Cramahe Archives Digital Collection
Finding Cramahe's past: Historical directories and gazetteers
Introduction
Historical directories and gazetteers were a valuable means of communication and source of information for businessmen, travellers, and immigrants. The directories and gazetteers ranged in scope from Canada wide to provincial to county publications. Directories and gazetteers were especially popular from the the mid 1800s to the 1910s. Only two gazetteers published prior to 1850 have been located to date. These two publications focussed upon geography, agricultural interests, and natural resources as well as statistical information about acreage and population.

Genealogists and researchers will find important local information in historical directories and gazetteers as these publications listed the names of local businessmen and their livelihoods. In addition, some directories and gazetteers, listed the names of freeholder residents, usually adult males, with the concession and lot numbers of their properties. Although a number of directories used the word - farmers - in their titles, few of them listed farmers or included farming information. Women were not listed unless they owned or ran a business, often shared or inherited from a husband or father, or were widows who owned property.

Many directories and gazetteers included descriptions of towns and villages that tended to be the larger settlements in an area regardless of actual population size. Modes of transportation - ports, railways, and/or stage(coach) - and a town's or village's proximity to such services were always noted. Presence or proximity to banking, mail service, telegraph and later telephone services were also referenced.

Directories and gazetteers were not encyclopedic in content or entirely consistent in their population counts or the occasional reference of historical events, but they did present aspects of local 19th and early 20th century life that is often challenging for researchers to obtain.

Please note that the size and clarity of the exhibit images could only be adjusted to a certain extent.
A short topographical description of His Majesty's province of Upper Canada in North America: to which is annexed a provincial gazetteer, 1799
A short topographical description of His Majesty's province of Upper Canada in North America: to which is annexed a provincial gazetteer, 1799 Details
The 1799 publication "A short topographical description of His Majesty's province of Upper Canada in North America: to which is annexed a provincial gazetteer" is the earliest known publication to reference Cramahe Township's boundaries.
Definitions:

Gazetteer - a book or part of a book that contains a list of names of places, usually with some extra information.

Directory - a book that gives a list of names, addresses, or other facts.

Cambridge Dictionary, 2020

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