Ontario County; A Short Sketch of its Settlement, Physical Features & Resources - 1907


Cat No.:   CA0365:

The cover title continues, With Brief Historical Notes as to the early settlement of its Towns. Villages and Townships and their progress. By J. E. Farewell, County Clerk. But the Title Page names the book as: County of Ontario, Short Notes as to the Early Settlement and Progress of the County and brief References to the Pioneers and Some Ontario County Men who have Taken a Prominent Part in Provincial and Dominion Affairs. By J. E. Farewell, LL.B., K. C., County Clerk and Solicitor. To me the Title Page is more descriptive of the book's content but I suspect it depends on your point of view. Certainly, the book provides plenty of information suitable to satisfy both titles. The book contains 88 pages plus 9 plates.


There is also the question of location. Ontario County ceased to exist as the result of a municipal reorganization in the early 1970's, the various areas that it used to contain being ceded mainly to the Durham (Co.) Region but with some northern parts, e.g., the Townships of Mara and Rama going to Simcoe County and the area of Simcoe Lake areas which joined with York County. While it existed Ontario County was an approximately rectangular area spanning between Lake Ontario and the southern shore of Lake Simcoe at the East-most part of the Home District of (now) Toronto in the County of York. It is probably easiest to locate the area by listing the (currently existing) Townships, Towns and Villages which appear as chapter headings in the book:








While J. E. Farewell is the author of record, the Preface gives credit to numerous others who prepared and submitted historical and genealogical input for their individual area of interest. The Short Sketch format adopted by Farewell allows a compaction of these facts into an extraordinarily small number of pages giving rise to what can only be called a concentrated history book. Following a Preface there is a section which traces the social development of the area following Its initial visit by Champlain in the early 1600's also reviewing the geological features. Then follows individual chapters reviewing each of the major centres of settlement, making note of early settlers, individuals responsible for social and economic progress and others of note in the social development and growth of the town and / or County. While the list given above identifies the major areas, where appropriate, other closely related settlements - Port Oshawa, within the Town of Oshawa for instance - are also given space so their history can be similarly reported.


Ontario County, by the fortune of its geographic location has been economically important in the development of the whole Province of Ontario from the earliest times but Its abolition in 1971 makes it harder to identify and study it as a single source. The early histories of Simcoe and Durham can not include the beginnings of these important townships, cities, towns and villages simply because their merging into the boundary of the County did not occur until well after the histories were written. This is then an important book to all those trying to trace roots in this highly important and productive area.


The compact format of the book leaves no space for Tables of Content, much less for an Index of any type so the full search-ability of this digital edition is a boon to laying open the valuable information which - up to now - has laid hidden in this wonderful book. We have also enhanced the speed of your searches by enabling our FastFind technology.

We have placed a sampler and a Names List on our Ontario Downloads page. You can also reach the Sampler or Names List by clicking one of the following links Sampler, Names List

You can return to this page by closing the Sampler Page when you are ready to purchase.

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

FastFind:  Yes;  ISBN No.:   978-1-897405-77-2 ;