Friday, 14 November 2008

LAC puts Miscellaneous Immigration Index online

Many a Canadian with early immigrant, pre-1865, ancestors exploring his or her genealogy has longed for a passenger list to turn up. Mostly the search is fruitless, but Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has just launched an online database, Immigrants to Canada, containing early Canadian immigration records. Many relate to immigrants from the British Isles arriving in Quebec and Ontario.

Through this new database, formerly a card index known as the Miscellaneous Immigration Index, researchers can access references to lists of immigrants and other types of records created before 1865, such as declarations of aliens and names of some Irish orphans.

The coverage is far from complete as records were not systematically saved.

There are 23,482 entries in the database with arrivals from 1750 to 1854. The peak year is 1825; there are more than 2,000 entries for 1846 and 1847. Note that there are a few false values in the graph owing to multiple dates, or a range of dates, being given, e.g. 1793-1808.

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