SS AURANIA, Halifax, 3 February 1930 Library and Archives Canada, RG 76, C 1 b, volume 1, page 214, reel T-14823
Library and Archives Canada holds passenger lists from 1865 to 1935 (Record Group 76, C 1). These lists constitute the official record of immigration to Canada in that period. Most are arranged by date and port of arrival. They include the names of all passengers: immigrants, returning Canadians, tourists, visitors and immigrants en route to the United States. They also include references to people who landed at American ports and indicated that they were proceeding directly to Canada.
A series of old nominal indexes exist for the period 1925 to 1935. They provide the volumes and page numbers on which the names of Canadian immigrants appear in the passenger lists. The indexes generally do not include the names of returning Canadians, tourists, visitors and immigrants en route to the United States. To locate those references, you must search the original passenger lists.
Library and Archives Canada also holds lists of people entering Canada from or via the United States (Record Group 76, C 5). Those border entry records cover the period 1908 to 1935. Indexes exist for the years 1925 to 1935 only.
The database provides access to more than 830,000 references to immigrants entering Canada listed in immigration records held at Library and Archives.
The content of the database entries reflects the original language used in the documents. This information was not translated.
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.
The database also includes references from our records of immigrants who entered through the Canada-US border (1925-1935) and whose surname starts with the letter C.
The search screen enables you to search by:
- Given Name(s)
- Year of Arrival
- Port of Arrival
Note that some entries include only an initial for the given names. Try searching by surname only.
You can narrow your search by including additional search terms, but keep in mind that if your request is too specific you may rule out possibilities of which you are unaware.
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
- Given name(s)
Click on the underlined Item Number of a record to access the Item page, which contains additional information specific to that record.
Important note: Due to the poor legibility of many of the indexes, some information in this database may be incorrect and/or incomplete.
- Given Name(s): The immigrant's given name as it was recorded in the index.
- Surname: The immigrant's surname as it was recorded in the index.
- Age: The person's age at the time of arrival.
- Gender: Male or female.
- Nationality: The immigrant's nationality as recorded in the index. Abbreviations were used when the original indexes were compiled in the 1920s and 1930s. Unfortunately, no key to those abbreviations has been located; however, most are self-explanatory, such as 'Ir' for Irish, 'Fi' for Finnish, etc.
- Date of Arrival: The date on which the ship landed.
- Port of Arrival: The port in Canada in which the ship landed. Note that some ships arrived at American ports and the immigrants traveled from there to their Canadian destination by train.
- Ship: The name of the ship on which the individual arrived and the shipping line. Due to problems with the coding used in the original indexes, some entries list two ships, only one of which is correct. The correct ship can be found on the actual passenger list.
- Notes: Specific notes about this entry.
- Page Number: The page number on which the immigrant's name appears.
- Volume Number: The year and volume number in which the passenger list can be found.
- Series: Part of Library and Archives Canada reference.
- Reference: This citation gives Library and Archives Canada reference and indicates whether the record is a passenger list or a record of immigrants entering through the Canada-US border.
- Microfilm: The microfilm reel on which the list appears.
How to Obtain Copies
Once you have located a reference of interest in the database, you might wish to view the actual passenger list, which contains other details such as port and date of departure, the immigrant's place of birth, the name and address of the relative, friend or employer to whom they were destined and the name and address of the nearest relative in the country from whence they came.
The passenger lists from 1925 to 1935 have all been digitized and are now available online. First note the arrival date, ship's name, volume, page and microfilm reel numbers and then consult Microform Digitization to view the actual page. You can easily print the images or save them on your own computer.
Library and Archives Canada gratefully acknowledges the contribution of the Pier 21 Society without which this project would not have been possible.