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Ontario GenWeb Project: Essex County
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Essex County
This area of Ontario is covered by Essex County GenWeb. The information presented below is merely an outline of the county and does not include what is available for genealogical research for this area. For information on genealogical research of this area please visit Essex County GenWeb.

Established in 1792, Essex County is "the most southerly county in Canada"2, and was named for a county in England.

Settlement of this area precedes British rule (1763). The land had been claimed for France in 1615 by Samuel de Champlain. Missionary François Dollier de Casson and his followers were the first white men to arrive in Essex County in 1670 while on their way to Sault Ste. Marie.

The first European settlement was established in the early 1700's. A French fort was built on the Detroit side of the river, and the security of the nearby soldiers encouraged settlements on both sides of the river. In the 1730's land grants were given to French settlers and ex-military and when the British won the land in 1763 they honoured these land grants. At the time there were several hundred French settlers in the area.

The next wave of settlement came after the American Revolutionary War [1775-1783] when United Empire Loyalists received British land grants.

"Population 16,817 in 1852 and 318,319 in 1980."3

Essex County is located in South-Western Ontario.

  • 1792-1849 - part of Western District


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    1 Lovell's Gazetteer of British North America 1873
    2 Places In Ontario by Nick & Helma Mika, 1977
    3 Place Names of Ontario by Floreen Carter, 1984

  • Upper Canada [Est. 1791]
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    Rupert's Land
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    Talbot District [Est. 1837]
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    Timiskaming District [Est. 1912]
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    Victoria County [Est. 1852]
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    Victoria District [Est. 1837]
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    Waterloo County [Est. 1838]
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    Wellington County [Est. 1852]
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    Wellington District [Est. 1837]
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    Wentworth County [Est. 1816]
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    Western District [Est. 1792]
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    York County [Est. 1792]

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