Resources: Canada

Please note this page is a work-in-progress. The addition of relevant links will be ongoing. If you know of a website that may be of use to others, please email us the link, here. Thank you!

Acadian Archives acadiennes: Manuscripts and documents pertaining to the history and culture of the Franco-Americans and Acadians of the Upper St John Valley.

Archives Canada: A gateway to the archival resources found in over 800 repositories across Canada; searchable catalogue, online exhibits, online digital projects, provincial networks, resources, etc. [Note: contains broken links.]

Canadian Headstone Photo Project: Volunteer-based submissions that capture digital images of headstones with an accompanying transcription.

Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization Data Extraction Project: The Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization (CMBoC) of Rosthern, Saskatchewan created a registration form for each family that came to Canada under its auspices between 1923 to 1930. In the end, this meant 6,000 households of 20,201 individuals. The forms were cross-referenced to the ledger books which recorded the transportation debt, which the CMBoC owed to Canadian Pacific Railway.

Canadian War Brides: Contains much anecdotal information with links to overseas sites. [Most of the factual data will be found through Library and Archives Canada.]

Census, Library and Archives Canada: An invaluable source of information as they often include the age, occupation, ethnic origin, religious denomination and the place of birth for the persons listed; begins with the 1825 Census of Lower Canada.

Centre du patrimoine: Collections document the francophone presence in Western Canada beginning in the 1730s; includes archives of religious institutions such as the Archdiocese of St. Boniface which originated the first Catholic mission in the West (1818) and religious congregations of men and women who have worked in the North-West since the 19th century.

Ellis Island Passenger Database: Contains the passenger lists of more than 51 million immigrants, passengers, and crew members who came through Ellis Island and the Port of New York from 1892 to 1957. The expansion of this database is ongoing and all records from 1925 through 1957 will be searchable by early 2015. [Technically a U.S. website but many Canadian immigrants landed in New York, then proceeded to Canada.]

Employment, Library and Archives Canada: Information gathered from the Census, archival payroll ledgers, etc. in the following categories: clergy, fur trade, medical personnel, merchant marine, Northwest Mounted Police, pensions, police, private companies, public service, railways, teachers and students.

Ethnic and Cultural Groups, Library and Archives Canada: Background information, photos, textual materials, etc. for over 2 dozen ethnic groups represented in the immigration records.

First Nations, Library and Archives Canada: Variety of resources including the following databases: Indian Affairs Annual Reports, 1864-1990; Indian Reserves – Western Canada and Treaties, Surrenders and Agreements.

For Posterity’s Sake: Dedicated to those who served in the Royal Canadian Navy and the ships in which they served; includes an index of ships, fleet photos, the WWII Merchant Marine, trade badges, shore stations and dozens of other subject area links.

Forces War Records: The sister site of Forces Reunited, the leading British military community on the web with more than one million members. [Many British soldiers received land grants in Canada after WWI.]

Google Newspapers: Newspapers from as far back as 1752 but note there are search limitations. Click on Archive Search Help on the right side of the search bar and read through the relevant Help pages. [This will save time.]

HBC Heritage: Hudson’s Bay Company history, corporate collections, outreach and learning; includes an oral history project with audio / transcripts.

Hudson’s Bay Company Archives: Include HBC servants’ contracts, engagement registers and personnel files.

Immigration, Library and Archives Canada: Includes immigration records and guides, travel guides, passenger lists, letters, diaries, journals, memoirs, newspapers (some ethnic titles), maps, art, photographs, music and film in three categories: Immigration Records, Citizenship and Naturalization Records and Immigration History: Ethnic and Cultural Groups.

Inuit, Library and Archives Canada: Includes the Project Naming database.

JewishGen: A free, easy-to-use genealogy website featuring thousands of databases, research tools, and other resources to help those with Jewish ancestry research and find family members.

Land Records, Library and Archives Canada: Land records prior to 1867 were returned to Britain upon Confederation except for Upper and Lower Canada (Ontario and Quebec) which were retained by the Government of Canada. With the acquisition of Rupert’s Land in 1869, western lands came under federal control. Land records prior to 1930, were retained by the Federal Government except for homestead applications which were transferred to the provincial archives.

Library and Archives Canada: Links to collection databases, digitized microforms, electronic collections, open data, research aids, thematic guides and virtual exhibitions.

Memory Project: Chronicles Canada’s participation in the military arena, from the First World War to the modern era; a collection of oral interviews, and digitized artifacts and memorabilia that tells the stories of service and sacrifice of Canadians, as recalled by those who lived through them.

Mennonite Archival Image Database: (MAID) is the work of seven Mennonite archives across the country: one each in Alberta, B.C., Saskatchewan, and Ontario and three in Manitoba. There are 80,000 photos with descriptions in the database, but at this point, only 10,000 of the photos are scanned and available online. [Scanning is an ongoing process.]

Métis, Library and Archives Canada: Resources include the Métis Scrip Records database.

Métis Ancestry, Centre du patrimoine: Provides proof that the applicant has an ancestor that has been identified as Métis through official documentation such as census records (1870, 1901, 1911), scrip or land grant documents (including the affidavit or the index, etc.), or other official documents such as church records (parish registers or other).

Military Heritage, Library and Archives Canada: Records of the Canadian men and women who have served their country in the military and in the early years of the North West Mounted Police. Records relate to Loyalists, the War of 1812, the Rebellions, the South African War, the First World War and the Second World War, many of which are featured in databases, research guides and virtual exhibitions. The records include muster rolls, military service files, unit war diaries, medal registers, photographic collections, documentary art and posters, as well as published sources.

National Archives: A list-in-progress of National Archives’ websites around the world from Wikipedia.

New York City and the Historical Ellis Island: Begins with the history of Ellis Island and its importance to immigration; moves on to genealogy in general and the Ellis Island records; finishes up with tips on passenger searches, and links to additional Ellis Island information. [Technically a U.S. website but many Canadian immigrants landed in New York, then proceeded to Canada.]

RCMP Graves: Consists of over 400 web pages and over 2000 blog entries which focus on Canadian history through stories and photographs of deceased members of the RCMP.

Vital Statistics, Library and Archives Canada: Includes church records and indexes for baptisms, marriages and burials until the late 1800s and early 1900s when provincial and territorial governments introduced the civil registration of births, marriages and deaths. [Therefore, records at this site are limited; check provincial websites.]

Voyageurs Contracts Database, Centre du patrimoine: Includes data from approximately 35,900 fur trade contracts of men of the Montreal fur trade, signed in front of Montreal notaries between 1714 and 1830. Information includes: family names, parishes of origin, hiring company, length of contract, destination(s), advances and wages, supplies, conditions of hire, the name of the notary, date of signing, and miscellaneous notes.