Home Children: A guide to sending organizations and receiving homes

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is pleased to announce the launch of the Guide to Sending Organizations and Receiving Homes.

This guide is an indispensable starting point for researching records about Home Children who came to Canada from the British Isles between 1869 and 1932. With this guide, you can discover what records are held at LAC and other institutions in Canada and in the British Isles. The guide also contains background information on the various organizations and useful links to websites for researching Home Children. The guide was originally compiled over many years by the genealogy staff at LAC.

Start consulting the guide now!

Launch of “War of 1812” Database

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is pleased to announce the launch of a new online database, War of 1812.

This online database allows you to access more than 45,000 references to names of people who were involved in the War of 1812. Names of Canadian men and women who served were taken from LAC’s unique and vast collection of records, including:

  • muster rolls
  • pay lists
  • claims
  • certificates of service
  • land grants
  • medal registers

Start searching the War of 1812 now!

Launch of “Carleton Papers―Book of Negroes, 1783” Database

Library and Archives Canada is pleased to announce the launch of a new online database, Carleton Papers―Book of Negroes, 1783.

This online database allows you to access close to 3,000 references to names of Black Loyalists. Names were taken from the Book of Negroes, a register containing details about Black Loyalists evacuated from the port of New York at the end of the American Revolution (1776–1783); their final destination was Nova Scotia.

Start searching the Carleton Papers—Book of Negroes now!

Launch of “Carleton Papers―Loyalists and British Soldiers, 1772–1784” Database

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is pleased to announce the launch of a new online database, Carleton Papers―Loyalists and British Soldiers, 1772–1784.

This online database allows you to access more than 54,000 references to names of Loyalists and British soldiers. Names were taken from the British Headquarters Papers, New York―also known as the Carleton Papers―which include a variety of documents about Loyalist soldiers, civilian refugees, as well as British and German soldiers who settled in Canada after the American Revolution (1776–1783).

Start searching the Loyalists and British Soldiers now!

For more information, please contact us.

Newly Digitized Microfilms on the Héritage Portal

Our project partner, Canadiana.org, recently added the following digitized microfilms to the Héritage website. Please note that the titles have been translated for convenience, but the records are still in the language of origin. Searching in the original language will improve search results.

Adjutant General Branch, Medals, 1935–1937
Alexander Whyte Wright: Knights of Labour correspondence and miscellaneous items
Andry Zhuk Collection: Newspapers, journals, serials publications and other printed material
Appendices to the Journals
Arthur Meighen: Series 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, correspondence and finding aid
Bastican Iron Works fonds Continue reading

New version of the “Home Children Records” Database

Library and Archives Canada is pleased to announce the launch of a new version of its online database, Home Children Records.

This online database has been extended to include more than 245,000 entries for British children sent to Canada between 1869 and 1932. Names have been indexed from a variety of sources, such as records from sending organizations, publications, governmental and private records.

Start searching home children records now!

Launch of “Ukrainian Immigrants, 1891–1930” Database

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is pleased to announce the launch of a new online database, Ukrainian Immigrants, 1891–1930.

This online database allows you to access more than 14,700 references to names of Ukrainians who arrived in Canada and the United States between 1891 and 1930. Names were taken from passenger lists held at LAC for the following Canadian and American ports:

  • Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • Montréal and Québec, Quebec
  • Saint John, New Brunswick
  • New York, New York
  • Portland, Maine

Names were also taken from notes about early Ukrainian settlers and pioneer families in Canada gathered by Dr. Vladimir Julian Kaye (1896–1976).

Start searching immigrants from Ukraine now!

Naturalization Records, 1915-1951 database – 2015 Update

Library and Archives Canada is pleased to announce the release of a new version of the online database Naturalization Records, 1915-1951. The nominal index has been extended with the addition of more than 68,000 names and now covers the years from 1915 to 1944, inclusively. Work is ongoing to extend the nominal index to 1951, and volunteers are welcome to help. Those interested should write to Cdn-Nat-Coord@jgs-montreal.org.

This database is one of the few Canadian genealogical resources specifically designed to benefit researchers having roots other than British. The reference numbers indicated in the database can be used to request copies of the original naturalization records, which are held by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Library and Archives Canada would like to thank the Jewish Genealogical Society of Montreal and its volunteers, without whom this project would not have happened.

Self-portraits by women artists in Library and Archives Canada’s collection

Until the beginning of the last century, official self-portraits by women artists were rare, compared to those created by men. This was, in large part, because few women worked and were recognized as professional artists during the early periods. But it is also because many self-representations created by women were in non-traditional formats—hidden within amateur sketchbooks, or private diaries… even stitched or sewn.

A few of Library and Archives Canada’s (LAC) most interesting sketched and painted examples are currently on display as part of The Artist Herself: Self-Portraits by Canadian Historical Women Artists, a new exhibition co-curated by Alicia Boutilier of the Agnes Etherington Art Centre and Tobi Bruce of the Art Gallery of Hamilton.

The exhibition deliberately expands the traditional definition of ‘self-portrait’; most of the works it showcases would not have been considered self-portraits at the time they were created.

It includes this page from the private sketchbook of Katherine Jane (Janie) Ellice (1813–1864), an accomplished amateur artist and wife of an official with the North West (fur trading) Company. Ellice used the reflection from a mirror on the wall of her ship’s cabin to capture a quick, and very private, image of herself aboard ship.

Watercolour sketch shows the artist and her sister, dressed in nightwear, reclining in a bunk of their ship’s cabin.

Mrs. Ellice and Miss Balfour reflected in the looking glass of their cabin on board the H.M.S. Hastings (MIKAN 2836908)

It also includes Canoe Manned by Voyageurs Passing a Waterfall, by Frances Anne Hopkins (1838–1919), another ‘fur-trade wife’—but one who would develop something of a professional artist career. Hopkins’ enormous voyageur-themed canvases often include representations of herself that seem almost incidental. It’s believed that she appears, in this painting, as a passenger in the canoe:

Painting shows a group of fur trade workers steering a Hudson’s Bay Company canoe past a small waterfall; the artist and her husband may be passengers seated in the middle of the canoe.

Canoe manned by voyageurs passing a waterfall (MIKAN 2894475)

These are only a few examples, from LAC’s collection, of historical self-portraits made by women. It’s worth noting that the collection also includes many others, both historical—and modern.

The Artist in her Museum was created by contemporary Métis artist Rosalie Favell in 2005.

Colour digital print shows the artist, full-length, and flanked by a mammoth, a beaver, and an artist’s palette. She draws aside a red curtain to reveal a gallery of mounted black-and-white photographs.

The Artist in her Museum, 2005. © Rosalie Favell (MIKAN 3930728)

Favell used digital technology to manipulate an iconic American self-portrait from the 19th century. By putting her own image in place of the original sitter, Favell appropriated a classic work, assigning new meanings within an older convention.

Modern self-portraits, like Favell’s, compare intriguingly with the historical self-representations showcased in The Artist Herself. Today’s more relaxed and expanded definitions of portraiture allow contemporary artists to successfully play within the genre. They also allows us to look back, with fresh eyes, on the self-representations created by women in the past.

Visit the exhibition in Kingston between May 2 and August 9, 2015. Stay tuned for further dates as the exhibition tours nationally, before closing in Hamilton during the summer of 2016.

Newly discovered Robert Hood watercolours help tell Canada’s Arctic history

On April 16, 1821, midshipman Robert Hood made the last entry in his journal. A 24-year-old British Royal Navy petty officer under the command of Captain John Franklin, Hood participated in an expedition to chart the Coppermine River as part of the search for the Northwest Passage. Hood’s final journal entry ended his descriptions of the daily activities as the group of British sailors, Canadian voyageurs, Aboriginal guides and interpreters trekked from York Factory to Cumberland House and then on to Fort Enterprise and the Coppermine River. Although the journal entries discontinued, Hood continued to note weather conditions and navigational data in other expedition volumes, and to produce at least one more visual record.

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is pleased to announce the recent purchase of four watercolours from a Hood family descendant.

Portraits of the Esquimeaux Interpreters from Churchill Employed by the North Land Expedition is likely the final surviving work of Robert Hood. Completed in May 1821, the watercolour depicts Tattannoeuck (Augustus) and Hoeootoerock (Junius).

Watercolour portraits of two young Inuit men wearing western-style clothing. One is captioned Augustus and the other, Junius.

Portraits of the Esquimaux Interpreters from Churchill Employed by the North Land Expedition, May 1821 (MIKAN 4730700)

Three other watercolours were acquired that were painted during the previous year while the expedition wintered at Cumberland House.

In January 1820, he drew a mink as it dipped a paw into the water along a rocky shore and a cross fox just as it caught a mouse in the snow.

Watercolour of a mink on a riverside dipping one of its paws into the water.

Mink, January 20, 1820 (MIKAN 4730702)

Watercolour of a fox having caught a mouse in a snowy landscape.

Cross fox catching a mouse, January 26, 1820 (MIKAN 4730703)

Two months later, Hood set out on a trek to the Pasquia Hills where he encountered a group of Cree. Invited into their tent, he recorded with extraordinary detail this watercolour, The Interior of a Southern Indian Tent [original title]. This image would be the basis of the print, Interior of a Cree Tent, which appeared in Captain John Franklin’s account, Narrative of a Journey to the Shores of the Polar Sea in the Years 1819, 20, 21 and 22.

Watercolour showing the interior of a tent. Seven people are sitting around a fire. One is a mother with a child in a cradleboard. Pelts or meat are drying on a cross beam and a pot of food is over the fire. There is a musket and a bow and arrows leaning on the side of the tent. One person is eating and another is smoking a pipe while the others appear to be listening intently.

Interior of a Southern Indian Tent [original title] (MIKAN 4730705)

Unfortunately Robert Hood would not live to see his paintings published in Franklin’s account. Plagued by horrendous weather and insufficient supplies, the expedition resorted to eating lichens to survive. By early October 1821, it was clear that Robert Hood had become too weak from hunger to continue the journey. He was left behind with two British participants, while the others set off for Fort Enterprise in search of food and supplies. One of the voyageurs, Michel Terohaute, changed his mind and left Franklin’s group, returning to the Hood camp. On October 23, 1821, while the two other men were out searching for food, Terohaute shot and killed Robert Hood. Captain John Franklin managed to retrieve Hood’s journal and watercolours, which were given to Hood’s sister and distributed among her grandchildren. LAC was fortunate to acquire these four previously unknown watercolours which document a key expedition in Canada’s Arctic history.

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