?

    How can this resource be used to research this time period?

    Please Note: Queries sent through this form will be deleted & ignored! This form is for providing information, not requesting help. Use our Help page


    Related Material

  • Questions & Answers
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