CANADA: Ontario Surrogate Court Records

Estate files  more than 40 years old are moved out of court storage areas and transferred to the Archives of Ontario for preservation, but may be held off site.  For records less than 40 years, the researcher must contact the local surrogate office. These records  can be important to the genealogist, especially wills because they can help establish death dates, family relationships, guardianships, even current addresses of the parties involved, and in some cases, land ownership.

Until 1859, women could not own property in her own right and any that she owned at her marriage became the property of her husband.  Thus, if she died before her husband did, there would be no need to deal with the Court since she owned no property.  Only in the case of widows or unmarried women, who could own property in their own right, would a need arise to apply to a court. After this date, married women could own property but was severely restricted in needing her husband’s consent to bequeath that property.  It was not until 1884 that a woman gained the same property rights as a man.   If she died before her husband, her estate would be registered with the court. Wills were often filed with the Land Records Office to record the division of property among the heirs.

The following is part of an index by jurisdiction or country of some Gillespie court records 1859 to 1900 with file numbers included for reference:

Volume 14: Prescott & Russell Counties

George Gillespie, Tunbridge Wells, England, #27, 1865

 Volume 7: Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry Counties

Thomas Gillespie, Morrisburgh, #719, 1884

Volume 8: Frontenac County

Robert Gillespie, Wolfe Island, #1371,  1889

Volume 2: Hastings & Prince Edward Counties

George Gillespie, Tyendinaga, #578,  1879

John Gillespie, Thurlow, #1090.  1887

Vol 17: Peterborough County

Alexander Gillespie, Otonabee, #1130,  1892

James Gillespie, Otonabee, #1557,  1898

Jane Gillespie, Otonabee, #1435,   1896

John Gillespie, Otonabee, #1470,   1896

John Lyall Gillespie, Otonabee, #942,   1889

Katherine Gillespie, Douro, #1661,   1889

Louis Edward Gillespie, Turtle Cree, Pennsylvania, #1655,  1899

Peter Gillespie, Otonabee, #1241,   1892

Margaret Jane Gillespie, Peterborough, widow. WILL first signed in January 1927. Margaret died June 26, 1950 in Peterborough. Will  probated Peterborough May 10, 1960, but notation on the side of the first page indicates it was also resealed May 10, 1964 in Edmonton, Alberta, leaving her estate to her sons: Bruce Brown Gillespie and James Bertram Gillespie ($1,000 each); daughter Jean Gillespie (rest  & residue of estate). Jean was the Executrix.

James B Gillespie, woodworker, of Peterborough, Ontario, WILL, originally signed May 6, 1919, in Peterborough died Jan 5th, 1923 in City of Peterborough probated Feb 19, 1923 and resealed to Jean Gillespie May 4, 1964, Edmonton, Alberta. James left his entire estate to his wife, Margaret J Gillespie, who also was the Executrix.

Vol 4: Northumberland & Durham Counties

infants (G) Gillespie, Cartwright, #838,   1873

infants (G) Gillespie, Hamilton, #3852,   1896

Henry Gillespie, Manvers, #563,   1869

Peter Gillespie, Haldimand, #836,   1873

William Henry Gillespie, Haldimand, #3324,   1893

William Hilliard Gillespie, Hamilton, #3841, 1896

Vol 11: Ontario County

Dugald Gillespie, Thorah, #1328,   1880

Duncan Gillespie, Beaverton, #3225,   1899

Malcolm Gillespie, Bock, #2388,   1892

Vol 18: Dufferin County

George Gillespie, Orangeville, #268,   1890

Maria Adelaide Gillespie, Shelburne, #409,   1893

Sarah Emily Gillespie, Orangeville, #176,   1887

Vol 24: Wellington County

John Gillespie, yeoman, Minto Twp, #705,   1872

William Gillespie, farmer, Amaranth Twp, #1192,   1877

Grey County

Infants Gillespie (G) Holland Twp, #756,   1882

John Gillespie, Holland Twp, #755,   1882

John Gillespie, Melancthon Tp # 348,   1874

John Gillespie, Proton Tp, #2309,   1896

Bruce County

Christina Gillespie, Kincardine, #1084,   1888

Vol 25: Huron County

John Gillespie, Sr, farmer, E Wawanosh Tp, #1985,  1889

Rachel Agnes Gillespie, married woman, Exeter, #3477,   1898

Vol 13: Waterloo County

John Gillespie, North Dumfries, #708,   1872

Margaret Jane Gillespie Houston, WILL 1891 #GR 1105

Vol 20: Brant County

infants Gillespie (G), Burford, #387 (2) ,   1872

Joseph Gillespie, Burford, #364,   1872

Vol 5: Lincoln & Welland Counties

Alexander Gillespie, Niagara Falls, #1286,   1887

Flora Gillespie, Thorold, #1882,   1895

Vol 12: Elgin County

Eliza Mahetable Gillespie, Malahide, #2019,   1892

Notes: Date March 3, 1892, executor Robert Barton Gillespie, Malahide, husband; executor Jehiel Mann Davis, Malahide; executor Eleanor Marshall, Alymer, married woman; son Seth A Beamer now residing in Quincy, Illinois

Vol 15: Lampton County

Joseph Gillespie, Petrolia, #1823,   1893

Vol 3:  Kent & Essex Counties

Eliza Ann Gillespie, Dover E, #1809,  1895

John Gillespie, Howard,  #842,   1886

Malcolm Gillespie, Howard, #1032,   1888

Total Records:  47