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Archives Awareness A-Z

Archives Awareness A-Z


We’re joining the Archives of Ontario in its #ArchivesAtoZ month-long campaign. The aim is to increase the public’s awareness of archives and their collections. We’ll be sharing four posts throughout this month showcasing items from our holdings or providing information about Archives terminology based on each letter of the alphabet.

This week we will cover H to M!

H – Hallen, The Rev. George

The Rev. George Hallen arrived in Canada in 1835 and settled his family on a farm near Coldwater, which he called Rushock. The first register for St. James-on-the Lines, Penetanguishene is also referred to as the Hallen register, and the first entry was for a baptism he performed in 1835 aboard the ship the Albion on his passage over to Canada from England. There are further entries in the register of baptisms and marriages that occurred at his home “Rushock” near Coldwater.




I – Ink Stand

The Archives holds the ink stand that was presented to Bishop John Strachan by the clergy of his Diocese in Visitation assembled at Toronto, as a slight but heartfelt token of their dutifulness and affection A.D. MDCCCXLVII (1847). After Bishop Strachan died it was presented to the second Bishop of Toronto and his successors in office by the family of the first bishop. The names of subsequent bishops and the year that they were ordained are engraved up until Bishop Lewis Garnsworthy in 1972.

Image of Bishop Strachan's inkstand from the front Image of Bishop Strachan's inkstand from the side



J – Journals

One of the first items the Archives Committee began collecting when it was established in 1956 was the Journals and Proceedings of Synod. Thanks to their endeavors we have Journal of Diocesan meetings going back to the meeting of the Church of England Tract Society in 1842, then the Church Society of the Diocese of Toronto meetings starting in 1843. The Church Society was formed on April 28, 1842, in pursuance of a recommendation contained in the Bishop’s Charge to his primary Visitation, held on September 9, 1841. There were triennial visitations in 1841, 1844, 1847, 1851. The 1851 was the delayed meeting that would have occurred in 1850, if Bishop Strachan had not been in England.

We have records of the Visitations of clergy to meet with Bishop Strachan beginning with the 1851 meeting where it was decided to petition Her Majesty the Queen through the Archbishop of Canterbury for leave to hold Diocesan Synods. For his October 1853 Visitation, Bishop Strachan asked clergy to bring lay representatives and he declared it to be a diocesan synod. After 1853 the Diocese met as a unofficial Synod on a yearly basis. However, it was not until 1857 that the Diocese was officially enabled to meet in Synod with the passing of An Act to enable the members of the United Church of England and Ireland in Canada to meet in Synod together with the canons, passed by the Synod of the Diocese of Toronto, under the episcopate of John Strachan, D.D., Lord Bishop of the Diocese of Toronto, A.D. 1857 on May 28, 1857.




K – Kinmount

The Archives has the oldest parish register covering the years 1882-1902 for Kinmount, Irondale and Burnt River, which were part of the travelling mission of Galway. The Rev. Soward was appointed to the mission of Galway in March 1882, and in 1883 the church of St. James, Kinmount was built, becoming the main point in the Parish of Galway. Unfortunately, there is a gap in the later records for St. James, Kinmount due to a fire that destroyed much of Kinmount, including the rectory, in 1942. Fire and flooding are the leading cause of lost records.






L – Letters Patent

When the Diocese of Toronto was established, letters patent were issued by the Crown on July 27, 1839, setting the Diocese of Toronto apart from the Diocese of Quebec. The Letter Patent includes a cased Royal great seal made of red wax. The Rt. Rev. John Strachan was then consecrated Bishop of the Diocese of Toronto on August 4, 1839.

folded letter patent showing case holding great seal    Royal great seal in red wax 1839 Diocese of Toronto Letters patent


M – Mission Board

The Mission Board was established at the 1860 Synod held on June 12, 1860, the purpose being to receive contributions of money or lands for the support of the missionary work of the church in the Diocese of Toronto. The Archives has the minutes from July 5, 1860 to 1970 when it, along with the Diocesan Council of Social Services and the Urban Board, merged to become the Community Services Board.

First minutes of Mission Board Aug. 1860   


Next week we will share Archives Awareness N-S!