Thursday, January 9, 2014

Pre-1865 Immigration to Canada

Library and Archives Canada has just issued a reminder on pre-1864 immigration to Canada -

Validating your ancestor’s arrival in Canada before 1865

“So you have searched the records, and still no trace of your ancestor? If you didn’t find your ancestor’s arrival before 1865, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has other genealogical resources that can assist in confirming an ancestor’s arrival in Canada.

Where did he or she settle?

Is he or she listed in census returns? LAC’s collection of census databases, which can be searched by a person’s name, can confirm an individual’s presence as early as 1825. Perhaps a reference exists for one of the parents (recorded as the head of the family) or for a sibling.

Many early settlers submitted petitions to obtain land where they could establish their family in Upper Canada or Lower Canada. LAC’s databases provide references to land transactions that give the person’s name, the date of the application and the county or township within a province.

Life events in records

The date of arrival in Canada can be estimated by searching birth, marriage, and death records for first occurrences such as the birth of a child to confirm the presence of the family in a location. Consult our previous blog on how to search for Birth, Marriage and Death Records.

Published sources and the genealogical community

Family histories, historical atlases and other published works can be searched in AMICUS, LAC’s online catalogue. It is also possible that your ancestor lived in a location that published a city directory.

Many genealogical societies have resources specific to where your ancestor settled. Finding aids that describe a location are valuable tools when searching for ancestors”.

Go to the Library and Archives Canada site at

In the end, it all boils down to local records at local archives, local libraries, local museums, local genealogical societies.

Just as a coincidence, I have a column on this very subject in next month’s free magazine In Depth Genealogist at .

It will appear in the February issue.

Spring workshops to be held at local library

Oakville Public Library in Oakville, Ontario will hold workshops in the coming month, starting with a workshop today. It starts at 10:00 am.

The title of the workshop will be Genealogy Resources and the talk will be given by Heather Martyn who will introduce you to Ancestry Library Edition and other library resources that will help you get started. This will be a “hands on” presentation.

It will be free, but you must register.
The second workshop will be held on February the 18th from 7:00 to 8:20 pm and the workshop will Capture Your Family Story: Book Making With Blurb

You’ll discover how easy it is to create and self-publish a book of photos and stories that your family will treasure. We’ll share examples of published books, and demonstrate how to design your own. If you can imagine it, you can make it with Blurb.

The cost will be $7.00 per class, and you must register.

The third workshop will be Movie Night! And it will be held on February 25, 2014 from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm, and the cost will be $5.00.

The movie will be Seeking Salvation: A History of the Black Church in Canada in which this documentary will profile slavery in Canada from the 1600s to the Underground Railroad in the 1800s.

Written by Oakville native Lawrence Hill, this documentary has been screened at film festivals around the world, and won numerous awards.

The last workshop will be Taking Your Irish Ancestors Back Over the Pond by Ruth Blaie who will shows you the best ways to begin researching your Irish family history in Canada and show you how to use the information to help you go back over the pond to Ireland.

It will start on March 11th, at 7:00 pm, and will cost will be $7.00 per class.

You can go to the Oakville Public Library at