Skeleton Port Hope,

A Living Past...

Updates: Click on the item to access...)

This site was created in March 2000, with the hope of connecting with hitherto unknown family. Along the way, we discovered a wealth of family research material for Port Hope/Hope Township and continue to transcribe them for your use. We hope you find something of value here, and, if you have any local resources you can share, please contact us.

- Barbara Kyle & Peter Bolton -

Click on the maple leaf icons below to access the desired pages.

maple leaf While hoping that the resources listed below will be of use to you, we are also optimistic that presently-unknown relatives with the surname of...
  • Bolton, Gray, Powell, Thomas (Buckinghamshire/Middlesex)
  • Skitch, Peardon, Bailey, Harris (Cornwall/Devon)
  • Nicholas (Yorkshire)
  • Holloway (England)
  • Kyle, Carse, Oliver, White (Northumberland, England)
  • Currie (Argyll, Scotland)
  • Monaghan, Mills, Beatty, McCleary, Campbell (Ireland)
  • Frederick, Rush (Loyalists from New Jersey)
  • Greenleaf (Bergen Co., New Jersey)
  • Marshall, O'Connell (Quebec)
...will browse through our lineages pages, recognize a connection, and get in touch. We have now met fifty-six cousins!
maple leaf To assist in your research, we have provided a page where you can list the local surnames you are researching, and...
maple leaf ...a page of local family histories we've received.
Note: As we are trying to expand the family history section at the Port Hope Public Library, we would like to add any published information you might have on your lineage. Hardcopy material will go onto the shelves and electronic files will be entered, unedited, into the Library computer. If electronic, please remove any living relatives from the file for privacy concerns.

Port Hope and Hope Township Resource Materials
Speed up your browsing of our 215 pages with this site search engine. As spelling varies considerably on many of the earlier documents, you might still want to do some manual searching.
Please note: There may be some pages that this free engine does not search.
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search engine by freefind

maple leaf The following census (and related) materials are available for online searching:
  • Crown Deeds of Hope Township
  • Elias Smith's 1799 Hope Township report
  • Augustus Jones' 1799 Hope Township report
  • 1801-1806 Port Hope/Hope Township Oaths of Allegiance
  • 1802-1807 Hope Township tax assessment rolls indices
  • 1803-1841 Hope Township census indices
  • 1842-1847 Hope Township assessment records indices
  • 1847 Port Hope assessment index
  • 1851-1921 census returns
  • 1890 Financial Report of the Methodist Church, Canton Circuit
  • 1891 Financial Report of the Methodist Church, Canton Circuit
  • c1898 Port Hope Bell Telephone Directory
  • 1900 Port Hope Bell Telephone Directory
  • 1913 Port Hope assessment record
  • 1920 Hope Township voters' list (with a township map)
We have access to the following resources, which we cannot put online due to file size, but for which we will be glad to honour requests for information:
  • The 1856 Port Hope Business Directory, the first directory specifically for Port Hope, containing names and members of local organizations, lists of business owners and dozens of advertisements;
  • The 1902 R.G. Dun Mercantile Agency Reference Book, covering Durham County businesses' value and credit; and

Vital Statistics
maple leaf update An index of 27,000+ local births, marriages and deaths as reported in the 1832-1972 Port Hope newspapers.
maple leaf A partial list of 133 baptisms (1854-1884), which Laurie Winter transcribed during family research, from the registers of Our Lady of Mercy Roman Catholic Church (Port Hope).
She recently informed us that the LDS site now has the entire BMD (1853-1920) image set for the Church online. They have not been indexed, so researchers will have to go through them page by page, but that is a minor inconvenience!
maple leaf The 148 baptisms (1875-1914) recorded in the Garden Hill Presbyterian Church register and transcribed by Walt Sammis, added to our resources with the kind permission of the United Church Minister, Reverend William Service.
maple leaf Bernadine Dodge, Trent University Archivist, has graciously allowed us to list the Port Hope/Hope Township extractions from these four holdings in the Archive's extensive collection, beginning with this listing of 273 births (1869-1872), taken from the United Counties of Northumberland and Durham Vital Statistics fonds (#83-016).
maple leaf A listing of 238 Port Hope/Hope Twp. marriages (1869-1872), extracted from the United Counties of Northumberland and Durham Vital Statistics fonds (#83-016). Also included are several recently-discovered marriage entries in the 1825-1848 range.
maple leaf Extracts from the United Counties of Northumberland and Durham Vital Statistics Additions fonds - 1838-1855 (#84-004), consisting of baptism records, marriage lists and burial lists. The transcription maintains the original spelling - except where known errors have been corrected - so it would be advisable to manually check the database in addition to using the search engine.
maple leaf A listing of 260 Port Hope/Hope Township inquests taken from the United Counties of Northumberland and Durham Court Records fonds - 1832-1914 (#84-020). As this transcription also maintains the original spelling, you should manually search the database.
An example of the inquest procedure can be read for that of Robert Best, who died of exposure in 1867.
maple leaf Local Family Bible extractions
maple leaf CemSearch - an ever-enlarging database of interments (382,000 as of November 2013). Information is also provided about the local cemeteries.
maple leaf A lot map for Zion United Church Cemetery (1839-1972), located in Hope Township on Con. 3, Lot 31, contributed by Robert Symons
maple leaf 116 death/funeral notices from 1861-1916
maple leaf Local funeral home records, dating from 1864
maple leaf Elizabeth Hancocks, of Generation Press, has graciously given permission to list the Port Hope/Hope Township entries from her book, Surrogate Court Index of Ontario, Canada (1859-1900) Volume 4, Northumberland and Durham Counties.
maple leaf The Port Hope Archives holds a collection of 1,403 probates (1821-1997), mostly of area residents. Further information and copies can be obtained from the Archives.

maple leaf 1st Regiment of the Durham Militia (15 Dec 1837)
maple leaf 1st-6th Durham Battalions of the Militia of Canada (1847)
maple leaf 1st Battalion of the Durham Regiment of Militia (1856)
maple leaf The Prince of Wales' Canadian Dragoons (c1857), an article prepared by Neil Dukas
maple leaf Port Hope Light Infantry Volunteer Company (01 May 1866)
maple leaf Photograph of the 46th Battalion band, taken at the Commons, southeast of the viaduct (1869)
maple leaf Photograph of the Fenian Raid veterans of the 46th Battalion of Port Hope (c1870)
maple leaf With the Midland Battn. during the North West Rebellion of 1885 - a personal diary written by William E. Young
maple leaf In May 1915, The Col. Arthur Williams Chapter of the I.O.D.E. presented Fi-Fi of the Toy Shop, a play at Port Hope's Royal Theatre, the money raised to be used to furnish a semi-private ward in the new hospital for the returned men and their families. The room was to be dedicated to the memory of the Port Hope boys "who gave their lives for us."
maple leaf An article from the 15 Nov 1935 Evening Guide, featuring a reprint of the 1915 Fenian Raid veterans' banquet
maple leaf List of Officers of the 136th Durham Overseas Battalion (15 May 1916)
maple leaf List of Appeals: decisions of the Appeal Tribunal in Port Hope and Hope Township cases (25 Jan 1918)
maple leaf List of Hope Township WWI soldiers (24 Dec 1918)
maple leaf Book of Remembrance: Local Participants in the Great War (1914-1918). Only two copies of this 1919 book were made, both now located at the Port Hope Archives. This modified transcription includes photographs, submitted by the families of those who lost their lives, on permanent display at the Town Hall, and recently refurbished during the Year of the Veteran.

The attestation papers for the Canadian Expeditionary Forces can be found online at Library and Archives Canada.

maple leaf As a companion to the Book of Remembrance, we have indexed 132 letters written home from the WWI front and published in the local newspaper. Many of these were used in the Port Hope Archives' 2007 reprint.
01 Oct 1916: At the time of his death, he was in the bombing section of his unit. A comrade accidentally lighted the fuse of one of his bombs and, throwing away his jacket, Reuben Bennett was caught in the explosion.

Miscellaneous Historical
maple leaf Letters, diaries and logs penned by residents of the Port Hope area (dating from 1819), including the 1890 log of Sylvan Glen Camp
maple leaf A listing of Port Hope hotel owners and operators over the years
maple leaf Early Council: the Chief Magistrates of Port Hope from 1834 to the present day (a work in progress)
maple leaf A list of daguerreotypists, ambrotypists, & photographers operating in Port Hope in the 1850s-1940s: a useful aid for identifying ancestral studio portraits
maple leaf Port Hope harbour, as shown in an 1854 plan for the proposed Grand Trunk Railway. There are links to an 1831 letter to the editor about the conditions at the harbour, as well as the 1846 projected harbour plans.
maple leaf A photograph of several Great Lakes captains living in Port Hope in 1885, with an accompanying article from the 11 March 1953 Evening Guide
maple leaf An article about a former Port Hope lake captain, James H. Peacock (1853-1948), from the 22 Oct 1949 Evening Guide
maple leaf Information about "L. Bertolotto" of 1830s London, England, flea-circus fame, buried in Port Hope's Union Cemetery
maple leaf A newspaper article (1889) listing 495 local citizens who had emigrated from the area, mostly to the United States
maple leaf A listing of the 1891 Port Hope Fire Brigade members, with some history of the Brigade
maple leaf Portions of the Port Hope Model High School Register (1891-'92) and the complete Training Register (1884-1904) for those in teacher training
PH Model HS register
maple leaf Hope Township School Section student Registers (1892, 1893, 1896 & 1897), discovered under linoleum flooring during 1970s renovations
maple leaf Port Hope High School Commencement Exercises (15 Dec 1899), held at the Opera House
maple leaf Four newspaper articles describing the local I.O.O.F. Decoration Day services (1918, 1921, 1923, & 1926)
maple leaf Four plays that were performed by Port Hope citizens c1930: That's That, Page the Prince, A Royal Cut-Up, and The Beauty Shop

Sources of Information
maple leaf The Port Hope Archives is located in the refurbished former County Registry Office at the foot of Walton Street and is a constantly-enlarging source of information. Donations of local documents and photographs are always welcomed.
maple leaf The Port Hope Public Library has a considerable number of resources, including microfilms of the available newspapers. The Ancestry (Library Edition) programme can also be accessed at the library.
maple leaf features a considerable amount of Port Hope material, much of it gathered by the late local historian, Cal Clayton.
maple leaf Sites, including the Upper Canada Land Petitions, that we have found particularly useful for our own research. Prince Edward County. While happy to search out and transcribe local resources for this site, we simply do not have the time to fill requests for photocopies. Similarly, if you're looking for information on families beyond what we have on these pages, please contact the Library or the Archives.

Please let us know if some link is not working. Happy searching...and good luck!

UEL flag Barbara Kyle & Peter Bolton, UE
 Port Hope, Ontario, Canada

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Taken from a 1930 programme...

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It was the first built specifically for "talkies", opening 15 August 1930 with Queen High.
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