Gardiner, Herbert F.
Nothing But Names. An Inquiry into the Origin of the Names of the Counties and Townships of Ontario.
Seller ID: 1404
Toronto: George Morang, 1899. First edition (pp. viii, 561, index). Large octavo (22.5cm) in maroon publisher's cloth, gilt titles and decorations, t.e.g. Top and bottom spine edges, tips abraded. The first Governor of Upper Canada, John Graves Simcoe, divided the province into nineteen counties, but by 1798 the first Parliament of Upper Canada had passed a bill 'to ascertain and establish the boundary lines of the different townships of the province' and another 'forming eight districts, twenty-three counties and 158 townships'. All of these appeared in Smith's map of the province at the end of the 18th century, showing its organization based on the township form of government (or 'towns' as they are still known) familiar to early settlers from New England. These many townships, of course, needed names, as did the counties, and as you might expect, very little imagination was expended on the nomenclature (except possibly where certain native names were adapted). Colonists always need reminders of whence they have come. Gardiner identifies the prominent personage or the town or the region 'at home' after which these new places and jurisdictions were called. The county town of Peterborough, for example, apparently was named at a dinner party for a half-dozen friends of Peter Robinson who settled 400 Irish immigrant families in the region and has not a sentimental connection to the East Anglia city. A clean, tight copy.
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