Ontario Wanderings: Peterborough & Trent University

It was time to bust out of Toronto and head for Peterborough.  The Anglican Diocese of Toronto suggested that I look at the St. John Anglican Church Recorders which were very old and they might have what I am looking for. There were microfilms at the Trent University Archives in Peterborough and I decided that was easier and on my way then trying to figure out how to get down into downtown Toronto.

There is also the Trent Valley Archives and the Kawartha Ancestral Research Association in Peterborough.  I decided that I could probably do the University and the Trent Valley and still make it to Belleville.  It was pushing it but I was game.

Well it took forever to get out of Toronto.  I was on Steeples for miles till it turned in to Hwy 4.  Then I continued to follow it out till I got to Hwy 115 and turned north to Peterborough.  Hwy 115 is a nice two lane highway and it was a relief to not have someone right on my bumper.

The highway took me around the town of Peterborough so I had to backtrack on Lansdowne still I found my way to Waters Street and that took me the St. John’s Anglican Church.

St. John's Church Plaque

St. John’s Church Plaque

St. John's Church Petersborough

St. John’s Church Peterborough

St. John's Church in Petersborough

St. John’s Church in Peterborough

From there I headed up Waters to the Trent University and found the Bata Library on the western side way in the back area by the bookstore.  You enter the western side of the campus and follow the road an keep going a good mile before you find the rest of the campus.  It is very spread out.

Bata Library, Trent University

Bata Library, Trent University


Be careful, you are required to pay and display your parking ticket.  Once again it double charged me. Grrrr….

The Archives are in the basement of the Bata Library.


Archives at the Bata Library Tren University

Archives at the Bata Library Tren University

When I entered the archive room I told the archivist that my name and they knew nothing about my visit. They were amiable and helpful.  They had me sign some forms and handed me the St. John Anglican microfilms.  I was to go upstairs to the Media Room and read them there where they had the microfilm reader.

St. John's Church Records

St. John’s Church Records


The Media room was on the 2nd floor well past the reference desk on the other side of the dark green wall.  The microfilm readers are behind the big microfilm cabinets in the corner next to the copy machines in bright light with a really uncomfortable chair.

I started with reel number 1 and studied the entries.  I had to use my magnifying glass because they were the black on white writing.  Sad to say I did not find Richard’s baptismal record nor did I find any Brown surnames.  Richard is my great grandfather on my mother’s mother’s side. So based on that information my theory that 2nd great grandfather George Brown had been there in Petersborough was probably not correct.

Since I did not find a baptismal record for Richard Brown my great grandfather in the St. John Anglican Records I decided not to go to the Trent Valley Archives because they would charge me $25.00 for researching and I didn’t really think I would find anything of use?

Once I had spent time scrolling through the church records I returned them to the Archives room before their lunch break from 12:30 to 1 pm.  I then stopped for a sandwich at the coffee stand in the library and headed back to my car.

My next stop was Marmora where I had been before and it is on Hwy 7 or the Trans Canadian Highway. Once there I would head south to Stirling.  I would be back in familiar territory Hastings County.

Note:  I have misspelled Peterborough and hopefully I have fixed it all.


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