The Long Point

This website is dedicated to the history and genealogy of the early families in Norfolk County, Ontario, Canada. This site was created to help family researchers in their quest for ancestral knowledge.

Use "search this site" above to search for a name.


 Genealogies                    Biographies                      Portraits                      Scenes                        Land Petitions

Our Multicultural Province

Ontario has a long tradition of welcoming peoples of many nationalities dating right back to our first settlers – the United Empire Loyalists. Even two hundred plus years ago, in the 1780’s and 1790’s, we had a multi-cultural, cosmopolitan province. The ethnic origins of our first settlers included German, French, English, Swiss, Portuguese, Irish, Scottish, Prussian, Dutch and African. Some descended from families who lived in the American Colonies for generations; others had been there for just a few years. A number came directly to Canada from the old country, making a diverse mixture of customs and languages.

Even many of the Indians had been non-native to this province, having lived in New York, then serving with the Loyalist forces. The government officials of the day had to search carefully to find a few scattered tribes of the Mississauga and other nations from whom they purchased the land here.

The primary occupation ran decidedly to agrarian, followed by merchants, tanners, tailors, innkeepers, blacksmiths, barristers, millers, physicians, shoemakers and numerous others. Many combined their trades with farming.

Post-War Settlement

As is often the case of immigrants today, those of the late 1700’s fled their earlier homes as refugees of war. At that time, they faced the War of the American Revolution and its aftermath. Then as now, Ontario’s lure came as a haven for the war weary and the peaceful. Although these men and women derived from many different backgrounds, all had one thing in common during those formative years of the late 1700’s. They felt a deep rooted desire to live with the orderly laws and security they had known under the British Crown in pre-Revolutionary times, now promised in Canada.

Many immigrants could be described as peaceful farming and business folk alarmed by the mob scenes that occurred in the larger American cities prior to and during the Revolution. They had been alienated by the wanton destruction of the urban and rural property of those suspected supporting the British cause both during and after the war. Anyone who did not espouse either side militarily became accused of Loyalist leanings by the republicans and fell under ostracism in their community. Also, after the Revolution, further uncertainty developed as the federal Congress of the United States struggled to establish its identity in the face of demands for individual states’ rights. Further, the unsavoury threat existed of yet another war with Britain espoused by elements of the American population. The United States proved not to be a place congenial to the peaceful immigrant from the “Old Country” to set down roots. The peaceful immigrant required a land devoid of the political and religious wars that rent the Europe of their forebears.                                                                                                        John Graves Simcoe
                                                                                                                                             the first Lieutenant Governor


Over the past thirty years, R. Robert Mutrie has compiled more than eight hundred Ontario Pioneers Genealogies featuring some of the founding families who arrived in Southwestern Ontario during the late 1700’s and early 1800's. Biographical summaries of the pioneers may be found by clicking an alphabetical letter. More will be added and announced at the left and in "New Additions" on the home page.

Available genealogies may be ordered and will be sent by email. Each compilation starts with a biography of the first pioneer couple who made their mark during the province’s formative years. The genealogies then track the descendant generations through the 1800’s down to those born during the early decades of the twentieth century wherever they lived in North America. The reader may be able to find a grandparent or great-grandparent in these pages linking them to their first ancestor in Ontario.


Norfolk Scenes

And Portraits

By the turn of the Twentieth Century, Norfolk County had many thriving towns and villages bustling with activity. Each community had postcards produced for descendants and tourists visiting from all over North America. Over time these rare pictures of Norfolk town and village life from the 1860s to the 1930s will be posted in this area. Additional pictures may be found at the top of each web page in the Ontario Pioneers Genealogies tab.

The Upper Canada Land Petition of Silas Secord

Upper Canada Land Petition of Silas Secord dated at Newark (Niagara-on-the-Lake) on 24 Nov 1796 received at the Executive Council Office on 7 Jan 1797

“The Petition of Silas Secord, (son of Peter Secord Senr) late a Serjeant in Butlers Corps of Rangers—Humbly sheweth—That your Petitioner has been settled in the Province ever since the reduction of above Corps, and is confirmed by His Excellency the Lt Governor in Council in the possession of a Lot in the Township of Charlotteville —That your Petitioner has a wife and Six children, three of whom were born before the year 1789- He therefore prays your Honor would be pleased to grant him the complement of his military Lands. —also 200 Acres family Lands & that the whole may be located to him in the Long Point Settlement where he has long resided—” Received at the Executive Council Office on 7 Jan 1797 and read in Council on 17 Mar 1797. Ordered Petitioner recommended for 500 acres Military Lands, including those already received and 200 acres as family lands. [Upper Canada Land Petitions LAC “S” Bundle 2, Petition Number 203]

of the Long Point Settlers




Transcripts of the Upper Canada Land Petitions relating to the Long Point Settlers will be added here over time. These include some pioneers who earlier and later settled elsewhere in the province but lived in Norfolk County during its early formative period. Also included are petitioners expressing an interest in the Long Point Settlement but who did not take up a location there. Click on a link at the right to view the transcripts for the surnames starting with that letter.

The major advantage of this transcript of the Upper Canada Land Petitions for the family genealogist is that it includes under the name of each Long Point Settler, mentions in the petitions of other settlers. There is an expression that “no man is an island unto himself.” This cross-referencing of settlers came as a result of conscientious copying of material from one settler to another. Additionally, women are listed under both their maiden and married names when given. These two items provide more records of each family than would otherwise be found and a greater insight to the circumstances of each of the Long Point Settlers.


Image result for colonel thomas talbot pictureThe Norfolk Militia

In the War of 1812

During the early days of Upper Canada, the threat of invasion from the United States remained a strong one and militia units were created and maintained on a county-by-county basis. Within the county, militia companies were comprised of residents of each township, for example, the Charlotteville Company of the Norfolk Militia. Each company had a Captain, Lieutenant, Ensign, and several Sergeants and Corporals...

The Long Point Settlers Book

Now Also Available in PDF

Sent by E-Mail

R. Robert Mutrie’s definitive reference to Norfolk County’s pioneers, the encyclopedic The Long Point Settlers, catalogues the surviving historical record of those who pioneered in the Long Point Settlement (Norfolk County) by 1815. It is the definitive guide to more than 500 of Norfolk’s earliest families, indexing more than 3,500 names.

This alphabetic reference work lists each settler and his family. All sources cited are contemporary to the pioneers, including documents and letters they wrote; government, court and church records, land petitions, surveyor reports, assessments, wills, marriage registers, militia records, obituaries, and more. Modern cemetery transcripts document many of their final resting places.

You can spend years duplicating the author's effort, scouring the same archives Robert did, or you can buy this complete and fully documented resource to Norfolk County's founding families. 

Crammed full of details unavailable in any other single source, Long Point Settlers is Resource One for Long Point Settlement researchers, many of whom describe it simply as their research Bible.

Revolutionary War Claims for Losses

The Loyalist Claims Commission


The British Parliament, aware of the services and sacrifices of the Loyalists passed an Act appointing a Commission to hear Loyalist claims and investigate their real and personal property losses during the war. The Act received Royal Assent on July 15, 1783. This event preceded the formal signing of the Treaty of Paris ending the American Revolution on September 3, 1783 and the last evacuation of the Loyalists to Nova Scotia in the Fall Fleet of November 1783.


Under the Act the period allowed for filing claims was from July 15, 1783 to March 25, 1784. This period was adequate for Loyalists that had sought refuge in Great Britain but was totally inadequate for Loyalists in Canada. Word only reached the colony of Quebec for publication on October 23, 1783 and the last boat of the season sailed from Quebec City to England on November 16. Many in backwoods areas of the Canadian colonies never did hear of the opportunity to claim, or heard too late.


A second Act in 1785 renewed the powers of the Commissioners of Claims and specifically appointed Jeremy Pemberton Esquire and Colonel Thomas Dundas to receive claims and hear evidence in British North America. These two Commissioners stayed in Canada for an extended time, hearing claims in Halifax and Shelburne, Nova Scotia, St. John, New Brunswick and in Quebec City and Montreal in the colony of Quebec. From late August to early September 1787 Pemberton and Dundas made visits to Niagara and examined the claims for losses by settlers in that area...


Pioneer Sketches of Long Point Settlement

By E. A. Owen


With annotations by R. Robert Mutrie


This is an exact transcript of Norfolk County historian E. A. Owen’s landmark 1898 history Pioneer Sketches of Long Point Settlement with end notes by R. Robert Mutrie. The chapters will be added to this website over time. Click on a chapter to the right to view Owen’s text with Mutrie’s endnotes.


Annotator’s Introduction


During the late nineteenth century, Egbert Americus Owen took on the task of writing his major book of pioneering times in Norfolk County, Ontario. He traveled miles to meet with a woman or a man who could tell him about “The Old Days.” The resultant book, Pioneer Sketches of Long Point Settlement chronicles the founding century in one of this province’s earliest pioneer areas. The work has withstood the test of a hundred years and still lives on.


The insightful author’s original 1898 edition sold 1,100 of the 1,200 copies printed. The remainder burnt in a fire. There was a succeeding reprint seventy-five years later and another done soon thereafter...