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!

The Home Children (part three) — Harold Mornington

The second article in this series of three explains how to find information about one of the British home children, Edward Brignall, who served in the Canadian Armed Forces during the First World War. This third article looks at another home child, Harold Mornington, who served in the British Army in the Second World War.

As with Edward Brignall, the process begins with a search of our main online resource on Home Children. Entering the family name Mornington and the given name Harold into the database yields a single reference; it indicates that Harold was 14 years old when he left Liverpool on March 11, 1932 aboard the SS Montclare, and arrived in Halifax on March 19, 1932. He was part of the last group of 36 children sent to Canada by the Barnardo agency.

The passenger lists from 1925 to 1935 have been digitized and can be consulted online. The digital image of the list of passengers aboard the SS Montclare can be examined as well, which confirms the information found in the home children database. It also contains other information, such as the name and address of Harold’s mother, Mrs. Mornington, who lived at 16 Orlando Street, in Caldmore, Walsall, England. More information about Harold Mornington’s family history can be found by contacting the Barnardo’s Family History Service.

Beginning in the 1920s, immigration inspectors drafted Juvenile Inspection Reports when conducting periodic evaluations of children brought to Canada by different agencies. These files are available only on microfilm. A search on reel T-15424 shows that between 1932 and 1936, Harold Mornington worked for five different employers in the Ontario districts of Durham, Brant, Oxford and Hastings.

A reference found on the site of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission reveals that sometime between 1936 and the beginning of the Second World War, Harold Mornington returned to England. He joined the British Army and died on May 23, 1941, while still a member of the Royal Artillery. He was the son of William Joseph and Elizabeth Mornington.

Lastly, Harold Mornington’s military service record is kept at The National Archives in the United Kingdom.

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

Did your ancestors come from Scotland?

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

If so, our website is a great place to begin your research. For instance, you will find a page specific to genealogical research about Scots.

It provides you with historical background information, archival and published material from our collection, 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.

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

Home Children (Part II)—Edward Brignall

Today’s article is on Edward Brignall, born in England on January 11, 1898; you will learn how to obtain information on him.

The first step is to search by entering the surname Brignall in our main online resource on home children. You will notice that no results are displayed; this could be explained by the fact that in those days many surnames were transcribed phonetically.

The next step is to use the wildcard character *. We suggest that you enter Brign* in the surname field.

This search opens an item display for Edward Brignell, 10 years of age, who arrived in Canada on the SS Dominion on May 31, 1908, in the care of the Barnardo
charitable organization. Edward was part of a group of 109 girls and 219 boys. This information agrees with what we know.

The passenger lists from 1865 to 1922 have been digitized and you may consult them using our database Passenger Lists, 1865–1922. You may even examine a digitized image of the SS Dominion passenger list. Further information on Edward’s family background may be obtained by contacting the organization Barnardo’s Family History Service.

Several young English immigrants who settled in Canada served in the Canadian and British forces during both world wars; such is the case of Edward Brignall. To trace him, first search in our database Soldiers of the First World War. Just enter Brignall in
the surname field. This search generates five results, only one with the given name Edward:

Name: BRIGNALL, EDWARD
Regimental number(s): 922715
Reference: RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 1068 – 36
Date of Birth: 11/01/1898

You may consult his attestation paper online to confirm his date of birth, find out
where he lived (i.e., 75 Bennerman Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba), and learn that his next of kin, his sister, Alice Brignall, resided in Leeds, England. By consulting his record, we learn that Edward died before leaving for Europe. Also available online are the death cards of First World War veterans; Edward’s shows that he died of pneumonia on January 23, 1917, at the Winnipeg General Hospital just a few months after he enlisted.

It is also possible to search the database of the Canadian Virtual War Memorial. There
we learn that Edward was the son of Edward and Dorothy Lever Brignall, of Leeds, England, and that he was buried at the Brookside Cemetery in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Finally, remember to consult the first part of this series, entitled Home Children—Introduction.

Happy hunting!

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

Home Children—Introduction

The immigration of children from Great Britain accounts for a significant part of Canadian history. Between 1869 and the end of the 1930s, religious authorities and philanthropic organizations sent more than 100,000 poor, orphaned or abandoned children—better known as home children—to Canada, believing that they were offering them a better  chance for a healthy life. Many Canadians have an ancestor who experienced this often-misunderstood migration.

Anyone who came to Canada alone as a child was very likely one of the home children. Family members quite possibly obtained information on this from written documents or oral histories.

Library and Archives Canada has several genealogical records on home children, including passenger lists, correspondence, inspection report cards and various documents produced by different organizations that took part in the children’s transport and care.

Stay tuned for our upcoming series of articles on home children who later made their mark in Canada’s history, and on well-known people whose ancestors were home children. The series will help you discover our vast collection of genealogical resources that enable you to trace an ancestor who might have been one of the home children.

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

Did your ancestors come from Germany?

Do you want to know who your first German ancestor was and when he or she left Germany and arrived in Canada? Are you curious about your German origins?

If so, our website is a great place to begin your research. Here you will find a page dedicated to genealogical research on the Germans. This page provides you with historical information, archival documents and published material from the Library and Archives Canada collection, 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 the passenger lists.

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

Take a summer road trip and discover your ancestors

Did you head out to visit your family this summer? Whether you were attending a family reunion, a wedding or an informal get-together, the time spent with
family may have started you thinking about your family history. Did you know that you can discover exciting facts and details about your family by visiting
the Genealogy and Family History pages of the Library and Archives Canada website?

If family history research is new to you, we’re here to help

Begin your search by looking up the following Web pages and use these helpful tips when preparing your quest in family history:

Next, gather the information that you already have in your possession. An attestation paper from the First World War, a marriage certificate, even family pictures can reveal
information about your ancestors.

Talk to your family members and ask questions such as the names of the children in your parents or grandparents families. Did they come to Canada as
immigrants? If so, from which country did they originate? Passenger lists and
their list name indexes can sometimes provide surprising details about a family arriving in Canada.

Now that you have the basics, what else do you need?

A copy of the records in your possession, some writing material (whether in the form of pen and paper or a laptop computer) and a digital camera, will
assist you in documenting your discoveries. Maps of the area where your ancestor was living are also useful in your family history research. For instance,
knowing precisely where your ancestor was living in 1911 or in 1916 (for example, in what county or district) will enable you to find him or her in the Census returns, which contain information such as the profession, date of birth and the siblings living in a given household.

Are you visiting relatives in Ottawa?

If so, visit our Genealogy Services room, located at 395 Wellington Street.
Ensure successful research by watching the video Orientation Services for Clients at 395 Wellington before you
arrive.

Happy research and discoveries!

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

Did your ancestors come from the Ukraine?

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

If so, our website is a great place to begin your research. For instance, you will find a page specific to genealogical research about Ukrainians.

It provides you with historical background information, archival and published material from our collection, 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.

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

Did your ancestors come from Acadia?

Do you ever wonder who your first Acadian ancestor was and when he or she arrived in Acadia? Are you curious about your family’s Acadian 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 Acadians. It provides you with historical background information, archival and published material from our collection, as well as links to other websites and institutions.

You may begin by consulting the Parish Registers fonds, which contains transcriptions of parish registers of various Acadian parishes and from the Gaspé peninsula.

You may also consult the biographies of the 37 main Acadian families, such as “Surette” and “Poirier” [available in French only], from the Université de Moncton’s website.

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

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

  • A user mentioned that he used and will still use Library and Archives Canada’ services to document the descendants of Jacques Bourgeois and Jeanne Trahan. The results of this work is available online at http://Histoire-de-Bourgeois.ca.

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.