Please enjoy this Plus Article free today as everyone here at Family Tree Magazine celebrates Drake’s birthday.
1. Canadian censuses
LAC and Ancestry.ca partnered to publish the 1921 census of Canada. LAC supplied digitized images and Ancestry.ca had them indexed. The LAC website’s link for this census will take you to Ancestry.ca. Browsing the digitized census images is free (you’ll need to register with the site), but searching requires a subscription.
2. Passenger Lists, Immigration Records and Border Entry Records
Border entry records are digitized and indexed at Ancestry.com and at Ancestry.ca. You can find the following collections by keyword-searching the card catalog (located under the Search drop down menu):
- Border Crossings: From US to Canada, 1908-1935
- Detroit Border Crossings and Passenger and Crew Lists, 1905-1963
- US, Border Crossings from Canada to US, 1895-1956
Tip: You may hear US records of border-crossers from Canada called “St. Albans lists,” because for many years the records were stored at an Immigration and Naturalization Services office in St. Albans, Vt.
3. Civil registrations
As great as the LAC website is for researching Canadian genealogy, the one type of record you won’t find there is a vital record. Records of births, marriages and deaths in Canada are called civil registrations, and are held at the provincial or territorial level (similar to states holding vital records in the United States). You can find microfilmed copies of civil registration records that have been released into the public domain at provincial archives (link to their websites from <www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/genealogy/Pages/links-related-research.aspx#d>).
4. Généalogie Québec
Collections include the LAFRANCE database of Quebec baptisms (1621-1861), marriages (1621-1915), deaths (1621-1861) and Protestant marriages (1760-1849). You’ll also find the Drouin Collection of parish records for New Brunswick, Ontario, Québec, Acadia and the USA (1621-1876); and Quebec census, cemetery and notary records.
5. Bibliothéque et Archives Nationales du Québec (BAnQ)
This provincial archives and library of Québec <www.banq.qc.ca/accueil> has 12 research facilities in the province that preserve heritage materials from or related to Québec. It also has free online offerings, including:
- the Iris catalog listing BAnQ’s holdings of genealogical dictionaries, maps, family and local monographs, and more
- le Dictionnaire Tanguay (Cyprien Tanguay’s Genealogical Dictionary of French Canadian Families)
- Quebec journals and newspapers
- civil and court records including les Archives des notaires du Québec (archives of public notaries, including guardianship and trusteeship records) from is origins to 1933
- les Registres de l’etat civil du Québec (civil registrations, including baptisms, marriages and burials) from 1900 to 1913
- Other databases include cemetery, coroner, and prison records.
You’ll notice the BAnQ website is in French. Click on the English link in the upper right corner for the translated English version. Then, in the top menu, click on Explore Our Contents. A popup window lists collections at the archives, such as Magazines, Journals and Newspapers; Heritage Collections (works relating to early Quebec history); Maps and Plans; and Government Publications. Under the heading In French Only is the link Genealogy and Family History. Clicking here takes you to the Généalogie et histoire familiale page, which is in French—but if you do all this in the Google Chrome web browser, you’ll still be able to view a translated version. Enter an ancestor’s last name (Nom in French) and first name (Prénom) in the search boxes and click the Look For button (Chercher). You can have Chrome translate your search results, but note the names of people and places in French, as Chrome will attempt to translate them into English equivalents.
6. Homestead Records
7. Peel’s Prairie Provinces
8. Records of the Great War
9. WWII Records
10. Historical newspapers
11. Early land records
Land records are an invaluable resource for researching early settlers in Quebec and Ontario. Land distribution in Quebec was originally based on the seigneurial system, whereby the King of France granted seigneuries (parcels of land) to the upper classes. A seigneur then granted parcels of land to his tenants, who were called habitants.
Library and Archives Canada has digitized these records in three collections, all searchable by the petitioner’s name:
- Land Petitions of Lower Canada, (1764-1841)
- Land Petitions of Upper Canada, 1763-1865
- Land Boards of Upper Canada, (1765-1804)