Pioneer Lives

In the Niagara Settlement

Pioneer Lives is R. Robert Mutrie's series of articles documenting Niagara's pioneers before, during and after putting down roots in Niagara wherever they may have been. 

The Niagara Settlement was founded within the context of national and international world history making the pioneers’ biographies incomplete when viewed solely from a local perspective. Concentration on the pioneers’ experience in Niagara left their earlier and later lives unexplored. The Pioneer Lives series now brings to light, on a settler-by-settler basis, their formative and later years.

The magnet in the agrarian society was the availability of 200-acre grants of farmland in Ontario. This served as a major attraction not only from Ontario's earlier settlements, but also new arrivals from the United States and still others from Europe, making the young county cosmopolitan. Descendents of many of these pioneers have contributed transcripts of their “paper-trail” of documents to Robert Mutrie who will be posting them here with credit to each contributor. More are invited.

Many came from the Niagara District, settled as early as 1783 and named for the river on its eastern boundary. In this area a new generation of young men and women came to maturity then looked further west for their own locations. This has become a new area for examination by R. Robert Mutrie and material from the period documents will be presented from his findings.

In essence, it is a continuation of his popular Long Point Settlers Journals and freely presented here.

We invite your documented contributions. To submit either long or short stories, contact