Canadian immigration records: Irish immigrants
Immigration ships. Canadian naturalisation. Immigrants from Ireland.
Quarantine Station cover only one five-year period: 1832-1837.
Which records survive?
While they date back to the 18th century, Canadian immigration records are something of a hit and miss affair because there was no requirement to either make or keep passenger and crew lists before 1865. Nor was there any uniformity of recording. So, while some surviving records are very useful, providing names, ages, places of birth and occupations for heads of household and accompanying family members, others merely record name and date of arrival of individuals.
Post 1865 the situation is much better. Canadian immigration records from this date provide plenty of great genealogy research data, and are reasonably easy to access, although sometimes only for a fee.
Where can they be accessed?Below are details of the principal access points, together with a couple of smaller genealogy sites that may be of interest. Links to these sites are in the box to the right.
Links to principal sources of Canadian immigration records
Ancestry: Having entered into an agreement with Libraries & Archives Canada, this huge subscription-based site holds a number of Canadian immigration records. The following collections are indexed, and digitised images can be viewed for a fee.
Libraries & Archives Canada (LAC): An outstanding site, crammed full of goodies for those seeking Irish ancestors and an understanding of the 19th-century Irish immigrant experience. By the summer of 2011, LAC plans to have its entire census collection indexed, digitised and available on its site.
Until 1867, when Canada became a nation and cast off its previous title of British North America, settlers from Ireland had no need to apply for Canadian naturalisation because they were British subjects.
Even after that date, and until 1947, immigrants from Britain were automatically entitled to citizenship in Canada. The island of Ireland was a part of Britain until 1922.
LDS Family Search: Everything free to search.
Other resources: There are many free online offerings of passenger lists. Those below are perhaps the most useful for finding Irish immigrants to Canada.
Find out more about Irish Canadian Immigration
Irish Genealogy News blog
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