Manitoba Naturalization and Citizenship
Until 1947, British immigrants from England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland automatically became citizens of Canada. They did not need naturalization. Non-British immigrants, however, were required to make oaths of allegiance before receiving land grants. Files containing these oaths and petitions for citizenship covering the years 1817 to 1846 in Manitoba are found at the Provincial Archives.
Records created after 1917 are more detailed than earlier records and are found at:
Department of Citizenship and Immigration
Public Rights Administration
300 Slater Street, 3rd floor, section D
Ottawa, ON K1A 1L1
Telephone: 888-242-2100 (in Canada only; outside of Canada, write to the above address)
Naturalization and Citizenship
Immigrants to Canada, who were not British subjects, needed to be naturalized to obtain British citizenship in Canada. As a result thousands of people became naturalized. In western Canada those immigrants who wished to have a “free homestead” needed to be naturalized in order to receive the patent for the homestead. There were many changes to the Naturalization Act before Canada passed theCanadian Citizenship Act in 1946. Dave Obee has compiled a summary of these changes in A Finding Aid: Naturalization and Citizenship Indexes in the Canada Gazette, 1915-1951.
From 1867 to the end of 1917 one had to live in Canada for three years before they could apply for naturalization. Wives of the applicant and children under the age of 21 were included with the naturalized man. It was also necessary for those who had been born in Canada and then became citizens of another country to reapply for naturalization before they could regain their status in Canada. The applications for naturalization were heard before a local judge in each province. If the application was approved a Naturalization Certificate was issued. These certificates would be part of the family papers although some copies have been found in the homestead files.
The applications for naturalization were forwarded to the Secretary of State. They have been destroyed but there is a nominal index found at Citizenship and Immigration. This index includes the name of the person, their former nationality and country of residency, date and place where the applicant was living at the time of naturalization, the date of the naturalization and the court where it took place. Some court houses still have docket books with the lists of the “aliens” who were naturalized in their court.
Naturalization Act of 1914
Details on the application now included the names of all those people involved, the dates and places of their birth, marital status, a physical description, current address, trade or occupation. The complete file contains a Petition for Naturalization, an Affidavit Proving Petition, an Oath of Allegiance, a letter of support from a neighbour to vouch for their character and a Royal Canadian Mounted Police report. During and following the war there were restrictions for aliens from enemy countries becoming naturalized Canadians.
Beginning with theNaturalization Act of 1914 the government of Canada published the lists of those who were naturalized in the Canada Gazette, the weekly publication that reports on the activities of the government. From 1915 - to the end of March 1932 the lists were also published in the Session Papers with the Secretary of State report. From 1915-1920 the names were listed in numerical order. Beginning in 1921 the names are listed in alphabetical order. The entries in both sources listed the name of the petitioner, country of origin, place of residence in Canada, date of oath of allegiance, date of certificate, number and series. The series designation provides interesting genealogical information.
- Series A: Certificates granted to Aliens
- Series B: Certificates granted to Aliens where names of minor children are included.
- Series C: Certificates granted to Minors.
- Series D: Certificates granted to persons whose nationality as British Subjects is in doubt.
- Series E: Certificates granted to persons naturalized under prior Acts.
- Series F: Repatriations.
Starting in 1918 one had to live in Canada for 5 years before one could qualify for naturalization. One also had to be of good character, have adequate knowledge of English or French and plan to live in Canada or one of the British Commonwealth countries.
Women had to make separate applications for naturalization. Children continued to be included with their parent’s application.
A declaration of intent to be naturalized need to be filed the year before applying for naturalization.
Canadian Citizenship Act, 1946 came into effect. People who had been given British Naturalization now had to reapply to become Canadian citizens.
One needed to live in Canada before being eligible for citizenship.
1985-to the present
One needs to live in Canada five years before being eligible for citizenship.
A Finding Aid: Naturalization and Citizenship Indexes in the Canada Gazette 1915-1951, compiled by Dave Obee, list the dates published and the page number in the Canada Gazette where you will find the lists. Until June 1921 the names were listed in numerical order after that they are in alphabetical order.
- Obee, Dave, compiler.A Finding Aid: Naturalization and Citizenship Indexes in the Canada Gazette 1915-1951. Victoria, British Columbia, self-published, 1999.
- Diamond, Stanley, Donna Dinberg and Alan Greenberg. “The 1915-1932 Canadian Naturalization Index.” Avotaynu: The International Review of Jewish Genealogy XVIII (Fall 2002).
- On the Canadian Genealogy Centre website there is a database containing the names of those who were listed in the Canada Gazette from 1915-1932. This project was undertaken by the Jewish Genealogical Society of Ottawa and the Jewish Genealogical Society of Montreal. It is an on-going project.
Copies of naturalization/citizenship records should be directed to:
- Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Public Rights Administration
365 Laurier Avenue West, 15th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1L1
- Citizenship and Immigration Canada
|Applications must be submitted by a Canadian citizen or a resident in Canada on an Access to Information Request Form. There is a fee.|
- Hanowski, Laura. "Manitoba Immigration and Naturalization Records (National Institute)," National Institute for Genealogical Studies (2012), https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Manitoba_Immigration_and_Naturalization_Records_%28National_Institute%29.