Naturalization Records, 1828-1850 - Upper Canada and Canada West

Settlement on Long Island on the Rideau River, Upper Canada
Source

Search: Database

The Records

In the early 1800s, many people were coming from the United States to settle in Upper Canada, later known as Canada West, now Ontario. Concerns were raised by authorities about their loyalty to the British monarchy, since most of these new settlers grew up under a republican government. The Act to Secure and Confer upon Certain Inhabitants of this Province the Civil and Political Rights of Natural Born British Subjects was passed in 1828. Under this act, alien men who had been living in Upper Canada for seven years, were expected to take an oath of allegiance before the County Registrar and thus become British subjects.

After the union of Lower and Upper Canada, a second Naturalization Act was passed in 1841. Finally, a third act was passed in 1845 that reduced the required period of residence from seven years to five years.

Library and Archives Canada holds 188 registers (RG 5 B47) that include the names of 2,967 persons naturalized between 1828 and 1850. The registers are available on microfilm reels C-15692 and C-15693. However, please note that these records are sometimes difficult to read because of the poor quality of the original documents and microfilms. The registers have been scanned and digitized images are accessible in this database.

The registers for 1828 to 1841 contain columns for the following information:

  • Name
  • Present Residence
  • Addition, degree or occupation
  • Signature
  • Date of Registry
  • Number of Entry

The registers for 1841 to 1850 contain columns for the following information:

  • Name in full
  • Residence on 10 February 1841
  • Present residence
  • Date of the expiration of the seven years residence
  • Whether the party was or was not less than sixteen years of age at the date named in the next preceding column and if he was, then the date at which he attained that age.
  • Signature
  • Date of Registry
  • Number of Registry

The Database

This database provides access to 2,967 references to the Upper Canada and Canada West Naturalization Registers held at Library and Archives Canada. Each register was consulted in order to verify the names of the person naturalized.

The content of the database entries reflects the original language used in the documents. This information was not translated. Most of the registers consist of several pages, usually including an introduction or explanatory text and the schedule of names.

Important note: Given that some of the original documents are very difficult to read, some information in the database may be incorrect and/or incomplete.

Search Screen

The search screen enables you to search by:

  • Surname
  • Given Name(s)

Note that some entries include only an initial for the given names. Try searching by surname only.

When you have entered your search terms, click on "Submit". The number of hits found will be shown at the top of the results screen.

How to Interpret the Results

Your search results will be posted as a results summary list from which you will be able to obtain an item description.

Search Results Page

The search results page displays the following fields:

  • Item Number
  • Surname
  • Given Name(s)
  • County

Click on the underlined Item Number of a person to access the Item page, which contains additional information specific to that person.

Item Page

The item page has digitized images of the actual records available in JPG format and contains the following fields:

  • Given Name(s)
  • Surname
  • Residence
  • County
  • Year
  • File Number
  • Volume
  • Microfilm Reel Number
  • Reference
  • Item Number

To suggest a correction, click on the Suggest a Correction link to access an electronic form.

To return to the Search Results page, click on the Back button of your browser in the upper left corner of your screen.

How to Obtain Copies

You can print the images or save the images on your own computer. To print a copy of a scanned image, right click on the image, select copy, then paste to your word processing software, using the Edit: Paste Special Feature: Device Independent Bitmap.

Credits

Library and Archives Canada would like to thank Sharon Bowman and Norman K. Crowder for their work on this project.