Ontario Township Papers ca 1783-1870

Announcements of newly digitized archival materials are always a pleasant surprise. In November 2020 genealogy blogs active in Ontario publicized that Family Search had loaded the Township Papers  ca 1783-1870 for the Province of Ontario held  on reels of  microfilm at the Archives of Ontario. These reels consist of a mélange of land-related documents not filed elsewhere. Archives of Ontario described  them as follows:

… copies of orders-in-council; copies of location certificates and location tickets; copies of assignments; certificates verifying the completion of settlement duties; copies of receipt; copies of descriptions; and copies of patents; and copies of incoming correspondence.

Township Papers – Archives of Ontario

My objective was to see what can be found about the Fleming families who pioneered in Derby Township, Grey County in the 1850s.

The papers are organized alphabetically by township.  Access at Family Search is through these two links.

We begin with Derby Township, identified on two lines on the image below. Click on the camera icon to view a gallery of images for the letters of that township organized by concession and lot.

UPDATE 12 April 2021 – I explored the Derby Township papers in late March. On preparing this blog post I found that townships from D to Haldimand had been dropped. This is probably a temporary glitch. Hopefully, your interest will be in one of the other townships.

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From Petition to Patent

Obtaining land from the Crown in Upper Canada began with a written petition to the Crown stating who you were and what you sought, and culminated in receiving the patent (as the deed was called) to the land.

In the summer of 1847 Alexander Fleming with his son James walked from Vaughan, near Toronto, north to the newly opened Derby Township in Grey County. Their purpose was to examine available lots and make a selection. Alexander likely submitted a petition to request Lots 9 and 10 in the 6th Concession, and , after paying the ₤ 157.12, received patents for the land 23 November 1847. We know from a copy of the receipt kept by the family that most of the payment was made in script, a type of voucher given to soldiers that could be redeemed for land or traded to others for money.

His next recorded purchase was Lot 6 Concession 9 in 1858, but we learn from papers Continue reading