Canada

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The last topic is School Records. Since this is usually taken care of by the provincial and territorial governments there are few records at Library Archives Canada. You will find some information for Aboriginal records and Quebec, Lower Canada and Canada East: Civil Secretary, records relating to education at Library Archives Canada.

This is the last of the Most Requested Records section to be found at the Canadian Genealogy Centre. You will find other sections entitled How to Begin, What You Can Do, and Learning Resources.

Visit the Canadian Genealogy Centre and spend an afternoon exploring the online resources they offer.

©2010 – Blair Archival Research

Other Topics covers a wide range of alternative records. The first is Criminal Records. They provide a long list of records that are available at Library Archives Canada.

You will find records for:

Lower Canada and Canada East: Civil Secretary Gaol calendars and prison returns;
Quebec, Lower Canada and Canada: Provincial Secretary and Registrar;
Quebec, Lower Canada and Canada East: Civil Secretary Court Records;
Lower Canada and Canada East: Police Records;
Upper Canada and Canada West: Civil and Provincial Secretaries;
Registrar General: Warrants and Pardons;
North West Mounted Police records;
Capital Case Files for people convicted of murder;
Inmate Case Files for federal penitentiaries;
Operational Records of the Penitentiary Branch, 1834-1962;
Kingston Penitentiary, Kingston, Ontario which include: Prisoners’ Record Book 1843-1890; Warden’s Letterbook, 1848-1856; Kingston Penitentiary liberation and punishment books 1834-1974;
Stony Mountain Penitentiary, Stony Mountain, Manitoba which includes Stony Mountain, Inmate Admittance Registers, 1871-1921;
and other penitentiary records.

There is a list of provincial archives and court locations for research in each province and territory. You will also find a description of what is available in Quebec for the very early administration justice records.

To get a complete description of what is available visit the Canadian Genealogy Centre.

©2010 – Blair Archival Research

Heraldry, Names, Notarial Records and Orphanages are the next subjects under Other Topics.

Heraldry and Names provide descriptions and advice as well as helpful links and bibliographies.

Notarial Records exist only for the province of Quebec. These were private agreements written by notaries for such things as marriage contracts; inventories; leases; engagements; obligations; wills; and sales.

The website gives a good description of what is available and where to go when you are searching different time periods. The information and archival location changes for the different time periods.

Orphanages also has a good description of what you can expect to find. They list what is available at Library Archives Canada. You can find information on:

Protestant Orphans’ Home -Orphans’ Home of Ottawa;
Weredale House – The Boys’ Home of Montreal;
Summerhill Homes – the Montreal Protestant Orphan Asylum;
Industrial Removal Office which was for the Hebrew Orphans Home in Toronto;
and Juvenile Inspection Reports which mostly relate to Home Children.

There are links to online sources as well as other institutions.

©2010 – Blair Archival Research

We now look at the Published Sources section of the Canadian Genealogy Centre. The first subject is Newspapers. They break them down into daily, ethnic, Native and student newspapers.

The Canadian Genealogy Centre explains what you may find in newspapers and provide several useful links to online sources. They also have a link to what they call Newspapers List. This is a whole section on what newspapers are available at Library and Archives Canada. The introduction gives a brief explanation and then you can use the links on the left side to go to other options such as microform holdings. Here you will get a brief description on how to search the records. You then choose the link Geographical List and this takes you to a list of the provinces and territories. Click on the one of your choice and this provides a list of the newspapers available for your area of interest. The list is alphabetical by geographic location and provides the dates and microform type available. You also get the call number so you can order the newspaper.

The Indexes to Canadian Newspapers provides a series of online and other sources to find indexes to Canadian newspapers. The topics include general, geographical, source title and newspaper title.

You can also check lists for Canadian newspapers currently received, Aboriginal newspapers, Canadian Ethnic newspapers currently received, International newspapers currently received and news online.

City Directories is the next topic. You get a description of what you may find in city directories and why they are useful to the genealogist. The earliest directory in Quebec City is 1791; Montreal is 1819; and Toronto is 1832. They provide research tips and a few digital images to show you what to expect.

Local Histories and Family Histories are the next two topics. They are very similar in what is offered. They both have a short description of what you will find and a link to a Bibliography List. When you use the link it takes you to a long list of bibliography subjects. When you chose Local or Family Histories you get a concise list of books.

Official Publications is the last option in Published Sources. LAC talks about the Canada Gazette, the Statutes of Canada and Sessional Papers and what might be found in them. There is also a link to AMICUS the online catalogue for LAC.

©2010 – Blair Archival Research

You can now order your Family History Library films online and have them delivered to your Family History Centre of choice. This will make it much easier for a lot of people. You can also renew your films through this service.

The fee is more expensive than ordering it through my local Family History Centre. I would pay about $6.75 and they are charging $11.57. A consideration is the time and cost of gas for get me to the Centre to order a film. The drive one way is 40 minutes depending on traffic.

You can change the currency value before continuing with your order. It was $12.00 US and $11.57 CAD to order one film. You pay for your films with Mastercard or Visa.

Sign up today for free at:

https://film.familysearch.org/

©2010 – Blair Archival Research

This section covers everything to do with Immigration and Citizenship that is in the public domain.

They start off with a topic of Terminology and Abbreviations. These refer to things you will find in records relating to immigration such as passenger lists.

The next topic is Passenger Lists before 1865.They give you a complete run down of the subject and what is available for the researcher. You will find information on the French and British Regimes as well as the Montreal Emigrant Society Passage Book. They also provide links to provincial and online sources.

The French Regime section provides a list of microfilms for passenger lists prior to 1865. Remember these are not complete and because of the age of these records they can be difficult to read. The French Regime includes lists that have destinations of: Quebec, Acadia, Canada and America, and Newfoundland.

Under the British Regime is a database relating to Immigrants to Canada from about 1803 to 1865. You can search by surname and it provides a reference that may include a microfilm number. These records come from varying sources and are not specifically passenger lists. A few but not all have a digital image attached to the reference.

The Montreal Emigrant Society Passage Book (1832) has a searchable database. You can search by name and the reference provides a microfilm number as well as a digital image to the records.

Passenger Lists, 1865-1935 are the next topic. Here again they provide a breakdown of what you will find in the records and what records are available.

There is a database for Quebec City Passenger Lists Index 1865-1900 that is searchable by name. You get the reference information and then can view a digital image. Some of the names are only surnames. There is also very little extra information provided in the index. You need to go into the image to find more information. Sometimes it is only Mr or Mrs but you may also find more.

There is a list of ports and the years that records are available for those ports. When you click on the port and date in question you will get a list of microfilm numbers so you can order them through inter library loan.

Passenger Lists, 1865-1922 is a searchable database by name of ship, year and port of arrival and port of departure. You can search by a shipping line, specific date of departure or arrival. You are then provided with a list of choices. When you click on one you get a reference page and can click on the digital image relating to the search criteria. You then search the record and move on to the next one. This is the modern way of searching microfilm.

Passenger Lists from 1925-1935 has a database that is searchable by name. Once you click on the name you get a reference summary which provides a microfilm number. You can then use this to order the microfilm from LAC.

They discuss Chinese immigration records and provide links to online sources.

Form 30A, 1919-1924 (Ocean Arrivals) provides a break down of what you will find in the record as well as a list of microfilms. There is also an online database but you need to know the microfilm number and then you can search the microfilm online. It is not a name database.

Border Entry is the next topic. You get a brief description and a warning that not everyone who crossed the border was registered. There is a list of border ports, dates and microfilm numbers for the dates of 1908-1918. From 1919-1924 Form 30 was used and can be found in the same database as Form 30A. Border entries from 1925-1935 is found in the Immigration Records (1925-1935) database. Other online sources and reference information are also provided.

After 1935 you need to make a request to Citizenship and Immigration Canada. You need to fill in an Access to Information Request Form and the person must have been dead for 20 years or more. Proof must be provided for the death. If the person is living then they can apply for their information themselves.

I had difficulty with this when I went searching for my grandmother’s entry into Canada in 1957. She died two years ago at 99 ¾ years and I was told that I will have to wait 20 years before I can apply for a copy of her passenger list. You will only be able to get the entry for your ancestor.

The Immigrants from the Russian Empire topic has a list of microfilms and there is a database of indexed and digitized images from the files of the Passport/Identity Papers series. These are indexed by name and the file can hold one or more pages. Some have photographs attached to them.

The Home Children (1869-1930) database can be found under this section. It is searchable under two sections Immigration Records Search and Boards of Guardians Search. They provide a reference and it includes where the record came from and a microfilm number. The Boards of Guardians have digital images. Under Immigration Records Search if there was a group of children travelling together you can click on a link and find out who they were. They also provide other resources to help you with your search.

The Passport topic provides links to the history of passports and well as passports relating to different countries. They also tell you how to search them at LAC. There is a name index for the passports that Library and Archives Canada hold.

The Citizenship topic tells the story of citizenship in Canada and how to research the records that are available. There is a database relating to Upper Canada and Canada West Naturalization Registers (1828-1850). This is searchable by name and once you click on a name the reference page provides a link to a digital image.

There is also a database for Citizenship Registration Records for the Montreal Circuit Court (1851-1945) which is also searchable by name. When you click on the name a reference page comes up and then you can click on a digital image of the record. Sometimes there is more than one page for the record.

You will also find a link to the Canadian Naturalization 1915-1932 database. This is searchable by name and as with previous databases you can download a digital image. This is a PDF file that is a printed source reference.

©2010 – Blair Archival Research

The Births, Marriages and Deaths section at the Canadian Genealogy Centre covers most topics relating to these life events.

The topic of Adoption helps those who are searching for their birth families by providing links and historical references to the subject.

Births/Baptisms provide links to provinces and territories to help those searching for a birth record. When you click on the link it provides a brief history of civil registration in that province and provides details on where to go for more information. They also make available information on looking for a Canadian birth that happened abroad.

Under the topic Cemeteries it provides a brief description of what information you may find at the cemetery. There are links to online sources as well as information on other places to search.

The topic Church Indexes refers to French/Quebec marriages and again you are given links and advice to help with your research.

Civil Registration is similar to Births/Baptisms where it provides you with a list of provinces and territories along with a description of their civil registration records.

In Deaths/Burials you are again linked to civil registration and it gives a brief description of what you may find in the records. They provide information on how to find records at Library and Archives Canada as well as other sources.

Divorce was granted by private acts of Parliament from 1840-1968. There is a name index database that you can search to find the reference and then you can search the appropriate publication to find out more information. They also provide information on other sources you can search as well as provincial and territorial links for divorce records.

The Marriages topic again provides a description of what you may find in the record as well as provincial and territorial links. There is a database for Upper and Lower Canada Marriage Bonds. You get a reference entry as well as a digital image of the record.

Parish registers gives you links to church and provincial/territorial archives. They describe how to search the Library and Archives Canada database to see if they have something relating to the church you are researching.

Wills is the final topic in this section. The Centre gives you a brief outline of the subject and provides provincial/territorial links to find more information. These records are mostly held at the provincial/territorial level.

©2010 – Blair Archival Research

The introduction page to land records at the Canadian Genealogy Centre gives you a general background into the geography, historic boundaries and records of Canada.

There is a database for Western Land Grants (1870-1930) which covers the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and the railway belt of British Columbia. This is a name index and the reference will give you the part, section, township, range, meridian, lots, volume, folio, microfilm reel number, names, and place name. This should be enough to find your document on the microfilm. They even provide a section to suggest a correction if you find an error.

The first subtopic in land records is Land Petitions for Lower and Upper Canada. They provide research tips for searching these records and I would suggest reading them. The boundaries changed and it depends on the date you are searching as to whether you search Upper or Lower Canada records.

The website states that the records for Quebec and Lower Canada, 1764-1841 contain the following:

• Petitions for grants or leases of land or for commutation of tenure;
• Reports from the Surveyor General or the Attorney General;
• Submissions to the Land Committee;
• Administrative records;
• Certificates and other documentation submitted in support of individual requests; and
• Copies of committee minutes.

There is a list of microfilm reel numbers for the index and another for the records. They even have a conversion table for Old French Measurement Units.

The index and digitized images of Lower Canada Land Petitions are also available online. The search gives you a summary of the record and then you can click on view image to see the original.

There is a list of names of claimants for the Gaspé Land Commission with a page, microfilm and volume number reference to help you find the original.

Upper Canada (Ontario) and the United Province of Canada, 1797-1867 has no digital images or searchable database online. There are microfilm numbers for an index and for the Land Books and Land Petitions. The website says that the series contains the following:

• Petitions for grants or leases of land;
• Reports from the Surveyor General or Attorney General;
• Certificates and other documentation submitted in support of individual requests;
• Some Canada Company lists; and
• Some lists of settlers by place.

The Provincial Land Records section provides information and links to help you navigate the winding maze of land records in each province.

Land Grants to Veterans refer to the fact that the government gave land to former soldiers. This section leads you to resources where you may find information on a former soldier who received land from the government.

The section on land records is relatively small at the Canadian Genealogy Centre. Most land records are held at the provincial level. Hopefully they will soon have online indexes and images for the Upper Canada Land Petitions.

©2010 – Blair Archival Research

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

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

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