Over the past few years we have been scanning original documents relating to the township. We ended up with about 12,000 pages of new material, now centrally organized and available on our site.
They include minutes of various groups including: Wellesley Township Council (1866-1953) Wellesley Women’s Institute (1919-2008) Telephone System (1919-1961) Light and Power Commission (1917-1965) Wellesley Police Village (1908-1961)
Plus: Tax Assessment Rolls from 1854 to 1889 Women's Institute Tweedsmuir Histories of Wellesley, Linwood and Dorking. Index of names for the 1843 Walker Survey and 1861 Tremaine Map.
Emancipation Day Celebration in Hawkesville August 1, 1863
Wellesley Township was the destination of many Blacks fleeing slavery in the USA to freedom in Canada. They formed what became known as the Queen‘s Bush Settlement in the northern part of Wellesley Township and the southern part of what was then Peel Township (now Mapleton Township).
One of the earliest families to settle in Wellesley Township was the Brown family: John Brown, his wife Lucinda and their five children who arrived in 1843.
The Brown family and many others celebrated Emancipation Day, August 1, 1863 in Hawkesville.
Click here to read an article from the Dumfries Reformer and Weekly Advertiserabout the events of the day.
To read more about the Brown family and other Black families in the Queen's Bush Settlement, please click here.
Wellesley Tax Assessment Rolls 1854-1889
Wellesley Township Tax Assessment Rolls in the Waterloo Region Archives have been scanned with their assistance and permission. Only available here in digital form.
Waterloo County was incorporated in 1853, so 1854 was the first tax year. The rolls represent very early information about life in the township.
The forms change over time, but they list - name, age, occupation, Freehold (land owner) Householder (tenant), number of acres, value of real property and personal property, income, statute labour, number of people in the family, religion, livestock and more. They are a gold mine of information!
Online Donations - We do not charge for our research time, but if the information we provide is useful to you, please consider making a donation to our historical society through the Township of Wellesley's website.
Township Council History
We are working on a full list of the members of the Wellesley Township Council. To see the list, please click here.
Waterloo County council has been well documented by Elizabeth Bloomfield and Linda Foster in their book "Waterloo County Councillors: A Collective Biography," (c) 1995 Caribou Imprints. The list of councillors and biographies posted here have been published with the kind permission of Dr. Bloomfield.
To access the list of Wellesley councillors who served on the Waterloo County Council, please click here.
Wellesley Women's Institute
The Wellesley Women's Institute was active from 1903-2008. We have created a new page for information about it. The earliest minutes are lost to us, but we do have the minute books from 1919-2008.
These records give a detailed account of issues facing the village in the post-World War I era, the Depression, World War II and beyond. They have been scanned and are available here.