Chapter 9- Court Records
Adoption, divorce and probate records are the most used records by those looking for genealogical information. Civil and criminal court records may contain other valuable information. One needs to understand the court system to make the best use of these records.
Civil and criminal courts deal with matters arising from civil or criminal law. Civil law deals with disputes between private individuals with the court as the arbitrator. Criminal law deals with disputes or offenses against society with the courts bringing the offenders to justice.
The historic records for Ontario are found in the Archives of Ontario. There are online guides to help one make the best use of the records. Most of these records are stored off site so it is important to request files before you visit. The records are subject to access restrictions for 100 years after their creation.