Imagine how much more challenging our family search would be if trains, planes and automobiles existed in the 1800's.
Passenger Immigration Ship Lists
Few complete lists of immigrants arriving in Canada before 1865 have survived which is quite frustrating.
Visit these sites for a possible connection to your ancestors but if you don't find your ancestor, don't despair. The year arrived and ethnic group should be listed on a census. This will help steer your search.
Obituaries often list year and country of origin as well.
At LAC, you can search by name OR year which can be useful for capturing spelling variations.
Don't forget the wild card option "*" - eg 'lil*' will return search results for all names starting with 'lil'. It's useful for capturing various spellings.
Your family's long journey may have included a ship to Quebec City, steamer to Montreal then stage coach to Toronto.
The Ships List This is a must-check-back-often site as it is constantly adding FREE new passenger lists, fleet lists, and other emigration, immigration and ship-related information. On their Home page, look down to the most recent additions section making it easy for you to check out new information.
The Ships Lists Search
A few passenger lists for arrivals to New Brunswick ports have been transcribed. Search here
The Passenger Lists are also available at the Archives of Ontario and the Toronto Reference Library in published book form and may be accessed free of charge by visiting the library or archive.
Read more about Ship Passenger List availability and how to access Archive of Ontario data here.
Naturalization Registers 1828- 1850 Before 1947, foreigners could petition for naturalization and Library and Archives Canada holds several naturalization registers for Upper Canada/Canada West (now Ontario) for the years 1828 to 1850 only, organized by year within each county. This research tool contains 3,344 references. Searchable by name and included images of original registers.
Find My Past UK has outbound records online from 1890 to 1960 search by passenger, ship or port.Index search is free but viewing the record requires a fee.