Microfilm Interloan Service

 

Court of General Quarter Sessions of the Peace


During 1788-1850, southern Ontario was divided into Districts, each having a Court of General Quarter Sessions of the Peace presided over by local justices of the peace. These Courts were held four times per year "to hear and determine all matters relative to the Conservation of the Peace...". Besides dealing with minor criminal charges, these Courts were also responsible for District administration, including:

  • appointing the District Treasurer and Surveyor
  • maintaining District finances
  • overseeing the establishment and collection of local assessments
  • ordering the construction of local roads and bridges
  • granting of tavern, shop and still licenses
  • building a proper courthouse and goal for the District.

Thus prior to 1841, these courts fulfilled both an administrative and a judicial function.  After 1841, responsibility for district administration was transferred to the District Councils. Of particular interest to genealogists are numerous lists of minor officials, government contractors, petty offenders, and taxpayers.

Only a fraction of the surviving General Quarter Sessions of the Peace records have been microfilmed. The following records are available on Interloan:

Midland District (includes Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Counties)
RG 22-54
Bathurst District/ Lanark County
RG 22-75
Johnstown District/ United Counties of Leeds And Grenville
RG 22-12
London District/ Middlesex County
RG 22-61
Newcastle District/ United Counties of Northumberland And Durham
RG 22-29
Ottawa District/ United Counties of Prescott And Russell
RG 22-65
Prince Edward District/ Prince Edward County
RG 22-83
Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry (includes Lunenburg District)
RG 22-47
Home District/ York County
RG 22-94, RG 22-95, RG 22-97

Use the tables below to identify the reel of microfilm that contains the information that you need. You may then:

  • Consult the appropriate reel at our reading room on the ground floor, 134 Ian Macdonald Blvd., Toronto, or

  • Borrow the reel through the Interlibrary Loan Department of your public library. Quote the MS number and the appropriate reel #. These reels cannot leave the borrowing library, so make sure to request them from a library that has a microfilm reader.

  • Purchase the appropriate microfilm reel directly from the Archives of Ontario. Quote the MS number and the appropriate reel #. For purchasing details, write the Archives of Ontario,
    134 Ian Macdonald Blvd.,
    Toronto, Ontario
    M7A 2C5 (put "Attention: Customer Services - Micrographics" on the envelope), telephone 416-327-1600 (call toll-free 1-800-668-9933 in Ontario only), fax 416-327-1999, or email reference@ontario.ca.

Midland District Court Of General Quarter Sessions Of The Peace


Courthouse at Kingston, Frontenac County.

Minutes, 1800-1849. (Series RG 22-54)

This microfilm consists of minute books containing information relating primarily to the judicial functions of Sessions.  There is some information regarding accounts, constables (until 1832), ferry fees, assessments and gaol and courthouse construction.  It would appear that information relating to taverns, assessments and other administrative functions of Sessions was recorded in the Minutes (Adjourned Sessions).

Midland District Court Of General Quarter
Sessions Of The Peace - Minute Books


Description Years Microfilm
Reference
Minute Books Vols. 1-8 1800-1847 MS 694, Reel 1
Minutes (Adjourned Sessions) 1835-1849

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Bathurst District/ Lanark Court Of General Quarter Sessions Of The Peace


Courthouse at Perth, Lanark County

Minutes, 1823-1896. (Series RG 22-75)

This microfilm consists of two minutebooks. The pre-1841 minutes contain (apart from criminal business), orders of Sessions regarding roads, accounts, appointments, and, divisions of the Courts of Requests, and presentments of the Grand Jury. What is not available in these minutebooks are lists of tavern licenses.  Certificates for tavern licenses were issued in the Adjourned Sessions during January of each year.  These Sessions are not included in the minutebooks.  The only exception is the first entry in the first minutebook which lists tavern keepers. Although undated, this list probably concerns tavern keepers for 1823.  The second volume (1847-1896) includes Returns of Convictions by local Justices of the Peace.

Bathurst District/ Lanark Court Of General Quarter
Sessions Of The Peace - Minute Books


Description Years Microfilm
Reference
Minute Book Vol. 1 1823-1846 MS 696, Reel 1
Minute Book Vol. 2 1847-1896

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Johnstown District/ Leeds And Grenville Court Of General Sessions Of The Peace


Courthouse at Brockville, United Counties of Leeds and Grenville

Minutes, 1800-1956. (Series RG 22-12)

This microfilm consists of minutebooks. The minutes prior to 1841 contain information concerning both the administrative and judicial activities of the magistrates at Sessions.  Not only is there a record of criminal cases before the court but the minutes also contain lists of constables appointed, lists of tavern licenses granted, and orders for payment of district accounts.

For the pre-1800 records, see the Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry Court of General Quarter Sessions (Series RG 22-47)

Johnstown District/ Leeds And Grenville Court Of General
Sessions Of The Peace


Description Years Microfilm
Reference
Minute Book Vol. 1 1800-1818 MS 699, Reel 1
Minute Book Vol. 2 1820-1822
Minute Book Vol. 3 1822-1823
Minute Book Vol. 4 1824-1827
Minute Book Vol. 5 1827-1830
Minute Book Vol. 6 1830-1837
Minute Book Vol. 7 1837-1842 MS 699, Reel 2
Minute Book Vol. 8 1842-1845
Minute Book Vol. 9 1845-1864
Minute Book Vol. 10 1865-1876
Minute Book Vol. 11 1876-1897 MS 699, Reel 3
Minute Book Vol. 12 1897-1923
Minute Book Vol. 13 1923-1956 MS 699, Reel 4

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London District/ Middlesex Court Of General Quarter Sessions Of The Peace


Courthouse at London, Middlesex County.

Minutes, 1813-1853 (Series RG 22-61)

This microfilm consists of minutebooks which largely concern the court's judicial function.  There are no schedules of accounts or lists of tavern applications until 1845 (December Sessions). There are, however, orders of the court regarding roads, constables, payments from accounts, destitute persons, oaths, appointments, non-conformist ministers, assessments, and, the courthouse and gaol.  There are gaps in the minutes for October 1832, April 1833, 1810 - October, 1813, and, 1821 - 1829.

London District/ Middlesex Court Of General Quarter
Sessions Of The Peace - Minute Books


Description Years Microfilm
Reference
Minute Book Vol. 3 1813-1814 MS 82 , Reel 1
Minute Book Vol. 4 1814-1820
Minute Book Vol. 5 1830-1831
Minute Book Vol. 6 1832-1833
Minute Book Vol. 7 l833-1837
Minute Book Vol. 8 1838-1839
Minute Book Vol. 9 1839-1840
Minute Book Vol. 10 1840-1842
Minute Book Vol. 11 October 1842
Minute Book Vol. 12 1843-1845
Minute Book Vol. 12 (cont.) 1845-1848 MS 82 , Reel 2
Minute Book Vol. 13 1848-1852
Minute Book Vol. 14 1852-1853

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Newcastle District/ Northumberland And Durham Court Of General Sessions Of The Peace


Courthouse at Cobourg, United Counties of Northumberland and Durham (since 1973, the County of Northumberland)

Minutes, 1802-1893. (Series RG 22-29)

This microfilm consists of minutes which, prior to 1841, contain information concerning both the administrative and judicial activities of the magistrates at Sessions. Not only is there a record of criminal cases before the court but the minutes also contain lists of constables appointed, lists of tavern licenses granted, and, lists of accounts ordered for payment.  Also included in these minutes are annual aggregate census figures by township and annual statements of rateable property in the district.

There is gap in the Minutes between 1832-1843.

Newcastle District/ Northumberland And Durham Court
Of General Sessions Of The Peace - Minute Books


Description Years Microfilm
Reference
Minute Book Vol. 1 1802-1809 MS 698, Reel 1
Minute Book Vol. 2 1809-1817
Minute Book Vol. 3 1817-1824
Minute Book Vol. 4 1824-1831
Minute Book Vol. 5 1844-1864
Minute Book Vol. 6 1865-1893 MS 698, Reel 2

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Ottawa District/ Prescott And Russell Court Of General Quarter Sessions Of The Peace


Courthouse at L'Original, United Counties of Prescott and Russell

Minutes, 1816-1869. (Series RG 22-65)

This microfilm consists of minutes relating primarily to the judicial functions of the Sessions. Prior to 1841, these minutes contain information concerning both the administrative and judicial activities of the magistrates at Sessions.

Ottawa District/ Prescott And Russell Court
Of General Quarter Sessions Of The Peace - Minute Books


Description Years Microfilm
Reference
Minute Book Vol. 1 1816-1842 MS 697, Reel 1
Minute Book Vol. 2 1843-1855
Minute Book Vol. 3 1856-1869 MS 697, Reel 2

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Prince Edward Court Of General Sessions Of The Peace


Courthouse at Picton, Prince Edward County.

Minutes, 1834-1908. (Series RG 22-83)

This microfilm consists of minutes. There is a gap in this series between April 1835 to January 1840.  The second volume in this series also includes the Oaths of Office for Justices of the Peace, the Clerk of the Peace, the Sheriff, Coroners, the District Court Judge and the Surrogate Registrar between 1834-1842.

Prince Edward Court Of General Sessions
Of The Peace - Minute Books


Description Years Microfilm
Reference
Minute Book (Criminal Business) 1834-1835 MS 695, Reel 1
Minute Book (Admin. Business) 1834-1835
Minute Book 1840-1847
Minute Book 1848-1874
Minute Book 1874-1908

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Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry Court Of General Sessions Of The Peace


Courthouse at Cornwall, United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry

Minutes, 1789 to 1948. (Series RG 22-47)

This microfilm consists of minutes. Included are the early Luneburg District Court of General Quarter Sessions Minutes from 1789-1792 sitting at Osnabruck. As well, between 1793-1799, the Court of General Quarter Sessions of the Peace sat alternately at Cornwall and Johnstown (Edwardsburg Township). Therefore, the pre-1800 minutes include information for the area that was to become the Johnstown District.

Prior to 1841, these minutes contain information concerning both the administrative and judicial activities of the magistrates at Sessions.  Not only is there a record of criminal cases before the court, but the minutes also contain lists of constables appointed, lists of tavern licenses granted, and, orders for payment of district accounts.

Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry Court Of General
Sessions Of The Peace - Minute Books


Description Years Microfilm
Reference
Minute Book Vol. 1 1789-1802 MS 413, Reel 1
Minute Book Vol. 2 1802-1827
Minute Book Vol. 3 Oct. 1812-
Apr. 1822
Minute Book Vol. 3 (cont.) Apr. 1822-1825 MS 413, Reel 2
Minute Book Vol. 4 1825-1826
Minute Book Vol. 5 1826-1835
Minute Book Vol. 6 1835
Minute Book Vol. 7 1835-1849
Minute Book Vol. 8 1849-1867
Minute Book Vol. 9 1867-1883 MS 413, Reel 3
Minute Book Vol. 10 1883-1899
Minute Book Vol. 11 1899-1948

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Home District/ York Court Of General Sessions Of The Peace


Courthouse at Toronto, York County (after 1970, the Judicial District of York)

Minutes, 1800-1899. (Series RG 22-94)

This microfilm consists of minute books kept by the Clerk of the Peace documenting this court of inferior (jury) criminal jurisdiction. The minutebook entries are organized chronologically and include the date, name of the presiding judge, name of accused, charge, details of the alleged offence, pleadings, bail conditions, name of the defence lawyer, name of the witnesses for the Crown and the defence, list of exhibits, date(s) of court appearances and references to motions, verdict, sentence and information about the warrant of committal. Each volume has an index in alphabetical order by the defendant's last name.

Minutes (rough), 1836-1853. (Series RG 22-95)

Estreats, 1800-1845. (Series RG 22-97)

This microfilm consists of one volume entitled a Register of Fines Forfeited to the Crown. Estreats are a record of fines (including issues and amercements) and recognizances, which had been imposed on an accused by the court and which subsequently, had become forfeit to the Crown.  For example, in the case of recognizances, an accused would forfeit the amount of his recognizance if he failed to perform the obligation specified in his recognizance. 

Home District/ York Court Of General
Sessions Of The Peace - Minute Books


Description Years Microfilm
Reference
Minute Books Vols. 1-4 1800-1832 MS 251, Reel 1
Minute Books Vols. 5-10 1832-1863 MS 251, Reel 2
Minute Books Vols. 10-13 1863-1874 MS 251, Reel 3
Minute Books Vols. 13-15 1874-1883 MS 251, Reel 4
Minute Books Vols. 15-17 1883-1895 MS 251, Reel 5
Minute Book Vol. 17 (cont.) 1895-1899 MS 251, Reel 6
Minute Books (Rough)Vols. 1-6 1836-1856
Estreats Vol. 1 1800-1845
Miscellaneous papers 1796-1899

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