Tuesday, June 18, 2013

About the Oshawa Journal

Catherine is researching her Oshawa house, built in 1850. Copyright Catherine McDiarmid-Watt, from OshawaJournal.comOne day I had the brilliant idea that I would get my house, built around 1850 in Oshawa, designated as a heritage home.

All I had to do was head over to the Durham Land Registry Office in Whitby and look up the previous owners - and submit my proposal to the Heritage Oshawa website!

Of course, it is never that easy. The land was severed in 2000 when I bought it, and the computerized records only went back that far.

So began my journey...

SEARCH: Birth Records | Marriage Records | Obituary Records | Death Records | Cemetery Records

When the one page I needed was missing in the microfiche, I started searching through the history books of Oshawa, trying to track down the original owner of my house. I still haven't found the answer. I have tracked up from Crown Lands to 1839 when Royale Grigor McGregor owned the land and today back to 1873 when Jacob Polton Wood sold the land to David Garrow. But the 34 years in-between are still a mystery...

But in the meantime, I have learned so much about the history of Oshawa, and it's residents - that I ended up sharing information on the genealogy boards to people searching their own family history.

When I recently got my hands on the Oshawa Census of 1879 at the local library, and started comparing it to the Lovell Directory of 1871 and the Ontario Census of 1871 - and marking it out on the lots of a 1877 map of Oshawa to help my research - I realized I just might have something important to share!

So this Oshawa Journal will contain timelines, news clippings, birth/marriage/death/grave records, photos and stories of the people I am researching, as well as the history of streets and houses in the village of Oshawa. I will try to be as thorough as I can, using old directories, census, phone books and photos where available.

I will also share my journey of research to designation, and share ideas on how you can research your family history or home.

If you have any information, photos, stories, etc. to add I would be so very grateful!

How to Research Your House: Every Home Tells a Story, by Pamela BrooksHow to Research Your House: Every Home Tells a Story (US)
by Pamela Brooks
-- Do you want to know more about the history of your house, find out about the lives of former inhabitants, and discover more about the local community in which your house stands? 

Pamela Brooks, author of "How to Research Local History" will help you get started. 

She'll take you step by step along a fascinating trail of discovery, starting with the building itself and progressing to who lived there.
Find it on: Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk

Catherine McDiarmid-Watt, author of OshawaJournal.com~*~ by Catherine McDiarmid-Watt, author of OshawaJournal.com, researching her 1850's house, the history of old homes, the genealogy of the founding families in Oshawa - as well as citylife and farm life in the 1800's, with old news clippings, well-researched articles, and "then and now" photos with the help of her "history dogs", Denny and Dexter.

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Anonymous said...

Re: Conc 1, Lot 11. I have only for reference the Atlas map from 1872 reprint by Mika. It appears to me that the stream runs through it. Correct?
If so, that is the lot where Samuel Dearborn and his son-in-law built a saw mill and later a grist mill in 1817-9. If so, the Historical Society has a copy of the story of that structure on file. You had an older historian back in the 1980's who showed me the ruins of that mill, still visible. It seems to me that there was a large apartment building built on the east bank, of the creek that was used to power the mill.
Is this the same lot & conc. you are describing?
I am descended from the Dearborn, Rogers, and Demeray families that settled in the Broken Front and concession 2 prior to the incorporation of Oshawa. It was all refered to as East and West Whitby then.
You do have an interesting blog!!.
Roger Harris
1-501 Albert St., Stratford, ON N5A 3L6

Catherine McDiarmid-Watt said...

Thanks for sharing that info! Yes, Oshawa Creek runs thru Lot 11, Conc 1.

According to the history books I have been reading, Samuel Dearborn built the first grist mill and saw mill in Oshawa on lot 11 in the third concession.

Then I read, "we moved to Oshawa to the place known as Gibbs Mills building the present mill it has never moved or broken away. My
Father sold out to my brother-in-law Mr. William
P.S. My Fathers name was Samuel Dearborn."

and "The splendid water power at the old grist mill in the hollow near Oshawa"

Where my house is located was once called Gibbs Mill or The Hollow.

Anonymous said...

Just a thought....the info you gave on your website concerning John McGregor selling 50 acres each to Thomas Ray & Joseph Burk...these 2 men farmed Lot 12 Con 2...I've not yet seen the early owners of Lot 12 when I do I will let you know !
The Burk homestead on Park Rd S is still erect this you might already know !
I thank you very much for the info on your website.
Enjoy the day

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