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Canada > Manitoba > Manitoba History

You will need some understanding of the historical events that affected your family and the records about them. Learning about wars, governments, laws, migrations, and religious trends may help you understand political boundaries, family movements, and settlement patterns. Records of these events, such as land and military documents, may mention your family.

Your ancestors’ lives will be more interesting if you learn about the history they may have been part of. For example, in a history you might learn about the events that occurred the year your great-grandparents were married.

Contents

Timeline

Some of the significant events in the history of Manitoba include:

*1670: The Hudson’s Bay Company was given the territory which is now Manitoba.

*1682: Fur trade began with the founding of York Factory at the mouths of the Nelson and Hayes Rivers.

*1738: La Vérendrye established Fort Rouge.

*1809: Fort Gibraltar was built by the North West Company on today’s site of Winnipeg.

*1812: Scottish settlers sponsored by Lord Selkirk settled along the banks of the Red River near Fort Gibraltar.

*1813: Fort Douglas was built on the Red River.

*1816: Seven Oaks massacre of settlers occurred.

*1820: The settlement of Manitoba practically ceased for the next fifty years.

*1821: The North West and Hudson’s Bay companies were united.

*1821: The building of Fort Garry was begun.

*1869: Rupert’s Land was bought from the Hudson’s Bay Company and organized into the Northwest Territories. The problems over the terms of this transfer caused the Red River Rebellion under Louis Riel.

*1870: The Province of Manitoba was formed, comprising only the vicinity of Winnipeg.

*1873: Winnipeg was incorporated as a city.

*1877: The University of Manitoba was founded.

*1881: The original province was enlarged, comprising the southern portion of today’s Manitoba.

*1885: Northwest Rebellion occurred.

*1886: Canadian Pacific Railway’s main line reached Manitoba.

*late 1800s– early1900s Manitoba’s population grew due to the flood of settlers from Ontario, the British Isles, the Ukraine, Germany, Iceland, and other countries

*1912: The Province of Manitoba was enlarged to its present boundaries.

Historical Sources

These are two of many historical sources:

  • A Short History of Canada [1]
  • The Atlantic Provinces: The Emergence of Colonial Society, 1712–1857 [2] )

The Family History Library has some published national, provincial, and local histories. See the Locality Search of the Family History Library Catalog Surname Search under:

CANADA - HISTORY [PROVINCE] - HISTORY
[PROVINCE], [COUNTY] - HISTORY
[PROVINCE], [COUNTY], [CITY] - HISTORY
[PROVINCE], [CITY] - HISTORY

Canadian Sources

Encyclopedias also include excellent articles on the history of Canada. Many books and articles on Canadian history are listed in these annotated bibliographies:

  • A Reader's Guide to Canadian History. I. Beginnings to Confederation. [3]
  • A Reader's Guide to Canadian History. II. Confederation to the Present. [4]

Local Histories

Local histories are some of the most valuable sources for family history research. They describe the settlement of the area and the founding of churches, schools, and businesses. You can also find lists of early settlers, soldiers, and civil officials. Even if your ancestor is not listed, information on other relatives may provide important clues for locating your ancestor. A local history may also suggest other records to search.

Published histories of towns, counties, districts or other municipalities, and provinces often contain accounts of families. Many district, county, and town histories include sections or volumes of biographical information. These may give information on as many as half of the families in the area. A county history is also the best source of information about a county’s origin.

The Family History Library has about 300 district histories from the Prairie Provinces and fewer township and county histories from the rest of Canada. Similar histories are often at major Canadian public and university libraries and archives.

Bibliographies that list histories for some provinces are in the Locality Search of the Family History Library Catalog under:

[PROVINCE] - BIBLIOGRAPHY
[PROVINCE] - HISTORY - BIBLIOGRAPHY

In the late 1800s and the early 1900s, Manitoba’s population grew due to the flood of settlers from Ontario, the British Isles, the Ukraine, Germany, Iceland, and other countries.

Boundary Changes

Manitoba, Canada, Boundary Changes and Maps

Sources

  1. Morton, Desmond. A Short History of Canada. Edmonton: Hurtig Publishers, 1983. FHL book 971 H2md.)
  2. MacNutt, W. S. The Atlantic Provinces: The Emergence of Colonial Society, 1712–1857. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1965. (FHL book 971.5 H2mws.)
  3. Muise, D. A., ed. A Reader's Guide to Canadian History. I. Beginnings to Confederation. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1982. (FHL book 971 H23r v. 1)
  4. Granatstein, J. L., and Paul Stevens, eds. A Reader's Guide to Canadian History. II. Confederation to the Present. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1982. (FHL book 971 H23r v. 2)

 

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