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The original content for this article was contributed by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies in June 2012. It is an excerpt from their course Canadian:Immigration Records by Patricia McGregor, PLCGS. The Institute offers over 200 comprehensive genealogy courses for a fee ($).
After winning the war with France, Britain again found itself at war, this time with the 13 Colonies. Hostilities related to the American War of Independence saw 40-50,000 refugees come north between 1775 and 1784. Some were citizens who sided with the British, some actually fought with the British against the Americans and some were black slaves who left their American owners in support of the British and were given their freedom in the new land. These United Empire Loyalists will be further discussed in a later module.
John Graves Simcoe, first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada (1791-96) recognized the need for settlers particularly along the border with the United States and let it be known that all Americans loyal to the British Crown were welcome. All newcomers had to swear an oath of allegiance before they could acquire Crown land, this in turn helped to ensure some protection for the Canadas from the republican thinking Americans to the south. After the war of 1812-14, immigrants from Great Britain were the preferred settlers. This preference continued well into the 20th century. We will discuss in future modules a variety of schemes established to attract settlers.
The first government official to deal directly with immigration was appointed in 1828. The British government sent an emigration agent to Quebec to function as a travellers’ aid officer for arriving settlers. This office eventually became head of a network of agents. After 1854, the cost was assumed by the government of the colony of Canada. At this time the preferred settlers were farmers and the vast majority settled in what would become Ontario—it being predominantly English-speaking and resembling Britain culturally.
Information in this Wiki page is excerpted from the online course Canadian: Immigration Records offered by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. To learn more about this course or other courses available from the Institute, see our website. We can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
We welcome updates and additions to this Wiki page.
- This page was last modified on 4 April 2013, at 15:25.
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