Immigration Before 1865 at Library and Archives Canada Part 4

Life got in the way of blogging last week. So a week late, here is Part 4. In this post, I’m going to look at what I thought were the most interesting record sets in the collection Immigration Before 1865.

Lists of immigrants from Londonderry County, Ireland, that were contained in the original Ordnance Survey records. From various parishes to ports in Canada and the United States

If you have an Irish ancestor that emigrated from Londonderry between 1833 and 1836, I’m a little jealous. My paternal Irish ancestry comes from County Kerry (just throwing that out there for cousin bait). As an added bonus, it’s a PDF download, as opposed to hopping on over to Heritage. The downside that because it’s a PDF download, you’ll need to download the whole 55 pages. The information was taken from Ordinance survey documents. In the lists, there is the following information:

  • Name
  • Age
  • Year Emigrated
  • Townland they resided
  • Port they landed
  • Religion

The lists are divided by parish. It is almost exclusively pertaining to County Londonderry, but I did see a list for those who resided in the County Antrim part of Ballyrashane Parish. As well, there are not just Canadian ports listed. American, Australian, and UK ports are listed as well. I even found one for Jamaica. Here’s a sample page

Returns of destitute at Prescott, Ontario

This one consists of two documents from 1835. The first document gives a list of destitute people who received medical treatment during the month of August. As to be expected for the time period, the vast majority are Irish. It lists

  • Name
  • Age
  • Country of Birth
  • Disease
  • Admittance date
  • Discharge date
  • Remarks

The second document lists those who received money for transportation out of Prescott. Information includes

  • Name of Head of Household
  • How many males and females in family, broken down further into adults and children
  • How many passages paid for
  • Where going
  • Cost of passage
  • Amount of money given
  • Remarks, usually the reason for leaving Prescott

Here’s the reasons why people left the month of August

List of immigrants with capital who arrived at Kingston, Ontario

If your emigrant ancestor was more financially well off, they might be in this list from 1840. It doesn’t contain much information other than name and amount of capital. However on the bottom first page I saw this entry:

They didn’t come with money, but they came with 3 1/2 tonnes of baggage!

Department of Finance,  accounts submitted by teamsters and boat captains who provided inland transportation by wagon or boat to indigent immigrants

On the flip side, if your immigrant ancestor was indigent, then you’re probably wondering how they got inland from the various ports they landed at. This collection covering 1843 to 1854 consists of requests for payment to the government by teamsters and boat captains. It is a huge collection of over 900 images that can be downloaded as a PDF. They have made groups of images that can be downloaded as sets, so you won’t be downloading the whole collection. The documents vary widely in clarity and handwriting quality. Now I didn’t look at each individual entry obviously for this blog post. But I’ve compiled a few examples for you. This first one is for transporting immigrants from Fort Stanly to London.

The next involves transporting sick immigrants to Hospital

This one tickled me to no end. It was for taking “disorderly parsons” from the Toronto Sheds to the police station.

These last two images list those transported from Hamilton to various places from June to August 1846. The entries list head of family, and the numbers of adults and children in the family.

The LAC also has some other collections dealing with pre 1865 immigration, that aren’t included in the main collection:

And don’t forget to look at the main Passenger Lists page on the LAC. It will give you some good insights on pre 1865 immigration, as well as post 1865.

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