Welcome To KARA

Kawartha Ancestral Research Association Inc

A genealogy and heritage site for family historians in the Peterborough, Northumberland, Durham, Haliburton, and City of Kawartha Lakes region.

KARA Family History Research Centre

As a local family history, genealogy research centre and registered charity, KARA is now 25 years old. Our reference library is rich in resources to aid in your family research. Visitors and new members are welcome!

For all our 25 years, KARA is driven by Volunteer power. From Board members to web site builders, from project workers to staff at the Research Centre, everyone of us at KARA give the gift of our time and expertise to make it all happen.

  • Daily Visitor Fee applies for non-members
  • Take a membership with us today

Notice

To all KARA Members & Visitors to the KARA Research Centre, as a courtesy to KARA and neighboring businesses, please park in the designated KARA parking spots, on the far side of the parking lot.

Thank You

Hello Welcome To KARA

KARA Family History Research Centre

As a local family history, genealogy research centre and registered charity, KARA is now 25 years old. Our reference library is rich in resources to aid in your family research. Visitors  and new members are welcome.

  • Open Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 1 – 5
  • Visit, Saturday by appointment 1 – 5
  • Daily Visitor Fee applies for non-members upon arrival
  • Take a membership with us today

Notice

To all KARA Members & Visitors to the KARA Research Centre, as a courtesy to KARA and neighboring businesses.  Please park in the designated KARA parking spots, on the far side of the parking lot.

Thank You

KARA is pleased to announce that coming in the spring of 2025 we will be releasing three books on the Robinson Settlers descendants. There will be three volumes, you can pick and choose as you want in relation to which volumes you like. Volume one will include the townships of Ennismore, Ops, and Otonabee, volume two will include Emily, and volume three will include Asphodel, Douro and Smith. Below is a form that you can use to sign up for a preorder. All you have to do is fill out the form below, you don’t have to do a preauthorized payment. Tell KARA which books you are interested in. You will receive an email close to the release date of the books on how to pay and receive your books. Once you fill out the form click the send button and KARA will add your name to the list of interested buyers of the Robinson Roots Footprints of the Past. 

Sign up for Robinson Settlers of 1825-2025 Books

KARA Welcomes 2025
and the 200th Anniversary
of the Robinson Settlers

KARA Research Centre Opens

Friday August 1,
through August 8, 2025
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

KARA to Host an
OPEN HOUSE Weekend

Saturday August 9
and Sunday August 10, 2025
From 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Everyone is welcome to drop by for a visit, enjoy our photo display of the Robinson Settler Descendants, chat with us about your own family research and connections to this amazing group of Irish pioneers.

As 2025 draws ever closer, plans are shaping up for events of celebration to mark the 200th Anniversary of the arrival of the Settlers who came to the Peterborough area under the supervision of the Honorable Peter Robinson in the year 1825.

The Peterborough Commemorative Committee has designated August 1 through 10, 2025 as a time of focus for celebrations.

In keeping with these days of celebration, KARA will open our Research Centre each day from August 1 through August 10, 2025, from 10 a.m. through 4 p.m. for those wanting to explore and hopefully expand their family research.

Our week long celebration of the 200th Anniversary will conclude with two days of Open House – a time to drop in and chat about your own family research.

Copies will be available for sale of our new KARA Publication ‘ Robinson Roots – Footprints of the Past ‘

Discover Your Family History
At KARA

KARA is a Registered Charity. The unique thing about us is that we are all volunteer driven. From Board members, to volunteers at the Research Centre, to those who complete research for customers, to building our website and web store – it all happens on VOLUNTEER power. Isn’t that awesome!

As part of our organization we operate a Research Centre. Everyone is welcome to stop in to the Centre to work on your family history. A daily visitor fee applies for non-members. As a new visitor to our Centre, our volunteer staff are happy to provide a tour of the resources in our library. We can chat with you about the family names you are working on  and give ideas for moving your research forward.

About KARA

About KARA

Family History Research in the Kawartha Region -the Counties of Peterborough, Northumberland, Haliburton, and old Victoria (now City of Kawartha Lakes).  We cover all of these and so much more!

Join the KARA Research Centre. A welcoming environment where members and visitors research family  and local history, meet up with friends and spend delightful afternoons chatting about their work.

Friendly KARA Volunteer Staff are always available to assist by explaining and helping locate resources; to discuss avenues of current or future research; or provide general background information about different research materials. Whether experienced genealogist or beginner, all are welcomed to the KARA Research Centre’s renowned atmosphere of warmth and helpful assistance.

Peterborough A Little History

Peterborough A Little History

Come take a virtual stroll around Peterborough. Here you will discover a little about the history that has promoted the growth of a small town into today’s modern city.

From the railway stations that once bustled with passengers coming and going, to early hospitals that cared for the sick and the elderly, here is a glimpse of the early landscape that shaped our communities.

A visit to the Mechanics Institute could bring hours of quiet enjoyment in the pages of the latest novels or a pleasant afternoon listening to the latest revelations in the world of science.

A stroll into Victoria Park might bring a peaceful quiet half hour’s walk along the garden pathway or perhaps the pleasure of listening to the local Battalion Band.

KARA Resources

KARA Resources

Overview Of KARA Resources

We have often been asked about posting an outline of the resources in the KARA Research Centre. And today, we can say, here it is. We have created a list of the types of resource materials to be found at KARA. Each one has a short description about the origins of the research documents. 

KARA Online Search

KARA Online Search

KARA Online Resources

We are excited to offer our members, a whole new way to explore their family history.  As we begin our online Members-section, already there are old scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, newspaper birth, marriage and death notices, added to the site.

KARA Web Store

What We Cover...

At the KARA web store we have a nice range of books for you to search. We have new and used books, plus all the types you might be looking for. 

We cover family history research in the Kawartha region – the counties of Peterborough, Northumberland, Haliburton, and Old Victoria. Plus so much more.

A Range Of Subjects...

From Family History to Genealogy to Local History…

Click To Browse...

Check Out The...

What We Cover...

At the KARA web store we have a nice range of books for you to search. We have new and used books, plus all the types you might be looking for. 

We cover family history research in the Kawartha region – the counties of Peterborough, Northumberland, Haliburton, and Old Victoria. Plus so much more.

A Range Of Subjects...

From Family History to Genealogy to Local History…

Click To Browse...

Discover History

Couples From History

Donate To KARA

Donate in support of the heritage work at KARA

We are located in Peterborough, Ontario. KARA is an awesome organization! We operate on Volunteer power. From Board members to Research Centre staff, everyone donates time and expertise.

Join us in the work to preserve our heritage. The effort we make today gives our children and grandchildren a family history to enjoy for years to come. Your gift today makes a difference in all our tomorrows.

We give our time, our energy, our effort, our expertise. We appreciate your support. It helps us continue our heritage work.

Photo of an early Peter Robinson shanty still in existence into the 1990s. Featured in Ron Brown’s Disappearing Ontario.

Voyage to Upper Canada

September 1825

As the muggy days of August rolled into the cooler weather of September, the settlers had all made their way to Scott’s Plains. Stretching across the flood plain of the Otonabee River, from its riverbank westward to near where Monaghan Road is today, they camped in army style tents. Family groups settled around campfires used both to give a little warmth when needed and over which they prepared all daily meals. The focus was now upon selecting a 100-acre section of land upon which they would settle permanently. As each family chose their land, it was recorded by Peter Robinson’s staff at The Depot as Scott’s Plains was also now becoming known.

Having confirmed a property, the family was issued a Location Ticket, giving permission to begin residing on that land. A log shanty was constructed in which all the family members would live during their first years in Upper Canada. A small dwelling, with dirt floor and sloping log roof to shed rain and snow, the back woods shanty home was a simple homestead.

Current KARA Projects

Now In Draft Robinson Settler Descendants 1825-2025

Coming In Time For 2025

At KARA, we are eager to hear from you. You may be able to contribute new information. Perhaps you can resolve a question about a family connection. Or maybe you have a lovely family photo to share.

Douro Families Continue...
Discover the families of Douro From 1870 To 1925

In Progress

A new book coming out before long. Here is the continuing history of the families who called Douro home. Picking up in 1870 where our first book ended, this will be the ongoing story of family life in the community.

If you have questions, information or something to contribute use the link below.

KARA Monthly Newsletter

How To Subscribe To The KARA Monthly Newsletter

There is now a monthly newsletter, which will cover all the current news relating to KARA.  In addition the monthly newsletter will also include material relating to the KARA Web Store. As well, the monthly newsletter will have updates concerning our  Online Search. That is the part of our website for members to access some of KARA’s digitized material.

If you would like to subscribe to the KARA monthly newsletter, simply click the link below to visit our web store then scroll to bottom of the page. On the form, add your name and email, to join our monthly newsletter.

How To Subscribe To The KARA Monthly Newsletter

There is now a monthly newsletter, which will cover all the current news relating to KARA.  In addition the monthly newsletter will also include material relating to the KARA Web Store. As well, the monthly newsletter will have updates concerning our  Online Search. That is the part of our website for members to access some of KARA’s digitized material.

If you would like to subscribe to the KARA monthly newsletter, simply click the link below to visit our web store then scroll to bottom of the page. On the form, add your name and email, to join our monthly newsletter.

Memberships & Research

If you are looking to join KARA and become a member. Or you are interested in KARA providing research services for you then one of following types are available.

As a KARA Member during a year of membership, you will receive access to the KARA Research Centre; a 10% discount on book purchases made at the KARA Research Centre and on our Webstore. Enjoy the opportunities to meet with other family historians.

As a KARA Member during a year of membership, you will receive access to the KARA Research Centre; a 10% discount on book purchases made at the KARA Research Centre and on our Webstore. Enjoy the opportunities to meet with other family historians.

$35.00 per hour
Minimum of two hours.

Basic Research covers a search of the typical main types of documents. Research can be purchased on our Web Store. 

 

$ 60.00 per hour
Minimum of two hours.

Detailed Research, is the same as basic research. Additional research included for a more detailed search. Click the link below for more information.

As a KARA Member during a year of membership, you will receive access to the KARA Research Centre; a 10% discount on book purchases made at the KARA Research Centre and on our Webstore. Enjoy the opportunities to meet with other family historians.

As a KARA Member during a year of membership, you will receive access to the KARA Research Centre; a 10% discount on book purchases made at the KARA Research Centre and on our Webstore. Enjoy the opportunities to meet with other family historians.

$35.00 per hour
Minimum of two hours.

Basic Research covers a search of the typical main types of documents. Research can be purchased on our Web Store. 

 

$ 60.00 per hour
Minimum of two hours.

Detailed Research, is the same as basic research. Additional research included for a more detailed search. Click the link below for more information.

Stories From The Past

Stories From The Past

Discovering the Records

St. Paul's Anglican Cemetery

The journey to discovering the family ancestors includes a little learning about the history of where they lived and where they attended religious services. For example, if your ancestors arrived here  between 1791 and 1840, then they would have lived in Upper Canada, that we know today as Ontario, or Lower Canada, that we now call Quebec. For those interested in discovering more follow this link.

Photo Gallery

Photo Gallery