Canadian Genealogy Centre – Military Records, Part 2

The next topic in the Military section of the Canadian Genealogy Centre is Canadian Forces before 1914.

This includes militia units in British North America as well as after Canada’s Confederation. You can find British Military and Naval Records that cover the time period from the American Revolution through the mid-1800s. This will include the British Army in Canada, Loyalist Regiments, the War of 1812 and the Canadian Militia to name a few.

There are microfilms that include indexes and the records. You will find these listed on the site.

Muster Rolls and Pay Lists from before Confederation which includes Upper Canada (Ontario) and Lower Canada (Quebec) will also be found. The records relating to the time period after Confederation include the other provinces. These records can be accessed through the Government of Canada Files database. You will need the finding aid number and can enter keywords. They tell you how to search these records on the website.

Officers Registers from 1808 through 1922 can be found on microfilm. It is arranged by militia battalion or regiment and lists all the officers. This is not a name index.

The Rebellions of 1837-1838 has an alphabetical list of officers and men who were killed or wounded. At the bottom of this list are digital images for three pages which refer to the page numbers next to the names. There is more information on these pages than in the index.

The Canadian Militia Muster Rolls from 1837 to 1850 are described by the name of the group and years of operation. The microfilm numbers are also provided with this database.

The Red River Rebellion of 1870 has a Register of Service which is on microfilm. There is a sample digital image to show what you may find in the original records.

There is a list of officers and men killed and wounded for The North West Rebellion of 1885. This record is the same as the Rebellions of 1837-1838. There is a page number reference in the index and then at the bottom of the list are the digital images referring to those page numbers.

There is a database for the South African War (1899-1902) which includes personnel records; medal registers; land grant applications; and correspondence relating to those who served. This is searchable by name, regiment and regimental number. Some references have a digital image relating to them and others do not. If you do not have an image then the information provided in the summary when you click on the name should be enough to order a copy of the record.

The Canadian Genealogy Centre provides a list of abbreviations used in military service files.

There is a First World War database that is searchable by name, regiment and regimental number. This database leads you to the attestation papers of the solider. These are in digital format.

Once these records are found you can order a copy of the military service record of your ancestor for the cost of copies and postage. It can be done online at the Canadian Genealogy Centre where it explains how to place your order.

The Centre tells you how to interpret the records you find and you can view sample documents. They tell you how to find information on Aboriginal Soldiers; The Royal Newfoundland Regiment and Newfoundland Forestry Corps; Imperial War Service Gratuity files; Air Forces; Naval Forces; and Armed Forces in Other Countries.

If your ancestor was court marshaled during the First World War there is a database to search for more information.

The section on Canadian Forces after 1918 includes information on the Second World War. If your ancestor died during the Second World War there is a database to help you find more information on how to get their service files.

There are some military records that Library and Archives Canada does not hold or were destroyed and the website provides you with information on these records.

If your ancestor received a military medal you may be able to find out more under the topic Military Medals. There is a nominal card index at LAC for pre 1900 rebellions.

There is a section on War Diaries. These cover the First World War and you require a battalion number or name to be able to find the correct diary for your research. These are searchable online for the Army. Other branches of the military can be found in the Government of Canada Files database. Information on searching these files can be found under the War Diaries topic in the Military section of the Canadian Genealogy Centre.

The final topic in the Military section is War Graves. Here you will find links to various websites where you can search for the final resting place of your military ancestor. Veterans Affairs Canada has a Canadian Virtual War Memorial Database that relates to the twentieth century. There is the Commonwealth War Graves Commission: Debt of Honour Register and the Canadian Merchant Navy War Dead Registry.

The Books of Remembrance are a sight to see on Parliament Hill and now they are digitized and online to search. You will find links to other types of memorials at the Canadian Genealogy Centre.

These two posts have just covered the Military section at the Canadian Genealogy Centre. Visit the website and see what else you may be able to find.

©2010 – Blair Archival Research

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