1857 Sketch of Norfolk
Last updated: 08 Aug 2014
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Earl's 1857 Sketch and Tremaine's 1856 Map
by webmaster John Cardiff

A Sketch of the County of Norfolk, Canada West by school teacher John Earl, was originally printed "at the office of the Norfolk Messenger newspaper" in 1857. It has since been reprinted by the Norfolk Historical Society which sells copies of its facsimile for $2.50, and has copies available for inspection in its Reading Room.

This booklet is remarkably consistent (almost a perfect match) with the data found on the 1856 Tremaine Map of Norfolk County, which has long been a key resource for Norfolk researchers. (Earl's Sketch and Tremaine's map contain several identical spelling errors.)

George C. Tremaine's 1856 Map of the County of Norfolk, was engraved from drawings by Simcoe-based surveyors Walsh and Mercer. It features names (or abbreviation) on each lot. 

Facsimiles of the 1856 Tremaine map are available for sale from the Norfolk Historical Society, which has a mural-size version of this map on the wall of its Reading Room.

Earl's booklet overviews each township by acreage, bounding municipalities, number of grist mills, steam mills, water saw mills, tanneries, distilleries, post offices, villages, plank roads, streams, etc. But the bulk of this publication is devoted to an attempt to identify the owner or occupant of every lot on every concession in every township, "as far as can be accurately ascertained."

Although we cannot prove it is true, the names on the Tremaine map and the names in Earl's Sketch dovetail so consistently, we assume they had a common source. By a very narrow margin, there appears to be more complete information on the map.

The first gotchya of either the map or Sketch is the missing surname index. Unless you know the precise Lot, Concession and Township your ancestors worked, finding them in Earl's Sketch or on Tremaine's 1856 map, could take many hours.

So we are creating that missing surname index here -- and for your convenience, merging it into our still growing B-M-D Etc. Index, among entries about the same people and families culled from other sources.

The second gotchya of these resources is their inconsistent spelling of surnames. Is it Voight, Voigt or Voit? Reavely or Reavly? Bowlby or Bowlsby? Or are these unrelated people? As with other resources, we've added pointers to alternative spellings within our index when we had reason to do so.

By the 1850s many of the granted 200 acre lots had been subdivided, so multiple names appear on many lots. No relationship between these neighbors should be assumed.

Our indexing of these resources began in late Apr 2009. 
Progress to date is listed below:

1857 Township Concessions indexed to date
Windham Township Townsend Township Charlotteville Township
     All 14 Concessions      Concession 1      All 14 Cocessions
     Concession 2       
     Concession 3       
     Concession 4  
     Concession 5   
     Concession 6  
     Concession 7  
     Concession 8 
Woodhouse Township      Walsingham Township      Middleton Township     
     Concession BFsw      Concession BFsw      Concession 1s 
     Concession BFne      Concession BFne       Concession 2s
     Concession Gore      Concession 1      Concession 3s
     Concession 1       Concession 2      Concession 1n
     Concession 2      Concession 3    
BFne: Broken Front northeast
BFsw: Broken Front southwest
s = south of Talbot Road 
n = north of Talbot Road

Copyright 2009-2013 John Cardiff