Inheritance in Ontario


A guide to researching your family’s inheritance history in Ontario.

Whether your ancestor left hundreds of acres of land, money, or a few modest belongings, the records created when those legacies were distributed can provide valuable clues to family connections, relationships, and just how your ancestors lived.

Inheritance in Ontario will help you determine whether your relative’s will was proved in the Court of Probate, surrogate courts, or another court, and navigate the finding aids to locate surviving estate files and other complementary records at the Archives of Ontario, local courthouse or archives, or through Not every Ontario estate was handled by a court, however, and land records, newspapers, and manuscript collections can also help you discover "who got what."


Inheritance in Ontario, by well-known genealogist Jane MacNamara, is the most recent entry in Dundurn’s invaluable Genealogist’s Reference Shelf series. Like the other series imprints, this one will prove indispensable to all contemplating, or immersed in, the complicated web that is family history.

OHS Bulletin (August, 2013)

About the Author

Jane E. MacNamara

Posted by Dundurn Guest on December 6, 2014

Jane E. MacNamara

Jane E. MacNamara is a long-time member of the Ontario Genealogical Society. She speaks about family history to groups throughout Ontario. She is the organizer of Genealogy Summer Camp, a program attracting out-of-town researchers to Toronto for a week of tutorials and research. Jane lives in Toronto.