The Story of Dundas (Ontario) - 1905; (The County, not the City!) - J. Smyth Carter


Cat No.:   CA0087:

This is a highly informative book about one of the areas of what we now called Ontario, which has been heavily touched by the hand of history. The combination of its location on the main migration path into “Upper Canada” and the fertility of its land caused many a settler to stop and set up their future homes in this county of Dundas. As a result, the area is a “melting pot” of ethnic traditions, and rich in its culture.

The author, J. Smyth Carter of Rowena, Ontario, was scrupulous in his research and does his best to identify all the influences which have guided the development of this county. In addition to the influence brought by the settlers, the county’s location on the north shore of the St. Lawrence, between the cities of Cornwall and Kingston made it a prime site for the failed invasions of the 1812 conflict, and many of the old battlefields are still remembered, and can be found marked to this day.

In writing his book the author elected to devote about half of the chapters to the history of various civil and administrative topics with as wide a range and scope as “Agricultural Development” and “Parliamentary Development,” “Religious Life” and “Drainage.” Even the local militia get a chapter to themselves.

Most of the remaining chapters are concerned with the establishment and development of Dundas’ many towns and townships including: Williamsburg, Matilda, Mountain, Winchester, Iroquois, Morrisburg and Chesterville.

One notable common thread throughout the whole book is the identification, by name, of the local inhabitants, frequently including their family and where possible, their portrait. Of the 56 illustrations included it seems that more than half are multiple portraits of one sort or another meaning there must be pictures of hundreds of individuals throughout the pages. Even the illustration plates of buildings, etc., are usually collages of many individual pictures. One illustration plate, for instance shows 12 local churches.

Although not singled out for individual treatment, the book recognizes the influence that the Loyalist settlers had on the county, and their contribution is well recorded.

Finally the book concludes with a series of fact packed chapters which are a gold-mine of detailed information of utmost importance to those searching for their genealogical roots. For instance there is a listing, by Concession and Lot, of the original land grantees (as far as they were recorded) and page after page of hundreds of biographical records, tabulated by family name.

A wonderful book for those wanting to understand the history of this area and of those who settled and developed it. Access to this cache of densely packed information has been greatly enhanced by our making this digital reproduction fully computer searchable, a facility which is further enhanced by the application of our FastFind technology which brings you your search results almost instantaneously.

Our copy of this book contained two loose news clippings about the wedding of Mr. Burleigh Warren to Miss Annie Marie Strachan on 17 October 1923(?) probably in Hamilton, although the couple subsequently took up their married life in Dundas*. We have included scans of these clippings on the CD as additional information but would like to see the original clippings go to a good home so the first person who can prove a family connection with this couple is welcome to take these clippings into their care.

* Although these clippings were in a book about Dundas county we are wondering if the Dundas referred to might be the community of this name in the Hamilton area, rather than the county. The clippings give no hint.

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No. of CDs is:  1 ;   Format is:  PDF ;   Searchable?:  YES;

FastFind:  Yes;  ISBN No.:   978-1-897405-10-9 ;