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CanadaGenWebCanadian Research FAQ
FAQ - Recherche canadienne

  • Where do I start my Canadian research?
  • Où dois-je commencer mes recherches au Canada?
  • What genealogy records are available?
  • Quels sont les documents généalogiques disponibles?
  • What time periods are genealogy records available for?
  • Quelles sont les périodes de temps couvertes par les documents disponibles?
  • I have a place name but I don't know which province it's in
  • J'ai le nom d'un lieu, mais j'ignore dans quelle province il se trouve.
  • I don't live in Canada. How can I do any Canadian research outside the country?
  • Je n'habite pas au Canada. Comment puis-je effectuer des recherches au Canada lorsque je suis à extérieur du pays?
  • Canadian genealogy resources are not available in my area. What do I do?
  • Les ressources généalogiques canadiennes ne sont pas disponibles dans ma région. Que puis-je faire?
  • I need a Canadian birth / marriage / death certificate. Where do I get one?
  • J'ai besoin d'un certificat de naissance /de mariage/de décès canadien. Où puis-je me les procurer?
  • Is a U.S. born child of Canadian citizens a Canadian citizen?
  • Un enfant né aux États-Unis de citoyens canadiens est-il un citoyen canadien?
  • Where would I find passenger list for various ports?
  • Où pourrais-je trouver des listes de passagers pour divers ports?
  • Which area was considered as Western Canada during the 1830's and 1840's?
  • Quelle région considérait-on comme l'Ouest du Canada durant les années 1830 et 1840?
  • What legal document(s), if any, do you need to enter Canada?
  • De quel (s) document (s) juridiques (s) avez-vous besoin pour entrer au Canadas?
  • Also See:Voir Aussi:
  • Where To Start
  • Où commencer
  • CanadaGenWeb FAQ
  • FAQ - Site Web GenCanada
  •    
    I have a place name but I don't know which province it's in J'ai le nom d'un lieu, mais je ne sais pas dans quelle province il se trouve.
    Try one (or all!) of these links:Essayez l'un (ou tous) ces liens:
  • Canada: Canadian Geographical Names
  • Canada: Canada: Noms géographiques canadiens
  • Acadia: Acadian Place Names - Past and Present
  • Acadie: Nom de lieux acadiens - passés et présents
  • Alberta: Locations in Alberta, Canada
  • Alberta: Lieux en Alberta, Canada
  • British Columbia: British Columbia's Geographical Names
  • Colombie-Britannique: Noms géographiques Colombie-Britannique
  • Newfoundland/Labrador: Newfoundland-Labrador Place Name Changes
  • Terre-Neuve/Labrador: Lieux Changements de nom
  • Ontario: Ontario Locator
  • Ontario: Ontario Locator
  • Prince Edward Island: Placenames, Past and Present
  • Île-du-Prince-Édouard: Noms de lieux, passés et actuels
  • Prince Edward Island: Geographical Names of Prince Edward Island
  • Île-du-Prince-Édouard: Noms géographiques
  • Québec: Noms et lieux du Québec
  • Québec: Noms et lieux du Québec
  • Worldwide: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
  • Monde: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
  •    
       
    I don't live in Canada. How can I do any Canadian research outside the country? Je n'habite pas le Canada. Comment puis-je effectuer des recherches au Canada alors que je ne réside pas dans le pays?
    LDS Family History Centers are located worldwide. There you can order in Canadian research items to aid you in your search. Go to the LDS Web Site to discover the closest FHC. Église des Saints des derniers jours - (Church of latter-day saints) Il existe des centres de recherche sur l'historique des familles dans le monde entier. Vous pourrez y commander des produits de recherche canadienne qui vous aideront dans vos recherches. Visionnez le site LDS (latter-day-saints) pour trouver y trouver le Centre de recherche sur l'historique des familles le plus près de chez vous.
       
    Canadian genealogy resources are not available in my area. What do I do? Les ressources généalogiques canadiennes ne sont pas disponibles dans ma région. Que puis-je faire?
    There are several ways to get around this problem.Il existe plusieurs moyens de remédier à ce problème.
    1 - Plan a trip to the nearest place that does have what you need to research (LDS Family History Centres worldwide have, or will bring in, Canadian resources upon request) 1 - Prévoyez de visiter le lieu le plus rapproché où vous trouverez ce qu'il vous faut pour effectuer vos recherches (Latter-day-saints - Les Centres d'historique des familles ont, ou rendront disponibles sur demande, les ressources canadiennes requises.
    2 - Trade research. Find someone in Canada needing research done in your area, and help each other out. 2 - Échangez vos recherches. Trouvez une personne au Canada en quête de recherches effectuées dans votre région, et aidez-vous rciproquement.
    3 - Hire a researcher. While Canada GenWeb does not offer this service, finding a researcher should be easy enough. Just be careful! Check out their credentials and be sure to request feedback from former clients (good and bad results). Don't be afraid to "interview" them. Remember it's your money and family tree on the line, not theirs. 3 - Embauchez un chercheur. Bien que le site Web GenCanada n'offre pas ce service, il devrait être relativement aisé de trouver un chercheur. Mais, soyez prudent! Vérifiez leurs références et assurez-vous d'obtenir des réactions d'anciens clients (bons ou mauvais résultats) n'hésitez pas à les interviewer.
    4 - Spend your vacation in Canada! Visit Travel Canada for information 4 - Passez vos vacances au Canada! Visitez Voyages Canada pour obtenir des renseignements
       
       
    What genealogy records are available?Quels documents généalogiques sont disponibles?
    Each province/territory is different, it depends on the area you are searching. Canadian law does not permit the release of most "private" records until 50-100 years have passed (census, vital statistics, etc), but records prior to that time period are generally available. See the Canada GenWeb site that covers your area of research for what is available specifically in your area of research. La réponse est fonction du lieu sur lequel porte vos recherches. Chaque province est différente. Visitez le site Web de GenCanada qui couvre votre domaine de recherche.
    Passenger / Ship Lists are challenging to locate because they are not housed at a central location. Some are archived by the country where the ship originated (not where the passengers originated but the ship itself!). Some are archived by the receiving country, some are archived by the departing country.

    Library & Archives Canada has some passenger lists for the years 1865-1935. For earlier arrivals (pre-1865) you will have to rely on other immigration records. For later arrivals (post-1935) you will have to contact Citizenship & Immigration Canada.

    Canada also had two immigration stations:

  • Grosse Île - an island in the St Lawrence river that operated from 1832-1939
  • Pier 21 in Halifax, Nova Scotia - operated from 1928-1971
    Also take advantage of the Immigrant and Passenger List links offered on this site. Keep clicking long enough and you may just find the passenger list (or information on where to find it) you're looking for.

    Census Records
    The first national census enumeration occurred in 1871 and from that point forward a census was taken every ten years. Starting in 1906 the prairie provinces were enumerated every five years. In 1956 the national enumeration also became every five years (the most recent enumeration was done in May 2006).

    Due to privacy laws these census records are held by Statistics Canada for 92 years then are released to Library & Archives Canada for public viewing. The next national census (1921) will be released in 2013.

    In the chart below an x marks if a census is available for public viewing. (Note that there are regional census records for years other than those listed below - see the Canada GenWeb site that covers that area for more information.)

    Library & Archives Canada has digitized the 1851/2, 1881, 1891, 1901, 1906, 1911, and 1916 census for free viewing on their website. The 1861 census has been indexed by the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and is available for free viewing on their website. Subscribers to Ancestry have access to 1851-1916 census records.

    Other census records are being transcribed by various groups and projects both within CanadaGenWeb and by other organizations. Visit the Canada GenWeb site that covers your area of research for more information.

    earliest 1851/2 1861 1871 1881 1885 1886 1891 1901 1906 1911 1916 1921 1935 1945
    Acadia 1671-1753
    Alberta x x x x x x
    British Columbia x x x x x
    Manitoba 1849 x x x x x x x
    New Brunswick 1840 x x x x x x x
    Newfoundland 1836 1845 1869 1884 x x x x x
    Nova Scotia 1752 x x x x x x x
    Northwest Territories x x x x x
    Ontario 1796 x x x x x x x
    Prince Edward Island 1841 x x x x x x
    Québec 1666 x x x x x x x
    Saskatchewan x x x x x x
    Yukon x x

    Dates of Enumeration:
    1851/2: 12 Jan 1852
    1861: 14 Jan 1861
    1871: 2 Apr 1871
    1881: 4 Apr 1881
    1891: 6 Apr 1891
    1901: 31 Mar 1901
    1906: 24 Jun 1906
    1911: 1 Jun 1911
    1916: 1 Jun 1916
    1921: ?
    1926: ?
    1931: ?
    1936: ?
    1941: 2 Jun 1941
    1946: ?
    1951: ?
    1956: ?
    1961: ?
    1966: ?
    1971: 1 Jun 1971
    1976: ?
    1981: ?
    1986: ?
    1991: ?
    1996: 14 May 1996
    2001: 15 May 2001
    2006: 16 May 2006

    Military Records
    In the 1800's men aged 16-60 were required to serve in the militia especially if Canada (or Britain) was involved in a conflict. Exceptions were given to the clergy and the infirm.

    Military records prior to 1914 are now public record. Information on those who served after 1914 can be obtained by the veteran himself or by their next-of-kin 20 years after the veteran's death.

    Most Canadian military records were kept by the British War Office, but copies of many are now available through Library & Archives Canada. The Canadian Virtual War Memorial is a database of Canadians & Newfoundlanders who died in service.

    Vital Statistics (Births, Marriages, Deaths)
    There are two "types" of vital statistics - those collected by the government (called civil registration) and those taken by the church. As church records vary widely depending upon religion and area this chart refers only to civil registration. (For information on church record availability see the Canada GenWeb site that covers your research area. Note that church records pre-date civil registration so if your ancestor was born prior to civil registration start looking for their church!)

    Civil registrations are cared for by the provincial and territorial governments and each has their own method of releasing these records for public viewing. Some release their registrations to the provincial archive, others retain the registrations and allow access only by request for a fee. (Usually if registrations are at the provincial archive they've been microfilmed and will also be available world-wide through Family History Centres). Registrations that are still held by the provincial government can be accessed for a fee by the person the registration was created for (i.e. your birth registration), by next-of-kin (proof required) or a legal representative.

    This chart indicates the year civil registrations are available from. YR = the number of years that must elapse before the registrations are made public (i.e. Alberta Births are available from 1889 and made public after 100 years). Availability = where you can view the registrations, either through the provincial archive or by request (usually for a fee) from the provincial government. For more information on where these registrations are available (both online & off) see the Province or Territory Canada GenWeb sites.
    Births YR Marriages YR Deaths YR Availability
    Alberta 1889+ 100 1889+ 75 1889+ 50 Prov. Gov.
    British Columbia 1872-1903 1872+ 75 1872+ 20 Prov. Archive
    Manitoba 1882+ 100 1882+ 80 1882+ 70 Prov. Gov.
    New Brunswick 1888+ 95 1888+ 50 1888+ 50 Prov. Archive
    Newfoundland 1891-1899 1891-1922 1891-1949 Prov. Archive
    Nova Scotia 1864-1877; 1908+ 100 1864-1877; 1906+ 75 1864-1877; 1908+ 50 Prov. Archive
    Northwest Territories & Nunavut 1925+ 1925+ 1925+ Terr. Gov.
    Ontario   1869+ 95 1858+ 80 1869+ 70 Prov. Archive
    Prince Edward Island 1906+ 100 1906+ 90 1906+ Prov. Gov.
    Québec 1926+ 100 1969+ 100 1926+ 100 Prov. Gov.
    Saskatchewan 1888+ 1878+ 1888+ Prov. Gov.
    Yukon 1896+ 100 1896+ 75 1896+ 75 Terr. Gov.

  • For all other records, please see the Province/Territory GenWeb sites for more information.
       
    What time periods are genealogy records available for?Quels documents généalogiques sont disponibles?
    It depends on the record and area of research. See the question directly above for a general synopsis of what's available for the most requested records but be sure to visit the Province or Territory GenWeb site for more specific information. La réponse est fonction du lieu sur lequel porte vos recherches. Chaque province est différente. Visitez le site Web de GenCanada qui couvre votre domaine de recherche.
       
    I need a Canadian birth / marriage / death certificate. Where do I get one? J'ai besoin d'un certificat de naissance /mariage / décès canadien. Où puis-je m'en procurer un?
    See the information on vital statistics above. Be aware that certificates are official documents that are based on the information provided by a registration. Certificates can only be obtained for a fee from the provincial or territorial vital records office. If seeking proof of a birth, marriage or death a registration has the exact same information as a certificate and can often be obtained for free from the provincial archives.
    For more information on vital records, see Library & Archives Canada site Pour plus de renseignements sur les données démographiques, voir le site des Archives nationales du Canada.
       
    Is a U.S. born child of Canadian citizens a Canadian citizen? Un enfant né aux États-Unis de citoyens canadiens est-il un citoyen canadien?
    From Citizenship & Immigration Canada -- In most cases, you are a Canadian citizen if you were born:
  • in Canada
  • in another country, after February 15, 1977, but had one Canadian parent.
    For more information you may telephone a Call Centre: In Montreal: (514) 496-1010; In Toronto: (416) 973-4444; In Vancouver: (604) 666-2171; For all other areas: 1-888-242-2100
  • Selon Citoyenneté et Immigration Canada -- Dans la plupart des cas. vous etes un citoyen canadien si vous etes né au Canada, dans un autre pays, après le 15 février 1977, si l'un de vos parents était canadien. Vous etes peut-etre un citoyen canadien si vous etes né à l'extérieur du pays avant le 15 février 1977, et que l'un de vos parents était un citoyen canadien. Pour plus de renseignements, vous pourriez téléphoner à un Centre d'appel: à Montréal: (514) 496-1010; à Toronto : (416) 973-4444; à Vancouver : (604) 666-2171, pour toutes les autres régions: 1-888-242-2100.
       
    Which area was considered Western Canada during the 1830's and 1840's? Quelle région était considérée comme l'Ouest du Canada durant les années 1830 et 1840?
    Ontario. From 1841-1867 Ontario was known as Canada West and the Province of Canada's western edge was the current Ontario-Michigan boundary line. De 1841-1867, l'Ontario était connue comme l'Ouest du Canada , et la ligne de l'Ouest du Canada est de nos jours la frontière entre l'Ontario et le Michigan.
       
    What legal document(s), if any, do you need to enter Canada? Quel document s) s'il y a lieu, vous faut-il pour entrer au Canada?
    A passport is needed. Please check with your local travel bureau for specifics. Il vous faut un passeport. Veuillez vérifier avec votre bureau de voyage local pour plus de précisions.
    Anglais à la traduction française faite par Guy Loubier
    CanadaGenWeb Coordinator: Sherri Pettit
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