The Niagara Historical Society was founded in 1895 and opened its museum building in 1907. A large portion of the Collection was microfilmed by the Archives of Ontario in 1969. Selected portions of the microfilmed Collection have been chosen for inclusion in the Loyalist Collection.
Rev. William Sampson was the first Rector of Grimsby.
Michael Gonder was a loyalist from Pennsylvania who came to Willoughby Township during the American Revolution and kept a home of entertainment and accommodation.
Colonel Daniel MacDougall, born 1782, owned property in Niagara since 1819 and had been involved with the military during the War of 1812: Lieutenant, Incorporated Militia, and member of the Glengarry Light Infantry Militia; and held civil positions, such as, Treasurer United Counties Lincoln, Welland and Haldimand (1842), and Commissioner of Customs for the District of Niagara (1930).
John McFarland was an artificer who immigrated to North America circa. 1776. He worked as a shipwright (Storekeepers Department) for the British during the American Revolution in Quebec, was a master boat builder in the Batteau Service at Niagara, and was a prisoner during the War of 1812.
The Niagara Historical Society Collection holds a variety of types of documents (1727-1964) pertaining to the Niagara area in present-day southern Ontario starting at its early years of development after the American Revolution and the settlement of loyalists, continuing into the tumultuous time during the War of 1812, the 19th century with issues such as the temperance movement, and the 20th century with records, for example, dealing with agriculture. Records relate to the military, municipal affairs, religion, education, local clubs and societies, land or property (American natives or indigenous included), maps and family; and thus provide useful information on the local history of the area.
Series II: Municipal Records
Series II continued:
- Newark/Niagara Township Minute Book (1793-1843); also includes some Township accounts to 1843
- Niagara Town Council Papers (1827-1899); bylaws, correspondence, records and registers
- Niagara District Treasurer: Letterbook (1846-1854); Daybooks (1838-1851), accounts of expenditures, receipts
Series III: Church and Clergy Records
- Fee Fund Account Book (1841-1857); Fine Account Book (1848-1850)
Series IV: Military Records
- St. Andrews Presbyterian Church (1827-1860): financial, building repair and church management papers
- Miscellaneous Church Records: Reverend William Sampson, 1790-1822: registers of burials, baptisms and marriages (3 vols.)
Series V: School Records
- First Regiment Lincoln Militia's Muster and Pay Roll (1810-1835) - Capt. John D. Servos Company of Militia
- Royal Canadian Rifles, Niagara, Regimental Orderly Book (1851-1853) - garrison and regimental orders from Lieutenant Colonel Taylor
Series VI: Societies, Clubs and Library Records of the Niagara Historical Society, (1727-1964)
- Niagara High School Registers (vol. 1) (1877-1879)
Series VIII: Family and Personal Papers
- cash books (1896-1947), Curator's Cash Book 1926-1945
- Niagara Temperance Society, 1841-1864; listing constitution, minutes, membership
- Niagara Agricultural Society: Minute Books (1890-1927, 1941-1946); Account Books (1888-1927, 1941-1946)
- Niagara Public Library Record Book (1800-1820).
Series VIII continued:
- Gilkinson, McCormick, Jarvis Family Papers (1798-1865)
- Gonder family: Scrapbooks (1796-1850); Papers (1801-1844)
Series VIII continued
- Gonder Family continued: Papers 1827-1840; Account Book 1802-37; Ledger 1894-1901
- Mary Ann King Diaries (1893-1910); woman from Chippewa, Ontario
- Samuel Lount Poem (1838)
- Colonel Daniel and Alexander MacDougall/McDougal Papers (1816-1860); affidavits, letters, appointments as Customs Commissioner; marriage and baptism certificates
Series IX: Land Records
- John McFarland Papers (1797-1859); business and land papers
- John and Agnes Rogers Papers(1810-1867); business papers, also includes John Rogers Business Papers 1829-1867
- Secord-Woodruff Family Papers (1789-1861); indentures, business papers, correspondence militia pay sheets, funeral notices
- Ellen Wagstaff Memorial Album (1833-1834); for Wagstaff who died in 1834
- John Willson Family Papers (1797-1853, 1939); correspondence, legal and business papers
Series X: Maps and Plans: 1789-1892
- Annuity Receipts, Seneca Indians, Buffalo Creek Indian Reserve, U.S.A., 1827-1846
- Land Patents (year and place included): James Clark, John B. Clement, William S. Currey, Hagar Davids, Canada Company Grant, Edward Long, Frederick and Rebecca Markle, John McFarland, Abraham Nelles, William Archibald and James Pickard, Walter Slingerland, Jacob Sporbeck, Lieutenant Alexander Stewart, Elizabeth Thompson, Ben Williams, James Wilson, 1796-1851.
- Surveyed by Royal Engineers Office, Quebec, Toronto for the War Office, London; Maps and plans of lots laid out and settled by Loyalists, Upper and Lower Niagara River, Military Reserves and fortifications Northern Niagara District; Plans of Forts George, York and Mississauga and lighthouse (Mississauga Point); layout of streets and lots for Town of Niagara; copied from Library and Archives Canada.