About the Local History Collection

The Library owns an ever-growing historical and genealogical collection of the City, the Niagara River and Falls, and the Niagara Peninsula. The wide variety of rare material in these collections - including guidebooks, atlases, local histories, magazines, maps, photographs, art reproductions, newspapers, clippings, government reports and City Council minutes - are used extensively by staff and the public. 

These materials can be viewed at the Victoria Avenue library. Due to the rarity and nature of these materials they are not available for loan and cannot be borrowed through the InterLibrary Loan system.

Census Records

Census returns are generally released after 100 years, they are useful for finding age, religious affiliation, marital status and residence. It does help to know where the person you are researching lived at the time of the census: the township within a county or the ward within a city. City and county directories may help pinpoint a location (ask at the Reference & Information Desk). The Niagara Falls Public Library owns census reels on microfilm, limited mainly to the Niagara Peninsula, for the following years:

1828 (partial only), 1842, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901, 1911.

Census reels for other locations can be obtained for you on Interlibrary Loan. Please consult the census catalogue "CATALOGUE OF CENSUS RETURNS ON MICROFILM 1666-1891" published by the Ontario Archives..

Census returns or lists of persons published in print form and available in the library's collection. 

LHC 971.339 N5771782
1st Census of Niagara.
Niagara Historical Society No. 27, p. 1.

LHC 971.339 1782 N577 1782
Survey of Settlement at Niagara, 25 August, 1782.
Niagara Historical Society No. 17, p. 41

LHC Periodical 1783
Census of Niagara.
Ontario Register Vol. 1, #4, (1968), p 197-214

LHC 971.339 N577 1783
List of Settlers in 1783.
Niagara Historical Society No. 17, p 42-43

LHC 971.339 N577 1783
Return of Persons (Loyalists).
Niagara Historical Society No. 38, p 69-72

LHC 971.339 N577 1784
List of Settlers in 1784 in Niagara.
Niagara Historical Society No. 17, p 44-47

LHC 971.339 N577 1787
Return of Loyalists - Niagara District.
Niagara Historical Society No. 39, p 122-128

LHC Periodical 1823
Willoughby Census for 1823.
Notes from Niagara, Vol. XI, No. 2, April 1991, p. 17

LHC 312 Ont 1828
Niagara District Census 1828

LHC 312 JewB 1850
1850 Census of Buffalo. (Canadian Extractions).

LHC 312 JewE 1850
Census of the Towns in Erie County, (Canadian Extractions).

LHC312 OntB 1851
Bertie Township, Welland County.

LHC 317.13 Pub 1851
Canada West Census 1851.
Vol.1 - Pelham
Vol.2 - Thorold
Index - Welland County

LHC 312 OntW 1851
Willoughby Township, Welland County.

LHC 312 OntC 1861
Chippawa Village, Welland County.

LHC 312 OntCl 1861
Clifton Town, Welland County.

LHC 312 StC 1861
St. Catharines Canada West 1861 Census including Index.

LHC 312 OntS 1861
Stamford Township, Welland County.

LHC 312 OntWa 1861
Wainfleet Township, Welland County.

LHC 312 OntWi 1861
Willoughby Township, Welland County.

LHC 312 Ont 1871
Ontario Genealogical Society. Index to the 1871 Census of Ontario: Lincoln, Welland, Niagara.

LHC 312 OntCa 1881
Caistor Township, Monck County.