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Frequently Asked Questions

- What do the fields represented on a place name page mean?
- Dictionary (the meaning of words used throughout Ontario Locator)
- Need helping tracing your family tree?

What exactly will I find on this site?
A listing of Ontario [Canada] place names (past & present).

I can't find the place I'm looking for... why isn't it listed?
There are three possible answers:
    1. The place is listed but under a different spelling.
    2. The place doesn't exist, or doesn't exist in Ontario
    3. It has not yet been added. Ontario Locator is a work in progress. New additions are made with each update but there are over 60,000 current Ontario place names (and most likely quadruple that for place names that no longer exist) and Ontario Locator has only 1/6 of these places listed. We're working on it and with your help we'll make it!

What can I do to get a place listed on this site?
Submit a query or addition! Only with your help will this site become the utopia of Ontario place location. All submissions are carefully looked over and if your place is found or can be verified, it will be added on the next update.

What's the difference between a query and an addition?
- A query is a question. You think a place is/was in Ontario but you're not 100% sure.
- An addition is a statement. You *know* a place is/was in Ontario and can provide proof.

Why don't you list addresses, buildings or streets?
Because this site was designed to help you find out what county/district of Ontario you need for genealogy research. This is not a 411 service (see Canada 411 for that!)

What does it mean when a place has two Townships or two Townships and two Counties listed?
It means that the place is found on a border or boundary. For instance -- Avon, North Dorchester Twp & South Dorchester Twp's, Middlesex & Elgin Co's. Avon is found on the boundary of North Dorchester Twp, Middlesex Co and South Dorchester Twp, Elgin Co.

I just submitted a query, where and when will it be answered?
- Where: Either under Misplaced Places or within the database, depending upon the answer.
- When: Queries are collected and researched once a month. Once the answer for all queries collected at that time has been researched they will be posted. Please be patient as this research can take awhile.

I submitted a query and it wasn't answered.
There are two possibilities:
1. If your query was submitted within one week of an update it's likely that it will appear on the next update.
2. The place you queried about was already listed on the website at the time of your query. Try the search again and use our search tips.

You have a place name listed as 'No Longer Exists', but I KNOW it still exists.
There are two possible answers:

1. It may still 'exist' but the place name may no longer be officially recognized by the government. It's not the place that doesn't exist, but the name.

2. The place is not the one you seek, but a different place with the same name. It was not uncommon for several Ontario places to have the same name. The government did its best to rectify the situation which is why you rarely see two places in Ontario now with the same name.

'Osgoode' is a good example. There were two Osgoodes, both located in the same township. One was renamed and one remained the same. Therefore if you are looking for 'Osgoode, Ontario' you will see one listed as 'No Longer Exists' and one as 'Currently Exists'. You then have a dilemma figuring out which one you need!

You have a Township/County listed as 'Currently Exists'. It merged with another Township/County and hasn't existed in quite awhile, so why is it listed as 'Currently Exists'?
Over the past fifty years most of Ontario's Counties, Districts, and Townships have ceased to 'politically' exist due to amalgamation and municipal changes. On recent maps and other geographical representations, these areas are still listed, so Ontario Locator considers them to 'Currently Exist'.

You have a Place listed as 'Currently Exists', but it's a "ghost town"
Because the place name still refers to the area, and the place name is still recognized.

I found a place in the census but it's in a different county than what is shown on the Ontario Locator
The "counties" used in a census are actually enumeration districts. These districts were used for enumeration and changed from census year to census year (which is why some places are in one district one year and a different district the next). Most enumeration districts did mirror geographic townships & geographic counties but there are some that did not. The information presented on the Ontario Locator refers to the geographic location of a place name, not the enumeration district. OntarioGenWeb's Census Project offers a list of places and their enumeration districts.

You have incorrect information posted. How do I let you know?
Please fill out the correction form and be sure to leave your e-mail address so I can get back to you if needed.

Still have a question?


Ontario Locator can help you with your genealogy research by giving you a more specific location to start your search.

If you, for instance, knew only that your ancestors came from 'Bytown, Upper Canada' where would you start your search? By searching the Ontario Locator you will learn that Upper Canada is now the Province of Ontario, and that Bytown was the former name of our capital city Ottawa. Instead of having to search throughout the entire province of Ontario for your ancestors you can localize your research to the specific area they lived.

Each village, town, city, township, county and district within Ontario has their own history, their own historical documents, and in quite a few cases their own genealogical resources that differ from other areas within Ontario. On a provincial level there are the census enumerations (organized by enumeration district) that took place every 10 years starting in 1851 but areas had local enumerations. For instance, Woodhouse Township in Norfolk County has an 1812 census and several places within the Niagara Region had very early censuses as well. Localizing your research gives you many more chances to find the persons you seek.

As most governmental records are first divided by county or district, then by township this would mean your first step in research would be to check township records instead of the entire county. Using this research method of township, then county, you cut down on time spent needlessly looking in the 'wrong' area.

For more information on genealogy research in Ontario (or Canada), please visit OntarioGenWeb and CanadaGenWeb.

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