Family history research

The Region of Archives holds a variety of archival and published sources that may be useful for researching your Peel family history. These can include files and publications compiled by other researchers, newspapers, land records, family papers, and local histories.

Your family may or may not be reflected in one of these types of records - it all depends on how they interacted with local authorities or groups, and whether someone else has researched them.

Important exceptions

  • The Archives does not hold official vital statistics certificates for births, marriages and death. The Archives of Ontario holds historical registrations.
  • With rare exceptions, the Archives does not hold the archival records of churches and religious bodies. These are held by the relevant denomination.

To learn more about Peel family history research, access our blog post on family history research or contact us.

Frequently used records

William Perkins Bull family research files

This set of files, organized by surname, 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. A list of the surnames he researched is available. Some family files have been digitized.

Land records

If your ancestors owned or occupied land in Peel, they may be reflected in land records. The challenge here is that our land records are largely organized by lots of land, and not by surname. This means you’ll need to know where your ancestor lived to access their land records. For more on land records, check out the guide on property records.


Individuals and families sometimes appear in local newspapers in relation to events like births and deaths, or local news. You can check our local newspaper coverage in our Newspapers guide.

Family and local histories

Written histories of people or places may be published or unpublished. If a family was very significant in the community, they may be mentioned. Often, local histories (and history books in general) are most valuable for establishing the context of your ancestor’s life.

Frequently used histories include

  • The William Perkins Bull series including the family files, towns and villages files, and annotated land records.
  • Women’s Institute Histories (“Tweedsmuir histories”) for certain areas
  • Published local histories found in our Reading Room.
  • Family histories published by genealogical researchers.

Cemetery transcriptions

The Archives Reading Room maintains several sets of cemetery transcriptions. These consist of lists of names and dates as found on grave markers in Peel cemeteries, compiled by volunteers. The most recent version was produced by the Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS). You may also obtain these listings directly from the OGS.

Online resources and links

The links in this section are to content offered by other organizations that may be useful for Peel family history research.

We suggest these external sources as a courtesy, but please note that we are not responsible for the content or functionality of non-regional sources.

  • is a major genealogical research database. It is free to use, but you will need to register an account first. It can be a source for information such as registered births, deaths, and marriages, some church records, and some land records, depending on location.
  • The Halton-Peel branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society is a resource for exploring genealogical research in the area and for meeting other researchers.
  • Canadian Headstones is an initiative that records and sometimes photographs grave markers in Canadian cemeteries.