Wednesday, 27 January 2016

An overlooked family history resource: bank shareholders in Canadian Sessional Papers

Commercial genealogy companies LOVE name rich sources. So do genealogists.
It's surprising then that the listings of bank shareholders in Canadian Sessional Papers haven't attracted more attention. Have you used them?
The image is the top of a page from Sessional Papers 6, Vol XVVIII, No 3, 1914 found on the open shelves at Library and Archives Canada. The heading of the table columns are name, description, post office address, number of shares and amount paid. Look down the names and find the same surname in the same location - likely members of the same family.
This listing is for the Bank of Ottawa, one of the smaller institutions, 12 pages of names and 60 names per page.
This volume has data for 26 banks with headquarters in Halifax, Hamilton, Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Quebec, Vancouver, Weyburn, Winnipeg shareholder and names listed on more than 600 pages. And that's just for 1914!


Dianne Nolin said...

The Canadian Sessional Papers are a treasure trove of records - including Insurance shareholders, fires, postmasters, Lighthouse Keepers, Canal and Railway workers, NWMP reports, prisoners, prison workers salaries, names of census takers 1906 & 1911, immigration agents and customs agents, militia, accidental deaths and suicides, ... just to name a few.

Glenn W said...

I agree with the previous comment that Sessional Papers are one of the greatest overlooked resources for family history and genealogy -- and for general knowledge of Canada. Researchers may be interested to learn that after 1916 all "sessional papers" left "unprinted" in the published editions are available at LAC. And these are another treasure trove of information! All of the "unprinted" sessional papers prior to 1916 were lost in the fire that destroyed the Parliament buildings in that year. Like federal government Orders in Council, Sessional Papers suffer from having a very un-sexy title -- in both cases, however, there is much to be mined for all of us.