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Spotlight: In Search of Your Canadian Past: The Canadian County Atlas Digital Project

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Valerie Beaudrault

Valerie Beaudrault
Visitor Services Representative

The County Atlas pilot project was started in July 1998. It originally comprised ten atlases. There have been two additional phases of the project and it now contains forty-three atlases, covering the entire Ontario map. This is a project of McGill University Libraries.


Click on the County Atlases tab to learn detailed information about the atlases in the collection, the publisher, and what is included in them. Click on the Primary Sources and Other Sources tabs on the County Atlases page to read the list of atlases and other sources used in the project.


The County Atlas Digital Project contains a searchable database of the property owners' names, which appear on the township maps in the county atlases. The township maps have been scanned and uploaded to the site. There are links from the maps to the property owners' names in the database. Click on the Search tab on the homepage to open the main search page. There are two search options for this collection: People and Maps.


Click on the People tab to access the search boxes. With this option you may search the database by name and narrow your search by county, township, town, birthplace, and occupation. The data fields in the results returned include last name, first name, county, township, town, occupation, and birthplace. There is also a link to the full record. Click on the word GO to open the detailed record page. Additional data included here are year settled, post office, township, county, and atlas date, as well as concession and lot information. In addition, the Locate on Map links to the maps show the concessions and lots owned by the person.


Click on the Maps tab to open a new page with the 1880 map of Ontario counties. You can choose a county, township, and/or town from the dropdown lists and click on the ‘Get Map’ button to access the map of your choice. Click on the county image to open a new page with a map of the entire county. Click on a township to view the map. A link below the map generates an index of the property owners in the county. The results returned have the same data fields as noted above. Copies of the maps may be ordered from the library.

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