Where The
Niagara Settlers Lived


Over the past several years from 2007 to 2011 R. Robert Mutrie transcribed the first Abstracts of Deeds Registers (1796-1865) of eight townships in the Niagara Region—Bertie, Willoughby, Stamford, Humberstone, Crowland, Thorold, Grantham and Niagara Townships and the town of Niagara (present Niagara-on-the-Lake). He has then copied the items into listings alphabetized by the surnames of the contracting parties and included them in this site. The original register books have been filmed by the Ontario Archives in Toronto and the films are available in the Archives reading room.

In the agrarian society of early Upper Canada (Ontario), the Abstracts of Deeds Registers are the most comprehensive record of the settlers. The registration system was already fifty-six years old when the first every-name census was taken in 1852. Beginning in late 1796, the purchasers of lots took their deeds to the County Registrar to be transcribed by him into the Copy Books of Deeds. The Registrar then summarized the record in the Abstracts Registers. Each entry included the transaction and registration dates, type of instrument, names of both parties, consideration paid, a brief description of the property and reference to the copybook volume and page. To find a settler on a page use your computer's search function <ctl-F>.

These alphabetized listings serve as a guide to who lived where in pre-confederation Niagara. Appreciation for the maps in this site is given to Maggie Parnall from her publication The Mini Atlas of Early Settlers in the District of Niagara (1984) now out of print.

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Happy Hunting,

R. Robert Mutrie