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Place Names of Perth County, Ontario

    If you know a story about a place name in Perth County, you can add it; details are at the bottom of the page. Also see the bottom of the page for full information on the books.

    Atwood - was first named Elma Center in 1854. In 1876, when the railway came through, it became Newry Station (Newry was nearby). However, in 1883, a new name was suggested "when Eliza Gray of Detroit observed that the new hamlet was in the shadow of a surrounding wood, and her uncle William Dunn proposed the adoption of Atwood."
    Source: Place Names of Ontario, p. 17-18.

    Blanshard township - was named in 1830 for Richard Blanshard, a director of the Canada Company.
    Source: Place Names of Ontario, p. 35

    Brunner - was named for Jacob Brunner, first postmaster.
    Source: Reveries of a Pioneer: Mornington, p. 145.

    Burns - was named after the Scottish poet, Robert Burns.
    Source: Reveries of a Pioneer: Mornington, p. 92.

    Carlingford - named by a very early settler (1844) Abraham Davidson.
    Source: Illustrated Historical Atlas, 1879, pg xviii
    Here's a much more interesting version: In 1856 Hartman Cook wanted to call this place Cooksville. Abraham Davidson countered this suggestion with Davidsonville. (How original!) It was the postmaster who resolved it by making his own choice: Carlingford after the birthplace of Thomas D'Arcy McGee.
    Source: Place Names of Ontario, pg 58.

    Carthage - The first settler Tom Hamilton wanted to name this place after himself, but sadly for him, Ontario already had a Hamilton.
    Source: Reveries of a Pioneer: Mornington, p. 102.

    Donegal - the original name was Buchananville because there were so many Buchanans; seven Buchanan brothers had settled there in 1848. The first postmaster, John Foster, came from Donegal, Ireland, and suggested this name.
    Source: Reveries of a Pioneer: Elma

    Downie township - named in 1830 for Robert Downie, a director of the Canada Company.
    Source: Place Names of Ontario, p.96

    Dublin - was first known as Carronbrook after the brook. In 1878 the name was changed to Dublin, because many of the residents were Irish.
    Source: Ontario Place Names, p. 61.

    Edgecombe - was originally Kennedy`s Corners; the Kennedys ran a tavern there.
    Source: Reveries of a Pioneer: Mornington, p. 99.

    Ellice township - was named for Edward Ellice, a director of the Canada Company.
    Source: Mornington and its Pioneers, Malcolm Macbeth, 1933, p. 93.

    Elma township - named in 1849 for Lady Elma Bruce, daughter of James Bruce, eighth Earl of Elgin.
    Source: Place Names of Ontario, p.110

    Gad's Hill - the name is of English origin, but its source is uncertain. Alan Rayburn suggests that since it appears in Shakespeare`s Henry IV, Part 1, the name may have resulted from the influence of place names like Stratford, Shakespeare and the Avon River, and may have been chosen by someone who knew their literature well.
    Source: Place Names of Ontario, p. 129

    Gravelridge - has a ridge of gravel. Didn`t see that one coming, did you?
    Source: Reveries of a Pioneer: Mornington, p. 144.

    Hammond / Gotham - the first settler here was James Hammond. The origin of the change to Gotham is not known.
    Source: Reveries of a Pioneer: Elma, p.161

    Hesson - was at first Mack`s Corners, because a Mr Mack was the teacher. Mr Hesson, an MP, came along and decided that it should be called after himself.
    Source: Reveries of a Pioneer: Mornington, p. 93.
    More information: It was Samuel Rollins Hesson, who was mayor of Stratford for a while and who also was an MP.
    Source: A Stratford Album, Mary Jane Lennon, p. 11

    Hibbert township - named in 1830 for William T. Hibbert, Jr, a director of the Canada Company.
    Source: Place Names of Ontario, p. 157

    Kastnerville - founded by the Kastner family.
    Source: (Now where did I read this?? I know I got it from somewhere!)

    Kirkton - was named in 1856 by John Fotheringham, a Presbyterian minister, after Kirkton, Scotland, and also because of five Kirk brothers who settled here in the 1840s.
    Source: Place Names of Ontario, p. 183
    The book Illustrated Historical Atlas of the County of Perth, 1879 names the five brothers: Alexander, David, James, John and Lewis. They arrived in 1845 and their settlement crossed the border into Usborne township, Huron County.
    Source: Illustrated Historical Atlas, 1879, pg. xv

    Kurtzville - named in 1884 for John Kurtz, miller and first postmaster.
    Source: Place Names of Ontario, p. 185.

    Listowel - previous names were Mapleton and Windham, both of which were used by inhabitants. In 1856 the post office opened, and, unable to decide between the two names, the officials went with neither of them and picked a name out of the air, the name of a town in Ireland. The inhabitants of Listowel (sometimes spelled Listowell in early years) didn't even know how to pronounce it; the name of the Irish city is pronounced "Lis-TOLE" but even today the name of the Perth County town is pronounced "LIST-uh-wel" or "LIST'w'l."
    Source: W. S. Johnston, p. 93.

    Logan township - named for Hart Logan, a director of the Canada Company.
    Source: Mornington and its Pioneers, Malcolm MacBeth, 1933, p. 93.

    Mayne - was named for Mr May, the first postmaster.
    Source: Reveries of a Pioneer: Wallace, p. 32.

    Millbank - The first settler was John Freeborn in 1847. He built a mill on the edge of a bank. Voila!
    Source: Ontario Place Names, p. 138; Reveries of a Pioneer: Mornington, p. 31.

    Milverton - The first settler was Andrew West in 1848. It was named West's Corners in 1854. In 1871 Rev. Peter Musgrave suggested renaming it Milverton in honour of his birthplace in Somerset, England.
    Source: Ontario Place Names, p. 138; Reveries of a Pioneer: Mornington, p. 122.

    Mitchell - first settled in the 1830s by a Mitchell, whose first name is not known.
    Source: Place Names of Ontario, p. 224
    Another version of the story: Mitchell was founded in 1837 by William Hicks and his son John. They named it after another settler by the name of Mitchell.
    Source: Ontario Place Names, p. 140

    Monkton - was first called Winstanley after Edward Winstanley. He changed the name to Monkton in 1858.
    Source: Place Names of Ontario, p.225

    Morningdale - was so named by John Nicklin, who noticed the way the morning sun shone on the treetops.
    Source: Reveries of a Pioneer: Mornington, p. 107.

    Mornington Township - was named in 1848 for Lord Mornington, a member of the British government.
    Source: Reveries of a Pioneer: Mornington, p. 28

    Newry - named after the birthplace of Mr Charles Coulter, who was a postmaster there in 1862.
    Source: Reveries of a Pioneer: Elma, p.204
    Another version: Alan Rayburn gives the name of the postmaster as Charles Coulton, a native of Newry, County Down, Ireland.
    Source: Place Names of Ontario, p. 240

    Newton - was originally Millbank Station. Alex Murray suggested the new name to honour Sir Isaac Newton.
    Source: Reveries of a Pioneer: Mornington, p. 154.

    North and South Easthope townships - were originally Easthope township in 1830, named for Sir John Easthope, a director of the Canada Company. In 1843 the township was divided into North and South Easthope.
    Source: Place Names of Ontario, p. 247

    Peffers - was first called Freeborn in honour of John Freeborn. It was renamed for John Peffers, who sold some of his land so that a new railway station could be built on it, after the old railway station burnt down.
    Source: Reveries of a Pioneer: Mornington, p. 98.

    Perth County was so named in 1849. Previous suggestions were Peel and Bannockburn (why Bannockburn, I don't know!) John Linton selected the name Perth to commemorate early settlers who came from Perthshire, Scotland.
    Source: W. S. Johnston, p. 54

    Prospect Hill - also known as Fish Creek.
    Source: Illustrated Historical Atlas of the County of Perth, 1879, p. xv

    Russeldale - named by James Russell. Now, what confuses me is the fact that the place has one ell and the man's name has two. Hmmm. But there you go.
    Source: Illustrated Historical Atlas, 1879, pg. xviii (but the witty comment is my own work)

    St Marys - was first called Little Falls in 1845. Several years later, Mary Jones, the wife of a commissioner of the Canada Company, was asked to suggest a new name and she came up with St Marys. Today the town's nickname is Stonetown because of the many limestone buildings of the last half of the nineteenth century.
    Source: Ontario Place Names, p. 192

    Sebastopol - was named after the city of Sevastopol in the Crimea.
    Source: Place Names of Ontario, p. 311

    Sebringville - named for John Sebring, builder of the Canada Company's mill at Stratford. He arrived as a settler in 1834. However, it was first known as Black Creek, which name was chosen by Henry Scarth, the owner of the first store in the village.
    Source: Illustrated Historical Atlas, 1879, pg. xvi

    Shakespeare - founded in 1832 by David Bell, it was first known as Bell's Corners. In 1849, the post office opened and was called Bell's Corners-Wilmot. In 1852 Alexander Mitchell suggested changing the name to honour his favourite playwright.
    Source: Ontario Place Names, p. 199

    Staffa - was first known as Spring Hill.
    Source: William Johnson, pg. 242.

    Stratford - was first known as Little Thames after the river. William Sargent arrived in 1832 and built a hotel, which he named the Shakespeare Inn. Because the river had already been named the Avon by William "Tiger" Dunlop, in 1832 it was agreed that Stratford would be an appropriate name.
    Source: Ontario Place Names, p. 209

    Topping - was named by a Mr Coulton, an early settler, who came from Topping, England.
    Source: Reveries of a Pioneer: Mornington, p. 150.

    Tralee - was first named Tyrone, because of the many settlers who emigrated from there, fleeing the Irish famine. Later, the post office was named Tralee for Tralee, Ireland.
    Source: Reveries of a Pioneer: Mornington, p. 85.

    Trecastle - was named by Irish settlers who came from Trecastle, Ireland.
    Source: Reveries of a Pioneer: Wallace, p. 30.

    Wallace Township - was named for Baron Wallace, chairman of Britain`s Agricultural Board.
    Source: Reveries of a Pioneer: Wallace, p. 28.

    For further reading: If this topic interests you, the book I would recommend of the ones on the list below is Alan Rayburn`s. It goes into more detail than Scott`s and is more carefully researched.



    Bibliographical Information
    W. Stafford Johnston's History of Perth County to 1967, County of Perth, Stratford, 1967.
    Vera McNichol`s Reveries of a Pioneer series
    Alan Rayburn`s Place Names of Ontario, University of Toronto Press, 1997.
    David E. Scott`s Ontario Place Names, Whitecap Books, Vancouver and Toronto, 1993.
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Meg Fuller Perth County Coordinator

Copyright © 2007-2008 by ONGenWeb.. All rights reserved. Individual submissions remain property of submitter or author. Last updated September 22, 2007 .

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The Townships of Perth County

Blanshard Township and town of St Marys
Downie Township
North Easthope
South Easthope
Ellice Township
Elma township
Fullarton Township
Hibbert Township
Logan Township
Mornington Township
City of Stratford
Wallace Township and town of Listowel

Outside Links (Not part of this site)

$ Perth County Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society

Stratford-Perth Archives
The Stratford Beacon-Herald the main newspaper for the area

The Listowel Banner is the main newspaper in the north part of the county

County of Perth
Museums of Perth County
Perth County Historical Foundation
Stratford Public Library
Town of North Perth
Township of Perth East
Township of West Perth
Hmm... North, East, West, where is a website for South Perth?

Historic Plaques of Perth County on Wayne Cook's Historic Plaque site

Please help open Canada's post-1901 census records!
The Ontario GenWeb Census Project