Release of an updated version of the Immigrants from China database

May is Asian Heritage Month in Canada, during which we acknowledge the long and rich history of Asian Canadians and their contributions to Canada. Asian Heritage Month also provides an opportunity for Canadians across the country to reflect on and celebrate the contributions of Canadians of Asian heritage to the growth and prosperity of Canada.

To celebrate Asian culture, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is pleased to announce the addition of references to its Immigrants from China database. It now includes references to the C.I.9 certificates issued to people of Chinese origin born in Canada and wanting to leave Canada for a limited time without losing their Canadian status. The actual records include a photograph and provide information such as the individual’s name, age and place of birth, as well as the port and date of departure, and the ship’s name.

New finding aids available online

Library and Archives Canada has begun an initiative that will see the digitization and transcription of several significant finding aids. Adding these finding aids online will help users find material much more easily. We will continue to add other finding aids throughout the year, but so far, the following finding aids have been transcribed:

Finding Aid 15-25: Colonization Company Money Scrip

After the Hudson’s Bay Company transfer of Rupert’s Land and the North-West Territories to the Dominion of Canada, a few private companies were allowed to buy land to sell it through sponsored settlement schemes.

Finding Aid 15-33: Military Bounty Land Warrants, Riel Rebellion

Officers and men who served in Manitoba during the Riel Rebellion were offered free land grants in the newly opened lands of the North-West. Members could receive scrip (money certificates) equal in value to and in lieu of the land grant.

Finding Aid 9-8: Department of Militia and Defence Pre-Confederation Records – Adjutant General’s Office, United Canada Correspondence

Letters received in the Office of the Adjutant General of Upper Canada. The correspondence relates to the appointment, promotion and retirement of officers, as well as the organization of units.

Finding Aid 9-4: Department of Militia and Defence – Adjutant General’s Office, United Canada Correspondence

Letters received by the Deputy Adjutant Generals of Canada West, Canada East and United Canada, between 1846 and 1869. The letters relate to the Active and Service Militia as well as the Sedentary (Non-Service) Militia. Some of the letters were received by the Premier of the Province of Canada from 1854 to 1856, Sir Allan MacNab.

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. In the next line, select “Any Keyword” and enter a surname, a place name, or a topic.
  4. Click on the “Submit” button.

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

The United Empire Loyalists – Finding their Records

The term “United Empire Loyalists” (often referred to as UEL) refers to the American colonists who remained loyal to the British Crown during the American Revolution, and many of which fought for Britain during that conflict. They fled the United States and settled in what are now the provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and Ontario. All the archives in these provinces hold records relating to Loyalists, some of which are searchable online.

Here are the records held at Library and Archives Canada (LAC):

Loyalists in the Maritimes – Ward Chipman Muster Master’s Office 1777-1785

These references include business records and papers relating to the Loyalists and to boundary commissions.

Land Records

Many Loyalists and their descendants submitted petitions for land for their service in the war or as compensation for lands lost during the American Revolution. Databases on this subject:

Sir Frederick Haldimand Fonds

The collection contains some provision lists and muster rolls relating mostly to Loyalists, disbanded soldiers and their families in the province of Quebec. It includes a nominal index.

Black Loyalist Refugees, 1782-1807 – Port Roseway Associates

Many black Loyalists served and were affected by the evacuation of New York which led to their resettlement in the Port Roseway, now Shelburne, Nova Scotia.

British Headquarters papers

The records known as the Carleton Papers or the American Manuscripts contain lists of refugees in New York, lists of persons who were evacuated from New York, lists of refugees from Massachusetts and Rhode Island who were evacuated through the port of New York and numerous references to Port Roseway in Nova Scotia.

British military and naval series

These records cover the period from the American Revolution to the mid-1800s. The nominal/subject card index (provide a brief description of the document, date, C Series volume number and a page number)

Also discover:

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!