Immigration before 1865 at Library and Archives Canada Part 2

Last post, I gave a brief overview of the collection Immigrants Before 1865 on Library and Archives Canada. This post, I’m going to start looking at some of the record sets included that have been digitized. This post will be looking at passenger lists that have been digitized on the website Heritage.

Foreign Protestants of Lunenburg

My great grandmother Edna JOHNSON’s line descends from the Foreign Protestants who settled Lunenburg Nova Scotia. The Foreign Protestants were those of mainly German, Swiss, and French Protestant origin. They were part of an emigration scheme by the British to bring more non Catholic settlers to British North America. These new emigrants to Canada came from 1749 to 1752, well before Census records and Civil Registration. Because of this, research for their first few years depends largely on church records. It also depends on records relating to getting them to Nova Scotia, and getting them set up. This would include passenger lists, victualling lists, and some militia lists. If you’re new to researching these settlers, then I strongly advise you check out the Lunenburg County GenWeb site. They have a wealth of transcribed and extracted information.

Among the Great Britain: Colonial Office Fonds are passenger lists for a few of the ships that came over. These lists are hand written transcriptions of the original passenger lists. because these are amongst many other records in the Fond Collection, you are going to want to pay special attention to the right hand column on the LAC site

As you can see above, the particular pages you want to look at are highlighted and hyperlinked. So, one of my ancestors, Ulrich HUBLEY, came over as one of the 85 families on the Pearl. So what I did was right click on the pages so they open in a new window. And here is Ulrich Hubley, listed as Ulrick UBLEY

Lists of persons leaving various ports in the United Kingdom bound for various ports in North America

This collection covers the years 1774 and 1775. It comes from the Great Britain: Treasury Fonds, and are weekly reports of those leaving Britain for North America as a whole. So if you’re looking for an elusive American Immigrant, you may find them in here. There is some great information in these reports:

  • Port of Departure and date
  • Name
  • Age
  • Quality, Occupation, or Employment
  • Former Residence
  • Arrival Port or Place
  • Ship Name
  • Ship Master’s Name
  • Purpose for leaving

Some of the records lists the children, while others do not. What i find interesting are the reasons for embarking on the voyage. In April of 1774, many Yorkshire families left the Port of Scarborough because they were forced to leave their farms

And it wasn’t just new immigrants in these books. Here is one for 2 soldiers going to Newfoundland on furlough

Emigrants Leaving Fort William, Scotland, for Pictou, Nova Scotia, on board the ships SARAH and DOVE

This collection is not digitized on Heritage. It is actually a 27 page PDF download. If your Scottish ancestor came in this group between 1801 and 1803, you’ll want to take a look at this. The information provided is name, age if under 16 years old, occupation, and place of residence. The pages are out of order, so keep that in mind. Down the left hand side of the page is a number tally of people listed. So if you’re person is at the top or bottom of a page, make sure you find the corresponding page before and after so as not to miss any family members. Here’s an example:

If you look at the first entry on the page, you’ll see that Isobel Grant is only 1 1/2 years old. She’s obviously not travelling on her own. She’s entry 232, but the PDF page before this one covers 1-23. So I looked for the page that should fall before her page. Thankfully I didn’t have far to look, because it was actually the next page. Here’s the rest of her family:

The other passenger list collections on the site are:

  • List of Loyalists bound for Halifax on board the CLINTON (1784)
  • List of inhabitants of the Island of Guernsey who wish to emigrate to British North America (1816)
  • Immigrants from Great Britain and Ireland proceeding to Canada via New York, whose passes were signed by the British Consul (1817 to 1821)
  • Lists of persons leaving Scotland bound for Upper Canada on board the GEORGE CANNING, DAVID, EARL OF BUCKINGHAMSHIRE and COMMERCE (1821)
  • Lists of emigrants on board the KINGSTON from Liverpool to settle in Hull Township, Lower Canada (1834)

Next post, I’ll be looking at records that were generated after your immigrant ancestor arrived in Canada

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