Did Your Ancestors Come From Ireland (Eire)?

Originally posted on Library and Archives Canada Blog:

Do you wonder who your first Irish ancestor was and when he or she left Ireland and arrived in Canada? Are you curious about your family’s Irish heritage?

If so, the LAC website is a great place to begin your research. For instance, you will find a page specific to genealogical research for the Irish. It provides you with historical background, LAC’s archival collections and published material, as well as links to other websites and institutions.

If you know your Irish ancestor came to Canada before 1865, the following three databases are great starting points for your research:

If your ancestor came to Canada between 1865 and 1935, you might find his or her name on passenger lists.

Tip:
Tracing your Irish ancestor in Canada is the first step. Tracing your ancestor in…

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Immigration and Citizenship records at LAC: Did your ancestor arrive in Canada before 1865?

This article, the first of a series depicting Immigration and Citizenship sources, offers insight into pre-Confederation arrivals in Canada. Very few records compiled before 1865 still exist. Most surviving records, which are from various sources, have been indexed by name in databases.

Here are the key resources*:

The Immigrants to Canada database was compiled from documents such as immigration and land records and some private fonds, namely the Peter Robinson Papers. It provides access to more than 28,000 references to records held at Library and Archives Canada (LAC).

The Montreal Emigrant Society Passage Book (1832) database provides access to 1,945 references and digitized documents to people who received assistance from the Montreal Emigrant Society in 1832.

The Immigrants at Grosse-Île (1832-1937) database is the result of an agreement between Parks Canada and LAC. It contains more than 33,000 records spanning a 100-year time period. The references describe various events for immigrants arriving at the city of Québec and their time spent at the Grosse-Île Quarantine Station.

The Upper Canada and Canada West Naturalization Records (1828-1850) database gives references to the names of 2,967 persons naturalized in what is now the province of Ontario between 1828 and 1850. The 188 registers have been scanned and digitized images are accessible in this database.

The Citizenship Registration Records for the Montreal Circuit Court (1851-1945) database provides access to more than 8,000 references to the Citizenship Registration Records for the Montreal Circuit Court. The records have been digitized and linked to the database references.

If you think some of your “ancêtres” can be traced back to France, LAC holds a small number of lists from the French Regime (1717-1786).

Coming soon!

Stay tuned for the following related upcoming articles:

  • Validating your ancestor’s presence in Canada before 1865
  • Immigration sources from 1865 onwards (most of them in databases)
  • Border entries to Canada via the United States

*Note: Don’t forget that the Search Help page of a database is the best place to find out how the records are arranged.

Timothy Eaton

There’s no better time than the internationally celebrated St. Patrick’s Day for highlighting the history of Irish Canadians. So let’s take this opportunity to learn about Timothy Eaton, the famous founder of the Eaton’s retail chain. Born in Ballymena, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, Timothy Eaton settled in Canada with his family around 1854. You can find out more about him in various Library and Archives Canada (LAC) resources—here’s how.

The Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online contains an interesting biography of Timothy Eaton, with a number of genealogical details such as the dates of his birth, marriage and death, and the names of his parents.

Unfortunately, since few lists of arrivals prior to 1865 have survived, Timothy Eaton’s name cannot be traced on any passenger lists

LAC’s various databases—particularly the census databases—are excellent sources of information. For instance, the 1871 census lists Timothy Eaton as a merchant living in Toronto West with his wife Margaret and their three children, Edward, Josina and Margaret.

LAC also has a large collection of city and county directories that generally contain an alphabetical list of adult residents, along with their occupation and address, as well as businesses, churches, schools, social organizations, municipal services, and so on. A search of the City of Toronto directories for 1907 shows that Timothy Eaton, President of Eaton Co. Limited, lived at 182 Lowther Avenue, and that his store, the T. Eaton Co. Limited, was located at 190-214 Yonge Street.

A number of Eaton’s catalogues have been digitized and are available online. For more information on this topic, please read our blog post, “Time Travel” Research Tools: Discover Canadian Mail Order Catalogues.

The blog post Did Your Ancestors Come From Ireland (Eire)? can also help you in your search for your Irish ancestors. And don’t forget to listen to The Shamrock and the Fleur-de-Lys, our podcast about the mass immigration of Irish settlers to Quebec in the 1800s.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

 

Did your ancestors come from China?

Do you ever wonder who your first Chinese ancestor was and when he or she left China and arrived in Canada? Are you curious about your family’s Chinese heritage?

If so, our website is a great place to begin your research. For instance, you will find a page specific to genealogical research for the Chinese people. It provides you with historical background information, archival and published material from our collection, as well as links to other websites and institutions. This page also contains a link to the Immigrants from China database which provides access to more than 98,000 references to Chinese immigrants who arrived in Canada.

If your ancestor came to Canada between 1865 and 1935, you might find his or her name on the passenger lists.

Questions or comments? We would love to hear from you!

Did your ancestors come from Russia?

Do you wonder who your first Russian ancestor was and when he or she left Russia and arrived in Canada? Are you curious about your family’s Russian heritage?

If so, the LAC website is a great place to begin your research. For instance, you will find a page specific to genealogical research for the Russians. It provides you with historical background, LAC’s archival collections and published material, as well as links to other websites and institutions.

If your ancestor came to Canada between 1865 and 1935, you might find his or her name on passenger lists.

Tip:

Tracing your Russian ancestor in Canada is the first step. Joining a genealogical society is an ideal way to begin your genealogy research.

Learn where and how to begin your research at Library and Archives Canada by watching this short orientation video: Orientation Services for Clients at 395 Wellington.

For more information on recent announcements at LAC, visit “News.

Did your ancestors come from Italy?

Do you wonder who your first Italian ancestor was and when he or she left Italy and arrived in Canada? Are you curious about your family’s Italian heritage?

If so, the LAC website is a great place to begin your research. For instance, you will find a page specific to genealogical research for the Italians. It provides you with historical background, LAC‘s archival collections and published material, as well as links to other websites and institutions.

If your ancestor came to Canada between 1865 and 1935, you might find his or her name on passenger lists.

Tip:

Tracing your Italian ancestor in Canada is the first step. Joining a genealogical society is an ideal way to begin your genealogy research.

Questions or comments? We would love to hear from you!

Did Your Ancestors Come From the Netherlands (Holland)?

Do you wonder who your first Dutch ancestor was and when he or she left the Netherlands and arrived in Canada? Are you curious about your family’s Dutch heritage?

You will find on our website a specific page about genealogical research for the Dutch. It provides historical background, main LAC archival collections and published material and links to other websites and institutions.

If your Dutch ancestor came to Canada before 1865, a good starting point would be to consult the three following databases:

If your ancestor came between 1865 and 1935, you might find his name on passenger lists.

Tip:

Tracing your Dutch ancestor in Canada is the first step. Joining a genealogical society is an ideal way to start your genealogy research.

Questions or comments? We would love to hear from you!

1921 Census countdown!

Census records are one of the most useful sources for genealogical research. They can help you discover when and where your ancestor was born, the occupations of a household’s members, what year an immigrant arrived in Canada and many other details.

Census returns were enumerated geographically (according to a person’s residence), not by an individual’s name. The information for each sub-district was recorded in the order in which the enumerator visited each household. Many genealogical societies and individuals transcribe and index census returns by name and make them accessible.

Our census indexes page provides you with helpful links to these indexes. Starting in 1851, a census for all of Canada was held every ten years, with the addition of a census specifically for the Prairie Provinces in 1906 and 1916.

Of course, genealogists and family historians are always eager to consult a new census and we have been receiving questions about the 1921 Census and when is it going to be available.

The 1921 Census of Canada

Census returns after 1916 are in the custody of Statistics Canada, not Library and Archives Canada. The records are closed under the Statistics Act and the Act to Amend the Statistics Act [www.parl.gc.ca/common/Bills_ls.asp?lang=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&ls=S18&source=Bills_Senate_Government]. Under the legislation, when 92 calendar years have elapsed since the taking of a census, those records will be opened for public use and transferred to Library and Archives Canada.

The 1921 Census was taken on June 1st, which means that it will be in the custody of Library and Archives Canada on June 1, 2013. Our intention is to make it available to researchers online, in the same format as previous censuses, as soon as possible after that date.

A few facts about the 1921 Census:

  • it was taken on June 1, 1921
  • it is the sixth comprehensive decennial census to be taken since the creation of the Dominion
  • there were five schedules with a total of 565 questions
  • 241 commissioners and 11,425 enumerators were employed
  • the most important growth of the population was in the prairie provinces with 47% since the 1911 Census
  • the overall population of Canada was 8,788,483 individuals

Share some of your research tips!

Questions or comments? We would love to hear from you!

UPDATE

Census of Canada, 1921 – Available to Researchers in the Next Few Weeks

Library and Archives Canada took custody of the Census of the Canadian population, 1921 from Statistics Canada, and is beginning work to make it discoverable for Canadians. Closed for 92 years under the Statistics Act to protect individuals’ private information, the census data is being indexed so it can be mined for historical and genealogical research as soon as possible.

Taken on June 1, 1921, the census contains a wealth of information available on more than 197,500 images. The almost 11,700 commissioners and enumerators recorded by hand nearly 8.8 million individuals in thousands of communities across the country. Census returns were geographically enumerated, that is to say according to a person’s residence and not by individuals’ names, in the order in which households were visited.

Information for the census was collected on the following five subjects: population; agriculture; animals, animal products, fruits not on farms; manufacturing and trading establishments; and supplemental questionnaire for persons who were blind and deaf. This represents a total of 565 questions. The population questionnaire contained only 35 questions.

Library and Archives Canada is committed to making the 1921 Census’ rich and complex information accessible and available to all Canadians, no matter where they live, in the next few weeks. Further details on the 1921 Census’ availability will be shared once they are available.

Canadians can continue to access censuses taken before 1921 through Library and Archives Canada’s Census Indexes webpage to learn more about their families and study Canada’s past. Census records are among the most often consulted resources on Library and Archives Canada’s website.

Summary of comments received in French up to September 30th, 2013

  • Many users asked when the 1921 census will be available online. LAC informed then that the official release date is June 1st, 2013. Afterwards, LAC will start the digitization of the census. The digitized images of the 1921 census were available to the public on August 7th, 2012 on the Ancestry.ca website.
  • A user asked if it will be possible to participate in the indexing process. LAC responded that multiple options were being explored.

Opa! Did Your Ancestors Come From Greece?

Do you wonder who your first Greek ancestor was and when he or she left Greece and arrived in Canada? Are you curious about your family’s Greek heritage?

If so, the LAC website is a great place to begin your research. For instance, you will find a page specific to genealogical research for the Greeks. It provides you with historical background, LAC’s archival collections and published material, as well as links to other websites and institutions.

If your ancestor came to Canada between 1865 and 1935, you might find his or her name on passenger lists.

Tip:

Tracing your Greek ancestor in Canada is the first step. Joining a genealogical society  is an ideal way to begin your genealogy research.

Questions or comments? We would love to hear from you!

Did Your Ancestors Come From Ireland (Eire)?

Do you wonder who your first Irish ancestor was and when he or she left Ireland and arrived in Canada? Are you curious about your family’s Irish heritage?

If so, the LAC website is a great place to begin your research. For instance, you will find a page specific to genealogical research for the Irish. It provides you with historical background, LAC’s archival collections and published material, as well as links to other websites and institutions.

If you know your Irish ancestor came to Canada before 1865, the following three databases are great starting points for your research:

If your ancestor came to Canada between 1865 and 1935, you might find his or her name on passenger lists.

Tip:
Tracing your Irish ancestor in Canada is the first step. Tracing your ancestor in Ireland will require more research as the county where he or she came from in Ireland might not be known. Joining a genealogical society is an ideal way to begin your genealogy research.

Don’t forget to listen to The Shamrock and the Fleur-de-Lys, our podcast about the mass immigration of Irish settlers to Quebec in the 1800s.

Questions or comments? We would love to hear from you!