Local History & Genealogy
Visit us and discover Caledon’s long and fascinating history through books, online resources, and local history displays.
Our local history collection is located on the second floor of the Albion Bolton Branch. You can also research your family tree by accessing Ancestry Library Edition at any one of our 7 branches.
Useful Websites for Local History Research
Albion-Bolton Historical Society is dedicated to preserving, researching, and documenting Bolton’s history.
Caledon East and District Historical Society holds meetings, plans events, and is involved in many community projects.
Caledon Heritage Foundation works with heritage partners in Caledon to promote and support heritage activity in the Town of Caledon.
The cultural heritage reflects what the Caledon community was, and what it is now. It tells the stories of the people of Caledon, what they did 500, or even 5 years ago.
FamilySearch is a free, family history research tool that provides online access to billions of historical records. This database is free to use from anywhere with internet access, but users must create an account to log in and search.
Caledon Public Library is a FamilySearch Affiliate Library, offering in-library access to additional, limited-access FamilySearch databases. You must create and/or log in to your FamilySearch account from within one of our library branches to access additional records.
The virtual archives of the Federated Women’s Institutes of Ontario provides “a platform to make accessible the many documents the Women’s Institutes (WI) have created across the Province of Ontario since 1897. This allows the original documents to remain within their communities, while researchers across Ontario, Canada, and the world can access them electronically.”
The collection includes the Tweedsmuir Community History Collections from the following local Caledon chapters:
- Bolton-Coronation Women’s Institute Tweedmuir Community History, Vol. 1: https://collections.fwio.on.ca/3568026/data?n=
- Cheltenham Women’s Institute Community History, Vol. 1: https://collections.fwio.on.ca/3568015/data?n=14
- Belfountain-Rockside Women’s Institute Tweedsmuir Community History, Vol. 1: https://collections.fwio.on.ca/3567920/data?n=13
“These documents are searchable across the platform, within a series, or within a document, as much as possible and if not hand-written. For those documents that are not searchable, they can be easily browsed. Within this site is also a record for each branch, district, and area. Each record contains gereral information, where availbable, such as whether active, when organized and disbanded and the physical location of the Tweedsmuir Collection.”
For tips on how to search these collections, visit https://collections.fwio.on.ca/searchhelp
For more information on the collection, visit https://collections.fwio.on.ca/about/a226
Archives of Ontario: Access to a unique and multi-faceted collection that includes records dating back to the late 16th century and contains everything from hand-written ledgers to electronic files, hand-drawn maps, architectural drawings, photographs, films and sound recordings.
Canadian Headstones: Their mission is to capture digital images and the complete transcription of headstones of our ancestors. You can browse gravestone records by a cemetery or find a grave in Canada by searching the province or territory. Additions are being made on a regular basis.
Family Search: FamilySearch offers free access to a collection of records, resources, and services including assistance at more than 4,500 family history centers in 70 countries.
Find a Grave: Find the graves of ancestors, thousands of famous people from around the world, create virtual memorials or add a note to a loved one’s grave.
Find my Past: Findmypast is a UK-based online genealogy service that has over 4 billion searchable records of census, directory and historical record information. This is a fee-based subscription website.
Genealogy and Family History (Library and Archives Canada): Tips for how to begin family history research, access to databases, sources and other research tools.
Museum of Dufferin: The Archives collects papers, records, books, photographs, oral history and other documentary sources which help the researcher to discover and interpret the history of Dufferin County and the stories of the people who lived here.
Ontario Cemetery Finding Aid: A pointer database consisting of the surnames, cemetery name and location of over 3 Million interments from several thousand cemeteries, cairns, memorials, and cenotaphs in Ontario Canada.
Ontario Chapter Association of Professional Genealogists: Members gain peer support beneficial for discussing research strategies and methodology, mutual concerns about business management and records access, and for improving skills.
Ontario Genealogy Historical Newspaper Archives: Historical newspaper files from various regions of Ontario.
Ontario Historical Society: Publishes Ontario History, a scholarly peer-reviewed journal featuring articles and book reviews related to Ontario’s history. Provides a forum for individuals, organizations and institutions to exchange ideas, research and experiences related to the rich history of the province, including built heritage, natural heritage, cemeteries, and research and scholarship.
Our Ontario: The discovery portal searches across hundreds of sites in one search. You can find audio, video, text, government documents, images and collections about Ontario, or from an Ontario organization.
The Proquest Globe and Mail Historical Newspaper provides genealogists, researchers and scholars with online, easily-searchable first-hand accounts and unparalleled coverage of the politics, society and events of the time, with coverage from 1844 – 2019.
Halinet (the Historical Societies of Burlington, Esquesing, and Milton and the Halton-Peel Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society): Halton County history and indexes, including indexes to land records, census records, surrogate court records, newspapers, military records and more.
Heritage Caledon provides information on the various heritage programs and initiatives available within the Town of Caledon.
Library and Archives Canada allows searching for government records, fire insurance plans, images, books, newspapers and much more.
PAMA’s (Peel Art Gallery Museum + Archives) Archives Research: Record types include government records, family history / genealogy, property research, organizations, personal records, photography and film. For information on searching the archives, visit the Peel Archives blog.
The Proquest Toronto Star Historical Newspapers archive provides access to full page reproductions of the Toronto Star newspaper with retrospective coverage from 1894 – 2019. Search and discover articles, photographs, maps, advertisements, classified ads, political cartoons, birth and marriage announcements, obituaries, and more.
Town of Caledon Local History: Information about Caledon’s heritage and access to the Heritage Register.
William Perkins Bull Family Files: This set of files is a first stop in your search for ancestors who were resident in Peel before the 1930s, especially if they were early settlers. William Perkins Bull was a local historian active in the 1930s. He collected notes on early Peel families from sources ranging from local lore and his own questionnaires, to newspaper clippings and land records. Many, though not all, of his files have been digitized.