Obtaining Canadian Immigration Records #general


bud484bg@...
 

I have just gone through the 1911 Canada Census records and found
listings for four famiies I am researching, showing dates of
Immigration to Canada. These dates are necessary in order to request
immigration records.

How do I get these records?, since, the rules state that these are
available to citizens and residents of Canada only.

Have any of you dealt with this?

Your feedback will be appreciated.

Beatrice Markel
Redondo Beach, California


Alan Greenberg
 

Subject: Re: Obtaining Canadian Immigration Records
From: bud484bg@aol.com
Date: Sat, 27 Aug 2005 13:06:17 -0400

I have just gone through the 1911 Canada Census records and found
listings for four famiies I am researching, showing dates of
Immigration to Canada. These dates are necessary in order to request
immigration records.

How do I get these records?, since, the rules state that these are
available to citizens and residents of Canada only.

Have any of you dealt with this?

Your feedback will be appreciated.

Beatrice Markel
Redondo Beach, California
There seems to be some confusion regarding various Canadian
immigration records.

With few exceptions, there are only two types of records available.
Ship arrival records and naturalization records. The 1911 census
form requested both the year of arrival in Canada and the year of
naturalization.

Ship arrival records are generally not indexed. Without knowing the
port and approximate arrival date, it is virtually impossible to
locate the correct record. The main exception is for the years
1925-35 which are indexed. There is a pointer to the search engine
for these years on the JGS-Montreal home page
(http://jgs-montreal.org). There is no citizenship or residency
requirement for accessing these records. I think that the LDS Family
History Library has all of these microfilms.

Original naturalization records prior to 1915 are generally not
available - all that remains is an index card containing very
rudimentary information (equivalent to the details that you need to
supply to get the record). Naturalizations for 1915-1932 have been
indexed by the JGS-Montreal and are searchable on the Canadian
Genealogy Centre's web site. It is accessible via the JGS-Montreal
web site (the search engine is a bit cumbersome, but work is underway
to streamline this). We are just starting a new project to index the
1931-51 records. The naturalization records contain a wealth of
information, but perhaps most importantly, they usually give the port
and exact date of arrival in Canada. If arrival was through the US,
they usually also list the US arrival details. In many cases, a wife
and children were naturalized along with the father. If the
naturalization was prior to 1915, there are no original records, but
if the wife or a child later applied for a naturalization certificate
in their own name (quite common), many details of the original
application (including arrival information) are often replicated in
this later application.

These naturalization records can only be requested by Canadian
citizens or residents (they are available under the Canadian Access
to Information laws, which grant access only to those categories of
people). However, there is no requirement that the requestor be
directly related to the person naturalized. So any friend or
colleague who is Canadian or lives in Canada can make the request.
Details of how to make the request and what information is required
is also on the JGS-Montreal web site.

Note that technically naturalization records can be requested without
the index, but in practice the index provides the naturalization
certificate number which increases the likelihood of a successful request.

Alan Greenberg
JGS-Montreal
Montreal, Canada


Hilary Henkin <hilary@...>
 

Dear Beatrice,
Immigration to Canada records pre-1911 aren't restricted. They're on
microfilm, but aren't indexed at all. The films are at the Canada
National Archives, and you can probably can get your local library to
order some via inter-library loan - I did.

My local library hadn't dealt with those archives, so I had to give
them the precise forms, and walk them through it. You'll want to
choose a library with microfilm viewing machines, because you'll
probably have to look at them on-site. Details of inter-library loan
are at <http://www.collectionscanada.ca/ill/index-e.html> (Note: for
me, there was no cost - my local library covered the postage, and the
Archives doesn't charge anything.)

Also, since the films aren't indexed, you'll need to know which port,
and which date - or resign yourself to looking through many reels.

The good news is that there were far fewer ports than the US had, and
there were fewer passengers, so fewer records to review. Also, the
Canadians tracked more "places than the US - such localities as
Galicia and Bukkovina. so keep in mind exactly where your people were
from (sometimes you could read the locale easier than the names.) T
he bad news is that most of the reels I reviewed were wound
backwards, and Canadian manifests list the ship name and date on only
the first page - so you have to reel to the first page, then
backtrack if it's the right ship . . .

Hlary Henkin
Atlanta, Georgia USA

PS - Naturalization records are issued to Canadian citizens and
residents only. Records before 1916 are minimal - sometimes only an
index card - literally.


Hilary Henkin <hilary@...>
 

I have one additional thought about getting Canadian immigration data:

If your relative happened to visit the U.S., after about 1895 or so, there may be
a record when he or she crossed the border, and that record may possibly contain
the date and ship of immigration to Canada. With a specific date and/or ship,
your search for immigration recordsis made much simpler.

These records are collectively known as the St. Albans Lists, but information was
gathered by manyof the cities on the US-Canadian border, including Detroit,
Buffalo, Rochester, Niagrara Falls, and many other cities. You can search the
JewishGen Discussion group Archvies for details on these microfilms. Even if you
have a year of arrival >from the census, having more details, and/or confirming
that year, can be useful.

Perfsonally, I found that the records kept by Detroit noted only that the person
arrived in the US by railroad, but the Buffalo, NY records noted the year ship,
port, and sometimes date of Canadian arrival.

Hilary Henkin
Atlanta, GA