Access the Records

Start by consulting Topics, Places and Ancestors Search. Each introduction page of a database contains helpful information about the records, the database and how to consult the actual records.

Once you have identified a specific item held by Library and Archives Canada, you can access it by one of the means described below.

Note that many sources are not indexed by name. Unfortunately, Library and Archives Canada does not have the staff resources to do searches for you in un-indexed records.

  • Consult the Records at a Distance
  • Consult the Records Onsite
  • Hire a Free-Lance Researcher
  • Order Copies of Documents
  • Microfilms Available in Other Institutions
  • Access Restrictions

Consult the Records at a Distance

Library and Archives Canada has undertaken a vast large-scale digitization project. Records of interest to genealogists such as census, immigration and many military records can now be viewed online. In some of our databases, entries are linked to digitized images. Many of our records are also available at:

Consult the Records Onsite

You are welcome to visit Library and Archives of Canada at 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa. Our consultants can assist you with archival and published sources. Archival records on microfilm and many genealogy reference books, are available on a self-serve basis.

Hire a Free-Lance Researcher

If you cannot visit Library and Archives Canada, and the material of interest to you is not online, you can hire a local researcher to search the records on your behalf.

Professional genealogical researchers can also be found through the following organizations.

For local research, we recommend that you contact the local genealogical society. Most offer research services for a fee or provide a list of free-lance researchers. You can also use AVITUS to find other genealogical societies.

Order Copies of Documents

If you have identified a specific page or file of interest, you can request photocopies. Note that you must provide an exact reference.

Microfilms Available in Other Institutions

Many libraries and archives hold microfilm copies of our archival records, such as census and passenger lists. A partial list is provided below. You can also consult your local library to find out if it has copies of our microfilms.

Note: BMD means births/baptisms, marriages and deaths/burials

Alberta

Institution Locality Microfilms
Calgary Public Library Calgary Census: all Canada
Passenger Lists: all ports, 1865-1918
Border Entry Lists: all ports, 1908-1918
Form 30A records, Ocean arrivals: 1919-1924
Glenbow Archives Calgary Métis records
North West Mounted Police records
Donnelly Public Library Donnelly Many Quebec sources,
including Drouin marriage indexes
Provincial Archives of Alberta Edmonton Census: all Canada
Passenger Lists: all ports, 1865-1918
Border Entry Lists: all ports, 1908-1918
Some reels for RG 76 Central Registry Files
Indian Affairs, Black series (reels relating to Alberta) (RG 10)
Métis Scrip records (RG 15)
Various Alberta church records (United, Anglican, Lutheran)
Lethbridge Public Library, Alberta Genealogical Society Lethbridge Passenger Lists: 1865-1922 (excluding Form 30A)
Border Entry Lists: 1908-1935 (excluding Form 30)
Red Deer & District Archives Red Deer Census: mostly western provinces and territories
Census: 1901 Nova Scotia
Many Alberta newspapers

British Columbia

Institution Locality Microfilms
Nanaimo LDS Family History Centre Nanaimo Some census
Loiselle marriage index
Ontario BMD indexes
Many other microfilm sources for other countries
Nanaimo Family History Society Nanaimo Passenger Lists: Quebec 1882-1910; Halifax, 1881-1904
Census: 1901 for all Canada
Cloverdale Branch, Surrey Public Library Vancouver Census: all Canada
Census: Newfoundland, 1921-1945
Passenger Lists: all ports, 1865-1935 (including Form 30A)
Border Entry Lists: all ports, 1908-1918
General Registers of Chinese Immigration
LI-RA-MA Collection, index
Upper Canada Naturalization Registers
Placide Gaudet's Notes (Acadians)
Fabien marriage index
Upper and Lower Canada Marriage Bonds
Upper and Lower Canada Land Petitions, indexes
Métis Scrip records (RG 15)
RG 8 C Series, complete index and microfilms for Loyalist muster rolls volumes
War of 1812 losses claims
Medal Registers: indexes and registers
Ontario BMD indexes
B.C. BMD indexes and records
Vancouver Public Library, Central Branch Vancouver Census: all Canada
Passenger Lists: B.C. ports only, 1905-1922
General Registers of Chinese Immigration
Ontario BMD indexes
British Columbia Archives Victoria Census: British Columbia and some microfilms for Manitoba
Passenger Lists: B.C. ports only, 1905-1919
Some Central Registry Files (RG 76) relating to Home Children, Chinese and Asian immigration
B.C. BMD indexes and records
Greater Victoria Public Library Victoria Census: almost all
Passenger Lists: Quebec and Halifax, 1865-1922

Manitoba

Institution Locality Microfilms
Heritage Centre: La Société historique de St-Boniface St. Boniface Quebec marriage indexes including Drouin and Loiselle indexes
Métis records
Manitoba church records
Archives of Manitoba Winnipeg Census: Manitoba
Passenger Lists: all ports, 1865-1918
Border Entry Lists: all ports, 1908-1918
Indian Affairs (RG 10)
Métis Scrip records (RG 15)
Winnipeg Public Library Winnipeg Census: Manitoba and Ontario

New Brunswick

Institution Locality Microfilms
Provincial Archives of New Brunswick Fredericton Census: New Brunswick
Saint John Public Library Saint John Census: New Brunswick

Nova Scotia

Institution Locality Microfilms
Nova Scotia Archives and Record Management Halifax Census: Nova Scotia
Passenger Lists: Halifax (1881-1918) and North Sydney (1906-1918)

Ontario

Institution Locality Microfilms
Hamilton Public Library Hamilton Census: Ontario
Ontario BMD indexes
Kingston Frontenac Public Library Kingston Census: Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Counties
Queen's University Library, Government Documents Department Kingston Census: all Canada
London Public Library London Census: Ontario
Passenger Lists: Quebec, 1865-1911 and Halifax, 1881-1899
Ontario BMD indexes
North Bay Public Library North Bay Census: most of 1901 for Ontario and some earlier returns for North Bay area
City of Ottawa Archives Ottawa Notre-Dame Cemetery and Beechwood Cemetery burial registers
Some Ottawa church records
Ontario BMD indexes
Wesleyan Methodist Church registers
Ottawa Public Library, Main Branch Ottawa Ontario BMD indexes
Heritage Renfrew Archives Renfrew Census: Renfrew and Pontiac Counties
St. Catharine's Public Library, Special Collections Room St. Catharine's Census: Ontario
Ontario BMD indexes
Stratford-Perth Archives Stratford Ontario BMD indexes
Census: Perth County and Huron District
Société franco-ontarienne d'histoire et de généalogie Sudbury Quebec marriage indexes
Archives of Ontario Toronto Census: Ontario
Passenger Lists: all ports, 1865-1918
Border Entry Lists: all ports. 1908-1918
Central Registry Files (RG 76) relating to Home Children, and soundex index
Upper Canada Naturalization Registers
Upper Canada Land Petitions index
Loyalist Claims for Losses (Audit Office 12 and 13)
RG 8 C Series
North York Central Library: Canadiana Department (Toronto Public Library) Toronto Census: all Canada Census: Newfoundland, 1921, 1935, 1945
Passenger Lists: all ports, 1865-1935 (including Form 30A)
Border Entry Lists: all ports, 1908-1935 (including Form 30)
RG 8 C Series, index
Upper Canada Marriage Bonds
RG 76 Central Registry Files: some home children volumes
LI-RA-MA Collection, index
Upper Canada Land Petitions Index, index
Loyalist muster rolls
Ontario BMD indexes
Drouin marriage index
Windsor Public Library Windsor Census: Ontario and Quebec
Roman Catholic church records

Prince Edward Island

Institution Locality Microfilms
Public Archives and Records Office Charlottetown Census: P.E.I.

Quebec

Institution Locality Microfilms
Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, Montreal Office Montreal Census: all Canada
Passenger Lists: all ports, 1865-1921
Border Entry Lists: all ports, 1908-1918
Lower Canada Land Petitions
Almost all Quebec parish registers up to 1940
Many Nova Scotia, Acadian and American BMD records
Ontario BMD indexes and some Ontario church records
U.S. border entry records (St. Albans lists) soundex index, 1895-1952
La Maison de la Généalogie : Société généalogique canadienne-française Montreal Almost all Quebec parish registers up to 1940
Quebec Family History Society Montreal Ontario BMD indexes
Many Quebec BMD indexes
Quebec cemetery indexes
Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, Quebec City Office Quebec City Census: Quebec
Passenger Lists: Quebec, 1865-1908
French Colonial Archives records
Société de généalogie de Québec Quebec City Almost all Quebec parish registers up to 1940

Saskatchewan

Institution Locality Microfilms
Saskatchewan Archives Board Regina Census: N.W.T. and Assiniboia, 1881, 1891, 1901; all 1906
Passenger Lists: all ports, 1865-1918
Border Entry Lists: all ports, 1908-1918
RG 15 Métis Scrip Records for N.W.T. series
Regina Public Library, Prairie History Room Regina Census: all Canada
Passenger Lists: most ports, 1865-1922
Border Entry Lists: western ports only, 1908-1918
Métis Scrip Records (RG 15)
Saskatchewan electoral lists
Saskatchewan Genealogical Society Regina Métis Scrip records for N.W.T. (RG 15)
Census of N.W.T.
Upper and Lower Canada Land Petitions, indexes
Upper and Lower Canada Marriage Bonds
Loiselle marriage index
Ontario BMD indexes
Saskatchewan Archives Board Saskatoon Census: western provinces and N.W.T.
Passenger Lists: East ports, 1865-1918
Border Entry Lists: all ports, 1908-1918
Métis Scrip Records (RG 15)
Saskatoon Public Library Saskatoon Census: all 1901 and 1906
Ontario BMD index

United States of America

Institution Locality Microfilms
Allan County Public Library Fort Wayne, Indiana Large collection of Canadian sources, including Quebec and Ontario church and census indexes

Access Restrictions

Some Government of Canada records are closed and must be reviewed under the provisions of the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. Records created by individuals or organizations may be restricted by the donor. Specific access details are noted in the references in Archives Search.

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