This second article of a series depicting Immigration and Citizenship sources held at Library and Archives Canada (LAC), explains how to find arrivals between 1865 and 1935. Passenger lists reveal details such as the country your ancestor came from, his or her occupation and the intended destination in Canada.
The Passenger Lists for the Port of Quebec City (1865-1900) database provides 967,017 references to names found on this list. As an example, Laura Muntz Lyall, the Canadian artist who painted Interesting Story, arrived in Canada from England in 1870. A search in the database yields a reference and a link to the image for the arrival of Laura Muntz and her family on 27 June 1870 aboard the SS Scandinavian.
Arrivals in Canada are also found in the Passenger Lists, 1865-1922 database where documents can be searched by name of ship, date, and place of arrival.
From 1919 to 1924, a form for individuals called Form 30A was used instead of the large sheet manifests of all passengers on a ship. The microfilms of these records have been digitized and can be consulted online. First locate the number of the microfilm, then consult the digitized microfilms of Ocean Arrivals, Form 30a, 1919-1924.
For ancestors who arrived between 1925 and 1935, you first consult the Passenger Lists and Border Entries, 1925-1935 database. As an example, let’s search for Johannes Nisula. He arrived aboard the Montrose at Quebec City on May 26, 1926. Click on “Search” in the left menu, type in his information, and click the “Submit” button. Looking at the result, it’s important to note all the details: name, ship, port of arrival, the volume, page number (189), and microfilm reel number (T-14722). Then navigate to the microform digitization page, select “Passenger Lists: Quebec City (1925-1935)” and click on the reel number (T-14722). Page number refers to the paper sheets, so you will have to look for the page number in the top right of the image. In our example, page 189 of the pages appears on page 335 of the microfilm.
There are also immigration documents for the home children that were sent to Canada during the child emigration movement. The name index of home children was compiled by the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa and was created from the passenger lists held by LAC.
Also discover these two podcasts that focus on immigration:
For arrivals after 1935, records of immigrants remain in the custody of Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
*Note: Don’t forget that the Search Help page of a database is the best place to find out how the records are arranged.
Recently, the Library and Archives Canada Discover Blog had a chance to interview documentary photographer Martin Weinhold about some of his photographs of Canadians at work, held in Library and Archives Canada’s collection.
- These photographs are part of a larger series. In just a few words, please tell us what series this is and what inspired it?
- Please tell us why you chose to take three different photographs of the same subject?
- How can we tell that these are Martin Weinhold photographs?
The photographs are part of the “WorkSpace Canada” collection, a long-term project that still is a work in progress. The project’s goal is a general description of the world of work in Canada in the early 21st century; a kind of visual inventory centred around the human aspect of labour, work and action. The idea for this photographic documentary was triggered in 2005 when I read Hannah Arendt’s book “The Human Condition.”
I wanted to introduce Kenwyn Bertrand, a worker at a car shredder yard in Hamilton, Ontario, with a threefold approach: giving the viewer a notion of the work environment and the activity happening there, as well as showing a facet of his individual personality. This pattern is the general approach for the “WorkSpace Canada” series.
When I came to the car shredder yard I had a kind of production schedule already in mind. From previous visits and observations I knew the so-called picking shacks were one part of the operation, and I knew they were a must in the overall description of the place. I wanted to visually translate what it was like being on shift there. Kenwyn and I discussed what would be important for me to photograph and what wouldn’t. For Kenwyn, being at his workplace meant this repeated waiting for the copper parts among the rubbish on the conveyor belt—the whole reason his job existed. Then there was the locker room, the place where every shift began and ended. And the only possible place for a portrait. Although for privacy we had to wait until every worker from Kenwyn’s shift had left.
I think—I hope—the intensity of my dealing with the subject can be seen. I try to establish an intense relationship with every person I photograph. Time is the crucial precondition for that. Time is the luxury I insist on having with my documentary work. If the viewer can read the intensity in my photographs and see it as typical for a Martin Weinhold photograph—that would make me very happy.
The Sochi 2014 Games mark 90 years of Canadian athletes representing their country on the Winter Olympic stage. Canadians have competed in all Winter Olympics, starting with the first Games in Chamonix in 1924. Canada is also part of a handful of countries that have won medals at every Winter Games.
Library and Archives Canada holds a rich collection documenting memorable Canadian performances at the Games, the athletes behind these achievements, and the historical development of winter Olympic sports disciplines in Canada.
The Canadian Olympians site provides a visual history of Canada’s participation in the Games. It consists of more than 10,000 images of athletes who participated in the Winter and Summer Olympics, from the early 1900s through 2004.
Find out more about the following winter sports:
- Records of the Canadian Curling Association and the Canadian Ladies Curling Association
- Bonspiel! The History of Curling in Canada
- Figure skating
Use the Archives Search tool to discover many historical documents and images by using keywords such as athletes, sports, Olympics or medals. Here are some examples of what you may find on our website:
- Our Flickr album on this subject
- The Fitness and Amateur Sport records, which contain over 40,000 photographs documenting the performance of Canadian athletes at national and international competitions, including the Olympics
Enjoy the Sochi Games!
In France, nicknames were added to surnames to distinguish between families with similar names living in the same geographical area. When immigrants coming from France settled in New France, this custom continued. Some immigrants, mostly soldiers, already had an alias or a “dit name” when they arrived while others acquired a “dit name” after they settled in New France.
How were “dit names” created?
“Dit names” were created by taking a person’s family name, adding a nickname that described one of the individual’s unique characteristics, and connecting the two with the word “dit,” for example, Miville dit Deschênes.
These nicknames were based on the following:
- physical characteristics (Le Fort, Le Roux);
- moral characteristics (Le Bon, Le Sage);
- trades (Le Boucher);
- places of origin, including country, province, city, town, village (le Picard, Le Normand);
- places of residence (Du Val, Du Puis);
- first names of ancestors (Deblois dit Grégoire, Fasche dit Robert);
- actions (Ladébauche, Ladéroute).
Until around the 1850s, both surnames and “dit names” were used in records. After that time, only one of the two names was used.
Lists of “dit names” and their associated surnames can be found in the publications and websites that follow:
- Dictionnaire généalogique des familles canadiennes depuis la fondation de la colonie jusqu’à nos jours (AMICUS 21710319) by Cyprien Tanguay, volume 7 (also available online on the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec website);
- Dictionnaire des familles du Québec, (AMICUS 3994211) by René Jetté;
- Répertoire des noms de famille du Québec, des origines à 1825 by René Jetté and Micheline Lécuyer (AMICUS 8402862).
Other relevant websites
- American-French Genealogical Society Surnames French-Canadian: Variants, Dit, Anglicization, etc.;
- Centre de généalogie francophone d’Amérique;
- Fédération des familles souches du Québec;
- Quebec’s Research Program in Historical Demography (Enter a family name in the search tool and discover the nicknames associated with it in the records).
Conduct your own research using AMICUS
Do your own search for “dit names” in AMICUS by title or subject using terms such as “name,” “family name” and “France.”
The partnership between Library and Archives Canada and Canadiana.org over the next ten years involves the digitization, indexing and description of millions of personal, administrative and government documents. It will triple LAC’s digital content on the Web, and allow Canadians to access tens of millions of additional images regardless of where they live, at no charge.
We will be adding new content regularly to the Héritage website. The following is a list of the microfilms digitized since June 2013 and currently available online, representing a total of 2.1 million images:
As part of the commemoration of the centennial of the First World War, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) announced in its News section that it is undertaking the digitization of 640,000 personnel service files of the First World War’s Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) members with a view to ensuring the long-term preservation of these frail paper documents.
Transferred to LAC about 20 years ago, CEF service files represent LAC’s most heavily consulted collection. A victim of its own success, the high number of transactions to which the collection has been subjected is putting strains on the mostly paper-based documents and is hastening their deterioration.
Many readers who have had the opportunity to hold these precious historical documents in their hands in recent years will certainly remember how some of the sheets are beginning to crumble. If LAC does not undertake action to preserve these files now, they are at risk. Once lost, they are lost forever.
To be able to perform this important undertaking, LAC will temporarily close portions of the service files. The first quarter, beginning with the letter A through D, will be closed as of March 2014 and will be available on-line as of Summer 2014.
While 75% of the collections will always be open, LAC will not be able to accept requests to consult documents in person, nor take orders for copies for a period of up to 4 months on the portion of the collection being digitized.
The files to be digitized will complement the approximately 13,500 service files and the more than 620,000 attestation papers already available on LAC’s website. At the end of the project, expected in 2015, Canadians will be able to research high-quality digital copies of the 640,000 newly digitized service files from the comfort of their own home and will no longer have to pay reprography fees.
LAC is pleased to contribute to the Commemorative Initiatives of the Government of Canada to honour the contributions and sacrifices made by Canadian men and women during the First World War. We wish to recognize Public Works and Government Services Canada’s support in this endeavour.
LAC appreciates your understanding and patience during the course of this extensive project.
For more information on this initiative, please consult the Fact Sheet: Digitization of Canadian Expeditionary Force Service Files.
Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is releasing its latest podcast episode: Pulp Canada: between the covers. Pulps, with their screaming story titles and attention-grabbing cover art, already began to capture the public interest by the turn of the 20th century.
Professor Carolyn Strange, author of True Crime True North: The Golden Age of Canadian Pulp Magazines, and author Ian Driscoll join us to talk about LAC ’s pulp fiction collection. They discuss the different aspects of the collection and bring to light some of the incredible stories surrounding this literature form.
Subscribe to our podcast episodes using RSS or iTunes, or just tune in at: Podcast – Discover Library and Archives Canada: Your History, Your Documentary Heritage.
For more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Did you know that Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has one of the most comprehensive sheet music collection in the country? Thanks to Helmut Kallmann, the founding Chief of the Music Division at the National Library of Canada (now part of LAC), who collected any early Canadian sheet music he could find.
Recently, over a thousand pieces of sheet music from this collection were digitized and are now available online. These titles were published before 1918 and include a wide variety of patriotic and parlour songs, piano pieces, sacred music, etc.
Visit LAC’s Sheet Music from Canada’s Past website to learn more or to search for music sheets. Here’s how:
- Click on Search Sheet Music located in the left menu.
- In the first box, click the down arrow and choose the time period you would like to search, e.g. “1900-1913.”
- In the second box, click the down arrow and choose the type of search, e.g. Title keyword (song title).
- In the third box, you can enter a search term, e.g. “barn”.
- Click the “Submit” button at the bottom.
The browsing options in the fourth box allows you to limit your search to digitized music for which there is either printed music or audio files available. Please note that default searching has been set at “All Time Periods”, “Any Keyword” but you can modify these settings by following the above steps.
Once you have found a piece of sheet music, you will see some or all of the following information:
- A description of the music.
- A small colour image of the front cover.
- A large colour image of the cover.
- A “View sheet music” icon.
- An “Audio” icon
As the sheet music is available as PDFs, you can print the music on letter size paper.