Canadian Genealogy Centre – Military Records, Part 1

The Canadian Genealogy Centre has so much information on the military. The first page provides a list of different topics as well as other websites to help you with your research. The first item on the list is a website that helps you understand Canadian Military History.

If your family history has men who fought for the French Regime in Canada then there is a lot of information available. You will find militia rolls created in 1663 and 1755. Lists of microfilms that relate to the regiments at the Plains of Abraham on 13 September 1759, as well as a general list of regiments dating from 1759 to 1830.

The Compagnies Franches de la Marine refers primarily to officers. These microfilms include details about promotions, pay and pensions, land grants and notarial records.

In the summer of 1665 1,200 soldiers of the Carignan-Salières Regiment landed in Quebec. You can download a PDF file that lists manuscript sources and an extensive bibliography.

You will have to be able to read the French language to be to search these records.

The next topic is British Forces. If you are researching a regiment that was stationed in Canada then you can find records relating to them at Library and Archives Canada.

Some of these records are: Royal Hospital Chelsea Soldiers’ Documents 1760-1872; Royal Hospital Chelsea Regimental Registers 1713-1868; Registers of Various Regiments 1756-1878; Depot Description Books 1803-1892; Pension claims by widows of officers of the King’s German Legion and British American Regiments 1775-1908; and Muster Books and Pay Lists for various Regiments serving in British North America 1759-1767.

British Military and Naval Records covers the time period from the American Revolution until the mid-1800s. Documents can be found that relate to the British Army in Canada, Loyalist Regiments, War of 1812, the Canadian militia and others.

You will find the Canada General Service Medal Registers, Research in Other Institutions, Research Online and Research in Published Sources. They have a bibliography to help you find more on the subject.

The Loyalists were American colonists who remained loyal to the King during the American Revolution (1775-1783). The same record series we found under British Forces are found under Loyalist. Land Petitions can help you find out more about your Loyalist ancestor. There are two lists of Loyalists. The first is a United Empire List from the Executive Council Office and it contains annotations. The second is the Crown Lands Department Loyalist List which was published in 1885.

The Sir Frederick Haldimand series includes provisions lists and muster rolls that have information relating to Loyalists, disbanded soldiers and their families in the province of Quebec. There is a nominal index to these records.

The Audit Office 12 and 13 has information on Loyalists particularly if they settled in the Maritimes. British Headquarters Papers contain lists of refugees from New York and Rhode Island and have numerous references to Port Roseway and Shelburne, Nova Scotia.

The Book of Negros is indexed and contains the names of Black Loyalists.

Ward Chipman, Muster Master’s Office (1777-1785) has names of Loyalists who were disbanded and with their families settled in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

War Office 42 contains pension claims relating to officers in the German Legion and British American Regiments that were submitted by their widows.

Port Roseway Associates, Muster Book of Free Blacks, Settlement of Birchtown, 1784. In 1783 Loyalists and British troops evacuated New York. The Loyalists, their families, servants and slaves, founded Port Roseway which became Shelburne Nova Scotia. The free Blacks in this group formed a new community called Birchtown. This record has been digitized and can be found online.

German Troops is another topic under military. When the American Revolution started the British did not have enough troops to go into battle, so they made an agreement with the German principalities to employ groups of soldiers.

Between 1776 and 1783 about 30,000 Germans fought in North America. 10,000 of them served in Canada and after the war approximately 2,400 settled in Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

You can find listings of microfilms relating to the War Office, Colonial Office, Sir Frederick Haldimand papers and other series of documents.

As you can see this is a large topic at the Canadian Genealogy Centre so I am going to finish it up in the next post.

©2010 – Blair Archival Research

  1. Wayne Magee’s avatar

    Can you help me please gather information on my father’s Canadaian Airforce records during WW2. he was in the Airforce. Born in Toronto area. he died in Red Deer Alta in 1985. Any information will help me Thank you.Wayne Magee (son)

  2. Ruth Blair’s avatar

    You can find out how to access the records here

    http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/genealogy/022-909.007-e.html

    Good luck with the research.
    Ruth

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