Resources in Elgin County

For an informative Guide for Elgin County genealogical and family history researchers on resources in Elgin County check the Branch’s online publication:

Discovering Your Roots in Elgin

Elgin County Archives

The Elgin County Archives  was opened in the fall of 2002. It is located in the same building as the Elgin County Library at 450 Sunset Drive, St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada
The collection includes the available Elgin County and St. Thomas newspapers; Ontario censuses from 1842 to 1891(complete) and part of the 1901 census; Surrogate Court records for Elgin County from 1854 to 1959; Early Township Land Papers for Elgin County, assorted assessment rolls for different municipalities within the County; and various other genealogical material. There are microfilm readers and one microfilm reader-printer available. The ECA  includes records of the county government back to 1852, The Scott-Sefton Photo Collection (almost a 100,000) of negatives from Elgin area studio photographers, Alma College records, Women’s Institute Records and some maps and plans of the county. Free parking is available.

Take a look at the Elgin County Surrogate Court Indexes now posted on the Elgin Archives Web.

Elgin County Library

The Elgin County Library system has ten branches:

West Lorne and Rodney – in historical Aldborough Township (now West Elgin Township)
Dutton – in historical Dunwich Township (now Dunwich and Dutton Township)
Shedden – in Southwold Township
Port Stanley – in historical Yarmouth Township (now Central Elgin Township)
Belmont– in historical South Dorchester Township (now Malahide Township)
Aylmer and Springfield – in Malahide Township – Aylmer Express and Malahide Tax Assessments on microfilm.
Port Burwell – in Bayham Township

All have small collections of books and local history material about their area, as well as the cemetery transcriptions. Aylmer, Dutton, Port Stanley, and other smaller libraries have limited microfilm collections (duplicates at St. Thomas Public Library). The headquarters of the Elgin County Library is at 450 Sunset Drive (Highway # 4 ), St.Thomas. It has a collection of assessment rolls and other municipal records on microform, some church and other records on microform, original paper copies of municipal records, a few business records, copies of Elgin County census microfilms, British Military and Naval Records Index on microfilm, books about Elgin County and area, family histories, a local history clipping file index on a computer database, Elgin County cemetery transcriptions, and other county’s cemetery transcriptions.
Over the years Elgin County Library has published many genealogical and historical books. These are for sale at the headquarters.

The Elgin County Museum

The Elgin County Museum is also located at 450 Sunset Drive, St. Thomas, Ontario. The hours of operation are given at the Museum’s web site. The museum has a collection of photographs and papers stored in the Document Room.

St. Thomas Public Library

The St. Thomas Public Library is located on 153 Curtis St., St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada

This library has a very good collection of microfilms in the George Thorman Room. The collection includes some available Elgin County and St. Thomas newspapers and various other genealogical material. There are microfilm readers and one microfilm reader-printer available. It also has an excellent local history and genealogy card file. This is a name and subject card file, organized alphabetically. It gives the user the name or subject and the location where the information was found, such as a newspaper, a book, or a cemetery listing.

 Ancestry.com data bases and primary source images are now available at the Thorman Room through the Ancestry Library Edition.

The Elgin County Branch of The Ontario Genealogical Society

Members of the Elgin OGS. who live in Elgin County are able to help and will do limited research and look-ups for Elgin County researchers.  Both libraries in St. Thomas have the phone numbers of contact people willing to help researchers. 

Aylmer – Malahide Museum & Archives

The Aylmer-Malahide Museum & Archives is located at 14 East St, Aylmer. The Aylmer Museum has a collection of business and private papers, including the papers of a company which made cemetery markers. It has a microfilm reader and copies of the Aylmer Express newspapers. Also in its collection are cemetery transcriptions for Malahide Township and the Town of Aylmer and a large collection of mortgage posters.

The Elgin Military Museum

The Elgin Military Museum collection contains information about the men and women of Elgin County who served in the service. Military records cover from the War of 1812 to the Korean War. Records consist of lists of people who served in various regiments. as well as records of several of the early payrolls from the militia regiments of the County.

Family History Centre of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

The Family History Centre is located at 436 Elm St, St. Thomas.The majority of its collection is in microfilm and microfiche. It offers such materials as the International Genealogical Index, The Family History Library Catalog, different indexes to censuses of England and Scotland, guides to countries and their genealogical resources, the Ontario Vital Statistics Index and part of the Registrations. The centre has computer access to the IGI, the Family History Library Catalog, Ancestral Files and other material. The St. Thomas Family History Centre is a branch of the Family History Centre and Library maintained by the Latter-day Saints at Salt Lake City, Utah. Each centre can borrow microfilm and microfiche from the main collection housed at Salt Lake City at a minimum charge. Note however: The LDS FHL Family Search catalog is now online and researchers may order and pay for films online and have the films sent to their local Family History Centre library.

Note: Many of the publications that were previously given in the Elgin OGS Library Finding Aid are now available online at the FHC