7 Canadian Genealogy Tips

By Diane Haddad

Upper and Lower Canada, 1838, David Rumsey Map Collection

Looking for ancestors in Canada? Whether you’re a native Canadian or you’re from the United States, you’ll find guidance in our Canadian Genealogy Crash Course webinar on May 26, with professional researcher Janice Nickerson.

You can get more details on the webinar in Family Tree Shop, and in the mean time, let these Canadian family history tips tide you over.

  • In 1791, French-speaking Lower Canada was separated from English-speaking Upper Canada (these are shown in the 1838 map above). Confederation unified Canada in 1867. The Canada Act of 1982 made Canada a self-governing parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy with Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II as head of state.
  • Places are important to know because most records were created and stored locally. With 10 provinces and three territories, Canada’s borders have shifted as new administrative divisions formed. The Geographical Names of Canada database can help you figure out place name changes.
  • Starting in the 1870s, the Canadian government encouraged homesteading through land grants in the Prairie provinces of Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, attracting many Europeans and Americans. Gold rushes, railroads and lumber work attracted many Asians to western Canada.
  • Library and Archives Canada (LAC) holds federal records such as censuses, passenger lists and military records. Access searchable databases, record images and research guides in the Genealogy and Family History section of its website.

Ready to dig deeper into your Canadian roots with more tips and in-depth, expert advice? Register for our May 26 Canadian Genealogy Crash Course webinar in Family Tree Shop.