Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Head of the Lake - From Beginnings -1814

I want to find out some basic history of different areas of where my family lived so it will help me to find our more things about them.  I'll start for now with the Hamilton, Ontario area because I live here, and it should be easier to find things out.
I am going to start with a book I have been reading.

Hamilton - A Peoples History - Bill Freeman.  

I will go through each chapter, and just pull out some interesting facts to me, and what might be relavent to my family.  If you want to get all the details I encourage you too see if you can find it at your library, or you can purchase it.

First Chapter:

The Head of The Lake
From beginnings - 1814

  • The first inhabitants of the "head of the lake", which is the western end of Lake Ontario was the native people about 6000 years ago.  
  • 1638 - 1640 - The population decreases because of the small pox epidemic which was brought over by the Europeans
  • 1650 - war that severely affected the native poupulation
  • 1700 - The French had control of the area
  • 1759 - British dominated after the Battle of the Plains of Abraham
  • 1775-1783 - American war of Independence; 60,000 loyalists came to modern day Canada. About 10,000 of these went to upper Canada, and 2000 of those to the Niagara Peninsula (which included the Head of the Lake)
  • 1787-1788 - "Hungry Years" because of a drought.  Most didn't use money but a barter system.
  • 1791 - Barton and Saltfleet Townships were surveyed by Augustus Jones
  • Most in this area were farmers.  Mos were given 200 acres and given clothes for 3 years, and basic tools.
  • Most were members of the Church of England (Anglican), but Methodist became more popular in the rural areas.
  • 1812 - Population of Upper Canada was about 77,000, 20,00 of these were loyalists, the rest were American settlers who were looking for cheap land (** This may be why my ancestors moved from the states to the area?**)
  • 1812-1814 - War of 1812 (Battle of Stoney Creek - June 1813)

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