Upper Canada Sundries
The Upper Canada Sundries are a gold mine of untapped information for Upper Canada ancestors. Also known as the correspondence of the civil secretary (Library and Archives Canada RG 5 A1), they include petitions for land, requests for government jobs, military communications, requests for compensation due to war losses (when the militia destroyed farm property, etc.), lists of people wanting to settle in Upper Canada, testimonies regarding traitors in the war of 1812 and the rebellion of 1837/8, complaints about unfulfilled promises of assistance, petitions for clemency for neighbours convicted of treason and murder, and many other matters.
In total, the Upper Canada Sundries comprise 142546 pages of documents on 87 rolls of microfilm. The reason these records are underused is that the only available index (until now) is a chronological one which is not of much use to researchers unless they know that their ancestor contacted the government on a particular date. Otherwise, the index is just too prohibitively long to search (one year's worth of the index took me over an hour to search). The chronological index alone takes up 4 rolls of microfilm (LAC C-9822 to C-9825)!
Upper Canada Genealogy is now in the process of creating an alphabetical index to all of the names in the chronological index. To date the index covers the years 1766 to 1815 (and a few pages of 1816, 1817, 1828, 1833, and 1838) and includes 4173 names. I hope to eventually expand this index to cover the entire period. If you find your ancestor named in this index, you can either retrieve the document yourself (using the page numbers provided) at the Archives of Ontario or the Library and Archives Canada, or contact me and I will retrieve it for you, for a nominal fee of $20.