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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 Research: Manitoba Ancestors by Laura Hanowski. The Institute offers over 200 comprehensive genealogy courses for a fee ($).
Border Crossing Records
Border Crossing Records 1908-1919
Border Crossing Records for the official ports of entry from the United States began to be kept in 1908. The early lists were primarily for those crossing on trains rather than by road or on foot. They are arranged by port, year, month and day of arrival. The forms during this time asked for name, age, sex, occupation, country of birth, country of citizenship, place coming from and going to, how much money he or she had and remarks. Lists of those who were rejected are scattered throughout the records. The ports in Manitoba are Bannerman, Snowflake, Killarney, Mowbray, Morden, Haskett, Gretna and Emerson. Check a map to find which railroad lines crossed the border at each port of entry to see where your ancestor likely crossed.
There are no indexes for these records. Check the finding aid Ships Passenger Lists and Border Entry Lists 1865-1919 or the Immigration section on the Library and Archives Canada website for the microfilm numbers. The microfilm may be borrowed through interlibrary loan. Copies of the passenger lists are also found in the Family History Library and are available through FamilySearch Centers. Dave Obee lists which records are found on each microfilm in Destination Canada: A Guide to 20th Century Immigration Records.
- Andrea, Christopher. Lines of Country: An Atlas of Railway and Waterway History in Canada. Erin, Ontario: Boston Mills Press, 1997.
- Aitken, Kenneth G. “Records of the American Invasion: Canadian Border Entry Records for People Entering Manitoba.”Generations. The Journal of the Manitoba Genealogical Society 18 (September 1993).
- Obee, Dave, compiler. Destination Canada: A Guide to 20th Century Immigration Records. Victoria: British Columbia, 2004.
Border Crossing Records 1919-1825
From January 1919 to 31 December 1924 individual forms referred to as Form 30 were used for each immigrant or family crossing the United States border into Canada. Questions include port, date of entry, name, age, occupation, birth place, race, citizenship, religion, last permanent address, destination, amount of money they have, name of nearest relative, friend or employer in their country of origin and where they are destined. In Destination Canada: A Guide to 20th Century Immigration Records Dave Obee lists which names appear on which microfilms for Form 30 which was used between 1919-1924. Microfilm T-15345 lists those who were refused entry.
- In some cases the names of dependent children were included with the head of household rather than on a separate form.
- The records are arranged in quasi-alphabetical order. For example: Ada, Adc and Add are interfiled but in order by given name.
- The port information precedes the fact sheet.
- The original records were destroyed after they were microfilmed.
- Not everyone who came to Canada is included because not all crossed and registered at the official ports of entry when the port was open.
- If one or both parents were born in Canada or had previously resided in Canada they were considered to be a Returning Canadian rather than an immigrant.
Border Crossing Records 1925-1935
In 1925 the long form was reinstated but used the same questions used on Form 30. The returns are arranged by month and port.
- a nominal index exists but is closed to the public, however, it can be checked by LAC staff if sufficient information is provided
- the letter “C” is indexed as a pilot project and available on Library and Archives Canada
- January-March 1925 is not indexed as many individual forms were still used
- Be sure to check that the film information provided on the database matches the film information in the reference section. If it doesn’t be sure to order the film listed in the reference section.
Post 1935 Border Crossing Records
Post 1935 Border Crossing Records are available only to those who qualify by filling out the Freedom of Information form.
Information in this Wiki page is excerpted from the online course Research: Manitoba Ancestors 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.