Newly Digitized Microfilms on the Héritage Portal

The following is a list of digitized microfilms that have been recently added to the Héritage website. Please note that the titles have been translated for convenience, the records are still in the language of origin. Searching in the original language will improve search results.

1946 Army Central Registry
Adolphe-Philippe Caron fonds
Arthur Meighen: Series 3, correspondence
Canadian Labour Congress: Financial records
Clifford Sifton fonds
Commission to Inquire into the Treadgold and other concessions in the Yukon Territory
Correspondence addressed to the Chief Postal Inspectors
Correspondence of the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the Canadian Militia and his predecessor, the Adjutant
Department of Agriculture: Docket and letterbook registry system, general correspondence
Department of Agriculture, Dominion Chemist: Letterbooks, 1889–1933
Department of Agriculture: Duplex numeric subject file classification system, 1918–1953
Department of Agriculture: Entomology and Botany Division
Department of Agriculture: Records relating to international exhibitions
Department of External Affairs: Office of the Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs
Department of Indian Affairs: General accounts, 1846–1979
Department of Indian Affairs: Port Arthur Agency
Department of Indian Affairs: Trust fund journals, 1875–1938
Department of Labour, Economics and Research Branch: Strikes and lockout files
Department of Militia and Defence: Registers and lists of officers
Department of National Defence, Directorate of History and Heritage: Kardex system
Department of Public Works, Board of Works records: Correspondence in subject files
Department of Public Works, Board of Works records, official correspondence: Registered correspondence, 1842–1860
Department of Public Works, Board of Works records: Registers and indexes
Department of Public Works, Chief Architect’s Office: Letterbooks, 1873–1909
Department of Public Works, Docket registry system: Registers of correspondence received
Department of Public Works: General indexes of the subject classification registry system, 1879–1901
Department of Public Works: Letterbooks of the subject classification registry system, 1879–1912 Department of Public Works: Registers of papers filed, 1879–1907
Department of Public Works: Subject registers
Department of Railways and Canals, Railway Branch: Office of the Chief Engineer
Department of Transport: Civil aircraft registration, inspection and operation files, 1920–1986
Deputy Postmaster General: Correspondence addressed to the Marine Mail Officers
Deputy Postmaster General: International correspondence sent
Deputy Postmaster General: Letterbooks related to personnel
Directorate of Movements
Edgar Dewdney fonds
Fisheries Branch Registry files
France. Colonial fonds: Series C11A. General correspondence
Frederick B. Taylor fonds
Letterbooks created and/or maintained by the Office of the Chief Engineer
Letterbooks of the Office of the Deputy Minister of Justice
Meteorological Service, 1874–1933
Montreal Amateur Athletic Association fonds
Newton Wesley Rowell fonds
Office of the Indian Reserve Commissioner for the Province of British Columbia
Operational records of the Penitentiary Branch, 1834–1962
Parish registers: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec
Records and correspondence sent from the Postmaster General
Registers to letters received by the Postmaster General’s office
Registry files related to the Railway Branch
Royal Canadian Air Force second central registry and file classification system
Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Office of the Commissioner: General orders
Royal Canadian Navy: Convoy Reports of Proceedings, 1939–1945
Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism
Royal Commission to Investigate the Facts Relating to and the Circumstances Surrounding the Communication, by public officials and other persons…etc.
Secretary of State: Chief Press Censor
Secretary of State: Returns to addresses and orders of Parliament
Soldiers Settlement Board: The Platt Books
Walter Livingstone-Learmonth diaries
War Cabinet Committee, 1938–1945
War diaries
William Lyon Mackenzie King: Primary series correspondence (J1)
World War I: Veterans claim cards

Mary Riter Hamilton, Canada’s First Unofficial War Artist

It has been 90 years since Mary Riter Hamilton donated 180 of her oil paintings and dozens of her chalk, pastel and pencil drawings depicting the devastation in Europe after the First World War to the Public Archives of Canada (now Library and Archives Canada). These works by Riter Hamilton are not light-hearted. The subject matter deals almost exclusively with the destruction of war. They depict muddy trenches and blighted landscapes, graves and cemeteries, churches and towns ripped apart from shelling.

Memorial for the Second Canadian Division in a Mine Crater near Neuville St. Vaast.

Memorial for the Second Canadian Division in a Mine Crater near Neuville St. Vaast (MIKAN 2836007)

Mary Riter Hamilton was born in 1873 in Teeswater, Ontario and grew up in Clearwater, Manitoba where her family moved to farm. She married Charles W. Hamilton at the age of 18 and by the age of 23 was widowed. It was soon before the death of her husband that Mary began attending art classes in Toronto. Recognizing her talent, most of her European-trained teachers urged her to further her studies in Paris. Mary studied first in Germany then moved to Paris where she lived and studied for the next eight years. Mary returned to Manitoba for a year in 1906 then again for eight years in 1911. During these years, Mary’s work was exhibited in galleries in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg and Calgary.

The Sadness of the Somme

The Sadness of the Somme (MIKAN 2835991)

Always wanting to return to Europe, it was in 1919 while Mary was living and working on Canada’s west coast, that she was offered a commission by the Amputation Club of British Columbia to provide art work for The Gold Stripe, a veteran’s magazine. Mary left immediately, “ … to paint the scenes where so many of our gallant Canadians have fought and died.” For three years, Riter Hamilton worked tirelessly in post-war France and Belgium, painting battlefields including Vimy Ridge and the Somme, Ypres and Passchendaele. Conditions were harsh. She lived in make-shift shelters while enduring foul weather and meagre rations. She returned to Canada physically and emotionally spent. Refusing to sell her paintings, Riter Hamilton donated her work to the Public Archives of Canada. She died, poor and visually impaired, in 1954.

As the centenary of the First World War approaches, these works take on a renewed poignancy. Mary Riter Hamilton was never an official ‘war artist’ yet through her courage and talent and indomitable dedication, the sombre beauty and mournful tone of her collection serve as an enduring account of the ravages of war.

Trenches on the Somme

Trenches on the Somme (MIKAN 2894917)

To learn more about Mary Riter Hamilton, to view more of her work, or to see what materials are contained in the LAC collection, visit:

Looking for your Newfoundland Ancestors Who Served in the First World War?

Newfoundland was a Dominion of the British Empire when the First World War broke out. At the time, there was no formal military presence in Newfoundland, but the Government of Newfoundland went on a recruiting drive to provide a force for British service. Many Newfoundlanders also joined the war effort by joining the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) in Canada.

After Newfoundland joined confederation in 1949, the personnel records for the Royal Newfoundland Regiment and the Newfoundland Forestry Corps were transferred to the Government of Canada as these individuals became eligible for veterans’ benefits. Later, the files were microfilmed by Library and Archives Canada (LAC) and FamilySearch. The originals remain in LAC’s holdings.

Searching for Newfoundland service files

If you aren’t sure in which service your ancestor served or where he joined, you will need to look at both the CEF records using the Canadian soldiers of the First World War: 1914-1918 database for people from Newfoundland who enlisted in other parts of Canada and the general Archives Search for people who enlisted in Newfoundland regiments. For the latter group, enter the surname of the person, “Newfoundland” and RG38 in the keyword search. The results page will identify which microfilm reel you will need to order to consult the service record.

Meanwhile, the microfilms can be consulted onsite at LAC, through the Family History Centre or in the Newfoundland Provincial Archives at The Rooms in St. John’s. The latter has digitized some of the service files and these can be found in the Newfoundland Regiment and the Great War database.

LAC is presently digitizing all of the remaining 640,000 service files of the men and women who served in the First World War with the Canadian Expeditionary Force. The digitized service records will be made available on the website as they become available, but access restrictions may be in effect at times. Learn more about the digitization of the Canadian Expeditionary Forces Service Files by consulting the Fact Sheet: Digitization of Canadian Expeditionary Force Service Files.

Step back in time: Library and Archives Canada helps the National Gallery of Canada recreate a First World War exhibition experience

When Canadian troops joined the action on the western front, there were no official military photographers. The front line was unsafe for commercial photographers, and officers and men were not allowed to use personal cameras. As a result, there are no official photographic records of Canadian participation in early battles, such as the Second Battle of Ypres, in April 1915.

The Canadian War Records Office, established in January 1916, immediately recognized the importance of photography, both for keeping a lasting documentary record of the war and for boosting morale. The first official Canadian war photographer was appointed in April 1916. That same year, the first of several immensely popular exhibitions of official Canadian war photographs was unveiled at the Grafton Galleries, in central London.

Princess Christian among others viewing images at the Second Exhibition of Canadian Battle Pictures, Grafton Galleries, London, July 1917 (MIKAN 3394829)

Princess Christian among others viewing images at the Second Exhibition of Canadian Battle Pictures, Grafton Galleries, London, July 1917 (MIKAN 3394829)

Today, Library and Archives Canada’s (LAC) holdings include most of the negatives created by Canada’s official war photographers, preserved in their original glass plate format. These are some of the most poignant, horrifying, and yet compelling images in LAC’s photography collection.

The Great War, the Persuasive Power of Photography, a new exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada, curated by Ann Thomas, incorporates many of these negatives in the near-exact recreation of one entire room from the second Grafton Galleries exhibition, held in 1917. The room, which is designed to put the modern viewer in the shoes of a viewer from 1917, features a dramatic to-scale reproduction of a photograph of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, called the largest photograph ever made during its time. It also includes a cropped version of this photograph of Canadian troops after the battle.

Canadian troops en route to destination for a rest period after taking part in the capture of Vimy Ridge (MIKAN 3521924)

Canadian troops en route to destination for a rest period after taking part in the capture of Vimy Ridge (MIKAN 3521924)

View from inside the Grafton Galleries, London, at the Second Exhibition of Canadian Battle Pictures, July 1917 (MIKAN 3394834)

View from inside the Grafton Galleries, London, at the Second Exhibition of Canadian Battle Pictures, July 1917 (MIKAN 3394834)

Canada’s official war photographers:

  • Captain Henry Edward Knobel (April 1916 to August 1916)
  • William Ivor Castle (August 1916 to June 1917)
  • William Rider-Rider (June 1917 to December 1918)

See other images reproduced for the room or visit the exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada from June 27 to November 16, 2014.

New Books in the Genealogy Services Collection at 395 Wellington

In our previous article, we discussed what you can do at 395 Wellington before your appointment. One of the suggestions was to head to the third floor where the Genealogy and Family History Room is located. There you will find reference works, finding aids, atlases, family histories, and ethnic and local histories—sources that are only the beginning in your exciting search for ancestors.

In this article, we are pleased to share a list of our recently acquired publications. The AMICUS link gives the call number where you will find the book in the stacks.

And if you’re just starting out in genealogy, you should check out our Genealogy and Family History pages.

Happy exploring!

Family Histories

L’ancêtre des familles Kirouac en Amérique, son épouse et leurs fils : synthèse d’une recherche généalogique effectuée de 1978 à 2013, by François Kirouac (AMICUS 42037458)

Barthélemy Verreau, premier Verreau en Nouvelle-France, by Jean-Marie Verreault (AMICUS 42159688)

Les 100 ans de Taschereau, by the Comité du 100e anniversaire de Taschereau (AMICUS 41969714)

Dictionnaire généalogique des familles Audet et Lapointe, 1663-2013, by the Association des descendants de Nicolas Audet dit Lapointe (AMICUS 42155162)

Généalogie de la famille Bournival, by Gilbert Bournival for the Regroupement des Bournival d’Amérique (AMICUS 42214888)

George Goodson Knowlton: His Ancestors and Descendants, by Doreen A. Smillie (AMICUS 42001478)

Hanrick / Handrick / Hendrick Family of County Wicklow, Ireland and West Québec, Canada, by Della Hendrick Dupuis (AMICUS 42445077)

Labossière : descendant, 1878-2006, by the Labossière Family Association (AMICUS 42095787)

Les mariages Dumas du Québec et des régions avoisinantes, by Michèle Dumas (AMICUS 42178843)

Munchinsky Family History, by George Muchinsky (AMICUS 40824981)

Ethnic and Local Histories

Aneroid and District, 100 Years, 1913-2013, by the Aneroid History Book Committee (AMICUS 42001472)

Beaver Tales from Castor & District, by the Castor and District History Book Committee (AMICUS 41170264)

Les filles du Roy (1663-1673) : Champlain, Batiscan, Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pérade, edited by Jean-Pierre Chartier (AMICUS 42039279)

Irish Palatine Pioneers in Upper Canada: Commemorating 300 Years, 1709-2009, by the Ontario Genealogical Society (AMICUS 40681965)

Municipal Records in Ontario: History and Guide, by Fraser Dunford (AMICUS 40681952)

Neubergthal: A Mennonite Street Village: A Sense of Place with Deep Roots, edited by Rose Hildebrand and Joyce Friesen (AMICUS 42247304)

Répertoire des mariages (1895-1986), baptêmes (1895-1986), sépultures (1895-2012), St-Jean-Baptiste de Cap-aux-Os : avec notes marginales, edited by Donat Fournier, Serge Ouellet, Élaine Réhel (AMICUS 42202061)

Victory and Beyond, by the Beechy History Book Committee (AMICUS 39465589)

Métis Scrip

We are pleased to inform you that more than 24,000 references about money scrip (certificates) given to Métis family members were recently added online. These cancelled land scrip certificates were once issued to the Métis by the Department of the Interior in exchange for the relinquishment of certain land claims. A scrip would be issued “to the bearer” and could be applied to the purchase of, or as a down payment on, any Dominion lands open for entry in Manitoba and the Northwest Territories. These scrip were awarded to Métis heads of families and their children in the amounts of $240, $160 and $80.

How to find references

  1. Go to the search screen for Archives Search—Advanced.
  2. In the drop-down menu, select “Finding aid number” and then in the box, enter 15-24.
  3. Screen capture of an advanced Archives Search with the first drop-down menu showing "Finding aid number" and the value of "15-24" and the second drop-down menu showing "Any Keyword and the value "Riel."

  4. In the next line, select “Any Keyword” and enter a family name, in this case “Riel.”
  5. Click on the “Submit” button.
  6. Screen capture of an Archives Search result screen of the previous search.

You can find more in-depth information about the Métis and the Métis Scrip records on the Library and Archives Canada website.