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Indigenous Content in the Mennonite Archives of Ontario: Settler Narratives

Settler Narratives

Here are listed documents describing Mennonite settlement in Ontario from 1786 through to the mid-nineteenth century, from the perspectives of settlers and their descendants.Some include descriptions and portrayals of encounters with Haudenosaunee, Mississauga and other Indigenous peoples; other documents are notable by the absence of such. Relying frequently on settler-focused oral tradition, these records should be read in conjunction with Indigenous sources and perspectives.

The earliest land transfer documents located in the Archives are also listed on this page.


Trail of the Conestoga, 1970

Actors in Trail of the Conesgota, a historical drama about Mennonite settlement on Block 2 of the Haldimand Tract, 1970


Plays commemorating the early years of Mennonite settlement in Ontario, with a focus on immigration and pioneer life:

  • The New Commandment, 1967
    Script by Barbara Coffman, XV-30.2/2
  • Trail of the Conestoga, 1969
    Script by Norma Rudy, XV-30.2/3
  • This Land is Ours/Beyond This Land, 1972
    Script by Urie A. Bender, XV-30.2/6 (production records), PS8503.E5 T45 1972 (script)
  • Journey, 2006
    Script by Bertha Landers, III-7.2/14

Family and Community Histories

  • Eby, Ezra E. A Biographical History of Waterloo Township and Other Townships of the County Being a History of the Early Settlers and Their Descendants, Mostly All of Pennsylvania Dutch Origin, 1895. Online version available. Numerous print versions in the Milton Good Library.
  • Anonymous. “The Early Settlement of Waterloo Township” (1869); reprinted with annotations
    by Lorna Bergey in Pennsylvania Mennonite Heritage. 15, no. 2 (1992): 9-20, Per BX8101.P44
  • Moyer, Samuel S. Mennonite Immigration to Waterloo County: The Moyer Journal Attributed to Samuel S. Moyer,1849-1941. FC3095.W38 Z493 1997
  • Sherk, Abraham R. “Notes on the Pioneering of Waterloo Township.” in Hannes Schneider and His Wife Catharine Haus Schneider: Their Descendants and Times, [1943?], 298. CS90.S65 1937


  • Trail of the Conestoga, [1924?]
    Manuscript by Mabel Dunham, Hist.Mss.1.313. See also published book in the Milton Good Library.
  • Historical novel on Weber family,  [19--], XXV-1.4.2/3
    Manuscript by Saloma Hoover.

Land Documents

  • Maps, releases, deeds and surveys for the Greene Village, Pennsylvania  farm in traditional Susquehannock territory purchased by Joseph Schorg [Shirk] in 1775, Hist.Mss.1.276
  • Deed of bargain and sale, Richard Beasley and wife to Henry Wanner for a lot in Block 2 of the Haldimand Tract (present-day Cambridge, Ontario), 1810. III-25.1/1 (photocopy only)
  • Crown land grant to Christian Long, Township of Markham, County of York (part of the disputed "Johnson-Butler Purchase" and "Williams Treaties" lands), 1801. Hist.Mss.1.262.4/2.1
  • Christian K. and Veronica (Eyer) Steinman, Hist.Mss.1.351
    Includes land grants in present-day Wilmot Township from the Crown in 1835 following the Between the Lakes Treaty #3 (1792).