Do you have Canadian ancestors? Here are some key steps and sources for beginning research in Canada or its provinces.
- If all you know is that your ancestor came from Canada, search the Canadian censuses. The indexed censuses are available for the years 1851-1916 on FamilySearch.org in the “Historical Records” section, and on Ancestry.com. Earlier census years will be available in the future.
- If you believe your ancestor came from another country to Canada, there are two places to search. First, search the Canadian Passenger List, indexed 1865-1935, at Ancestry.com. Second, search the Canadian Naturalization, 1915-1951 (non-British ancestors only, up to 1947) at the Library of Canada website.
If all you know is that your ancestor came from a certain province in Canada, here are your first steps:
- Search the Canadian censuses, as described above.
- Search www.familysearch.org, Historical Records section (records from seven provinces currently are included in this collection). Recheck this site regularly, because new records are being added to the website all the time.
- Search GENWEB Canada for your province of interest. In your search engine (Google, Firefox, etc.) search for “genweb Canada” You will see each of the provinces listed on the left column on the web page. Or, you can search for “genweb (name of province)”
- Search individual provincial source(s).
In Part 2 of this article, I will discuss what I believe are the key research sources for each of the Canadian provinces.
Good luck with your Canadian research!