Confederation to 1914

Important Note: Resources described on this page cover the years from 1867 to 1914. All the records described below are open; access restrictions do not apply.

British Military and Naval Records (RG8 C Series)

This series covers the period from the American Revolution to the mid-1800s. It includes a wide range of documents relating to the British Army in Canada, Loyalist regiments, the War of 1812, the Canadian militia, etc. A nominal/subject card index and the actual documents have been digitized and can be viewed online. References located in the index provide a brief description of the document, date, C Series vol. number and a page number.

Read the Introduction and Index page to find out about the records, the index and how to use the digitized microfilm.

British military and naval records (RG 8, C Series) - Introduction and index

British military and naval records (RG 8, C Series) – Digitized documents

The Militia

Militia units have existed in British North America and post-Confederation Canada for most of its history. They were formed from able-bodied men locally recruited to defend against invasion or rebellion, in support of British Regular Forces. Units were formed on a county basis, and unit officers were chosen from the local elite.

They were required to muster once a year, allowing the military authorities to calculate how many men would be available in a military emergency. Equipment was to be provided by the militiaman himself, although some training in the use of weapons might be provided.

In 1871, British garrisons in Canada were replaced by a newly formed Permanent Active Militia, at first composed of only two batteries of artillery, and later expanded to include other elements such as cavalry and infantry. These were to be supplemented by the Non-permanent Active Militia in emergencies.

Muster Rolls and Pay Lists

Except for the South African War, personnel files for the Canadian military were not created before the First World War. Earlier records consist mainly of muster rolls and pay lists, which contain little or no personal information. As most are not indexed, the regiment must be known before you can attempt a search. If you know your ancestor's place of residence, you might find references to his service in the militia rolls for that county. Most of these lists are found within our Department of Militia and Defence series (Record Group 9).

Some references to pay lists, muster rolls and other types of records, such as military correspondence, can be identified by searching the Archives Search database. Enter keywords such as a regiment, place and/or person. For the following series, enter the relevant finding aid number and keywords:

  • Permanent Forces Pay Lists, 1871-1915 (RG9 IIF8): Finding aid 9-68 and keywords such as a regiment name, for example "Royal Canadian Dragoons"
  • Volunteer Militia Pay Lists, 1855-1914 (RG 9 IIF6): Finding aid 9-70 and keywords: regiment such as a name or number, for example "16th"

The Volunteer Militia Pay Lists have been digitized and indexed on www.ancestry.ca (subscription required but available free at many libraries). On the Ancestry main page, click on the top Search button, then scroll down to the country menu and select Canada. On the Canada menu, under Military, select the database called Canada, Nominal Rolls and Paylists for the Volunteer Militia, 1857-1922.

Between 1863 and 1939, the government of Canada published annually militia lists in book format. They consist of printed lists of Canadian officers—no enlisted men are included—and note details such as name, rank, unit, dates and places of service, and dates of promotion, transfer, and possibly retirement. These printed lists have also have been digitized and indexed on www.ancestry.ca.

For other records, consult the Guide to Sources Relating to the Canadian Militia.

Registers and Lists of Officers

These registers are arranged by battalion or regiment and list the names of all militia officers with details such as rank and dates of commissions. They are not indexed by name.

Registers Date Reference
Applicants for commissions, Permanent Force 1901-1913 RG9 IIB4, vol. 29, microfilm T-6957
List of commanding officers, Active Militia, indicating tenure of command 1903 RG9 IIB4, vol. 28, microfilm T-6957
List of non-effective officers. Report for 1879 1879 RG9 IIB4, vol. 21, microfilm T-6956
Militia and civilian staff at Militia Headquarters 1867-1902 RG9 IIB4, vol. 1, microfilm T-6946
Names and addresses of all officers in receipt of copies of Militia General Orders and of departmental annual reports 1880-1888 RG9 IIB4, vol. 2, microfilm T-6946
Names and addresses of all officers in receipt of copies of Militia General Orders and of departmental annual reports 1880-1888 RG9 IIB4, vol. 3, microfilm T-6946
Officers seconded from Imperial service and officers granted temporary or local rank 1901-1902 RG9 IIB4, vol. 27, microfilm T-6957
Register D. Active Militia ca. 1868-1892 RG9 IIB4, vol. 4, microfilm T-6946
Register E. Permanent Corps and Active Militia 1892-1903 RG9 IIB4, vol. 6, microfilms T-6946 and T-6947
Register F. Permanent Corps and Active Militia 1904-1907 RG9 IIB4, vol. 7, microfilm T-6947
Register G. Infantry, 76th Regiment to 110th Regiment 1907-1921 RG9 IIB4, vol. 10, microfilms T-6950 and T-6951
Register G. Infantry, Governor General Foot Guards to 36th Regiment 1907-1921 RG9 IIB4, vol. 8, microfilms T-6947 to T-6949
Register G3. Infantry, 37th Regiment to 75th Regiment 1907-1921 RG9 IIB4, vol. 9, microfilms T-6949 and T-6950
Register H. Cavalry 1907-1921 RG9 IIB4, vol. 12, microfilms T-6952 and T-6953
Register H2. Corps of Permanent Force and the Active Militia 1907-1921 RG9 IIB4, vol. 30, microfilms T-6957 and T-6958
Register H2. Reserve Militia, Western Canada ca. 1916-1924 RG9 IIB4, vol. 31, microfilm T-6958
Register I. Artillery 1907-1921 RG9 IIB4, vol. 11, microfilms T-6951 and T-6952
Register J1. Army Medical Corps 1907-1921 RG9 IIB4, vol. 14, microfilms T-6953 and T-6954
Register of officers 1884 RG9 IIB4, vol. 5, microfilm T-6946
Register of officers, Active Militia, who have war service prior to the First World War no information RG9 IIB4, vol. 32, microfilm T-6958
Register of officers, Militia Headquarters 1898-1910 RG9 IIB4, vol. 33, microfilm T-6958
Register of service, Red River Rebellion 1870-1877 RG9 IIB4, vol. 16, microfilm T-6955
Register. Army Medical Services 1898-1908 RG9 IIB4, vol. 13, microfilm T-6953
Register. Nova Scotia Militia 1868-1871 RG9 IIB4, vol. 18, microfilm T-6956
Register. Permanent Force 1904-1920 RG9 IIB4, vol. 15, microfilms T-6954 and T-6955
Register. Reserve Militia 1869-1883 RG9 IIB4, vol. 17, microfilms T-6955 and T-6956
Register. Staff Officers and Commanding Officers, Reserve Militia 1868-1870 RG9 IIB4, vol. 19, microfilm T-6956
Register. Unattached Officers 1868-1886 RG9 IIB4, vol. 20, microfilm T-6956
Reserve of officers 1896-1903 RG9 IIB4, vol. 23, microfilm T-6956
Reserve of officers 1896-1903 RG9 IIB4, vol. 24, microfilm T-6956
Reserve of officers 1910-1922 RG9 IIB4, vol. 25, microfilms T-6956 and T-6957
Reserve of officers, unattached and special lists 1896-1909 RG9 IIB4, vol. 26, microfilm T-6957
Unemployed supernumerary list 1898-1903 RG9 IIB4, vol. 22, microfilm T-6956

Red River Rebellion, 1870

Pending the transfer of Rupert’s Land to Canada, the federal government sent survey crews to map the Red River area in 1869. The Métis became concerned about the redistribution of land to future settlers and the effect this would have on their own lands. The main Hudson Bay’s Company trading post, Upper Fort Garry, was seized by opponents and other incidents happened, requiring the presence of British and Canadian troops in August 1870.

Names of the Canadian volunteers who served during the Red River Rebellion can be found in the Red River Register of Service (RG9 IIB4, vol. 16, microfilm reel T-6955) that includes information such as name, age, occupation, residence, rank, regiment and period of service.

Those who served during the Red River Rebellion were awarded the Canada General Service Medal; references can be found in our Military Medals, Honours and Awards, 1812–1969 database. That database also includes references to those who served in the Fenian Raids (1866,1870).

North West Rebellion, 1885

The North-West Rebellion (or North-West Resistance) was a violent, five-month insurgency against the Canadian government, fought mainly by Métis militants and their Aboriginal allies in what is now Saskatchewan and Alberta. Just over 5,000 militia men from Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia were mobilized to fight the rebels.

Those who served during the North West Rebellion were awarded the North West Canada Medal; references can be found in our Military Medals, Honours and Awards, 1812–1969 database.

List of Officers and Militia Men Killed and Wounded in the North West Rebellion

The following names were recorded in the 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence (Sessional Papers of the Dominion of Canada, 1886, volume 5, no. 6). The Sessional Papers are available at some university libraries and online at Early Canadiana Online (subscription required).

Name Engagement Page
ALLEN, G.R. Batoche (9 to 12 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 36
ARMSWORTH, C. Fish Creek (1 May 1885) (1 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 20
ASSELIN, A. Fish Creek (1 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 20
BARBER Batoche (9 to 12 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 36
BARON, Ralph Batoche (9 to 12 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 36
BARTON, William Batoche (9 to 12 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 36
BLACKWOOD, A.S. Fish Creek (1 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 21
BOUCHETTE, Charles Fish Creek (1 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 21
BOWDEN, H.H. Fish Creek (1 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 21
BRISHANE Batoche (9 to 12 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 36
BROWN, E.L. Batoche (9 to 12 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 35
BRUCE, Val Fish Creek (1 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 20
BURKE, P. Cut Knife Hill (2 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 26
CAFFNEY, James T. Cut Knife Hill (2 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 26
CANIFF, M. Fish Creek (1 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 21
CANTWELL Batoche (9 to 12 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 36
CARPENTIER, N. Batoche (9 to 12 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 36
CHAMBERS, Joseph Fish Creek (1 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 21
CHRISTIE, A.E. Batoche (9 to 12 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 36
CLARKE, W. Fish Creek (1 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 21
CODE, John Fish Creek (1 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 21
COOK Batoche (9 to 12 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 36
COOK, R.S. Batoche (9 to 12 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 36
COOK, W. Fish Creek (1 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 20
COOPER, George E. Cut Knife Hill (2 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 26
COWLEY, M. Batoche (9 to 12 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 36
CUMMINGS, R. Fish Creek (1 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 21
DALEY, S.N. Batoche (9 to 12 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 36
DARCY, Baker Fish Creek (1 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 20
DAWSON Batoche (9 to 12 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 36
DOBBS, Arthur Cut Knife Hill (2 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 26
DUNN, Robert H. Fish Creek (1 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 20
EAGER Batoche (9 to 12 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 36
EMERIE, A. Fish Creek (1 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 20
ENNIS, William Fish Creek (1 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 20
ERRICKSON, Mack Batoche (9 to 12 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 36
FAIRBANK, William Batoche (9 to 12 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 36
FERGUSON, A.W. Fish Creek (1 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 20
FITCH, W. Batoche (9 to 12 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 35
FOLEY Batoche (9 to 12 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 36
FOULKES, Herbt Cut Knife Hill (2 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 26
FRASER, J.S.C. Cut Knife Hill (2 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 26
FRASER, James Batoche (9 to 12 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 35
FRENCH, John Batoche (9 to 12 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 35
GAGHAN Batoche (9 to 12 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 36
GARDEN Batoche (9 to 12 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 36
GARDNER Fish Creek (1 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 21
GILBERT, Ernest Cut Knife Hill (2 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 26
GILLIES, James Batoche (9 to 12 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 36
HALLIWELL , E.A.E. Batoche (9 to 12 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 36
HALLIWELL, John Batoche (9 to 12 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 36
HARDISTY , R.R. Batoche (9 to 12 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 35
HARRIS, E. Fish Creek (1 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 21
HARRISON, J. Fish Creek (1 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 20
HAY, William Hope Batoche (9 to 12 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 36
HISLOP, David Fish Creek (1 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 20
HUTCHINS, James Fish Creek (1 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 20
JACKES, F.R. Batoche (9 to 12 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 36
JONES, Harry Fish Creek (1 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 21
JONES, Milas Riley Fish Creek (1 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 21
JONES, R. Fish Creek (1 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 21
KEMP, C.H. Fish Creek (1 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 20
KEMP, William Batoche (9 to 12 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 36
KING, C. Fish Creek (1 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 20
KIPPEN, A.W. Batoche (9 to 12 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 35
LAIDLAW, G.E. Batoche (9 to 12 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 36
LANGERELL, W. Fish Creek (1 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 20
LANGFORD, J. Fish Creek (1 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 20
LE MAI Big Bear (28 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 44
LETHBRIDGE, J.E. Fish Creek (1 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 20
LLOYD, George E. Cut Knife Hill (2 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 26
LOWELL, E. Fish Creek (1 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 21
LOWRY, W.H.T. Cut Knife Hill (2 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 26
MACKEAND, A. Batoche (9 to 12 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 36
MANLY Batoche (9 to 12 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 36
MANOLLY, G.H. de Fish Creek (1 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 20
MARCO'ITE Big Bear (28 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 44
MARSHALL Batoche (9 to 12 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 36
MARTIN, A. Batoche (9 to 12 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 36
MASON Batoche (9 to 12 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 36
MAWHINNEY, S.W. Fish Creek (1 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 20
MCDONALD, E.J. Fish Creek (1 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 21
MCDONALD, Mr. on "The Northcote" (9 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 37
MCQUILKEN, Joseph Cut Knife Hill (2 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 26
MCREA, J. Big Bear (28 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 44
MILLSOM, H.; Batoche (9 to 12 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 36
MITCHELL Batoche (9 to 12 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 36
MOISAU, E. Fish Creek (1 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 20
MOORE, T. Batoche (9 to 12 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 35
MORTON, Thomas Cut Knife Hill (2 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 26
OSGOOD Cut Knife Hill (2 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 26
OUILLET, M. Fish Creek (1 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 20
PELLETIER, Oscar C. Cut Knife Hill (2 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 26
PERRIN Fish Creek (1 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 20
PHILLIPS, William Batoche (9 to 12 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 35
PRINGLE, Mr. on "The Northcote" (9 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 37
QUIGLEY Batoche (9 to 12 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 36
REYNOLDS, Thomas Cut Knife Hill (2 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 26
ROGERS, John Cut Knife Hill (2 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 26
SCOBEL Batoche (9 to 12 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 36
SLEIGH, R.B. Cut Knife Hill (2 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 26
SPACKMAN, A.J. Cut Knife Hill (2 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 26
STEAD Batoche (9 to 12 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 36
STEWART, Alex. Fish Creek (1 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 21
STOUT, T. Batoche (9 to 12 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 36
SWAN, J.W.C. Fish Creek (1 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 21
SWINFORD, Charles Fish Creek (1 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 20
TAYLOR, D. Fish Creek (1 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 20
THACKER, W. Fish Creek (1 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 21
THOMPSON, F.H. Fish Creek (1 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 21
TURNER, J. Fish Creek (1 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 20
VAREY, Charles A. Cut Knife Hill (2 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 26
VINEN, Mr. on "The Northcote" (9 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 37
WARD, John H. Cut Knife Hill (2 May 1885); 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 26
WATSON, Arthur J. Fish Creek (1 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 20
WATSON, F. Alex. Batoche (9 to 12 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 36
WATSON, M. John Batoche (9 to 12 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 36
WATTS, George W. Cut Knife Hill (2 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 26
WHEELER, A.O. Batoche (9 to 12 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 36
WHEELER, George Fish Creek (1 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 20
WILSON, M. Fish Creek (1 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 20
WINDER, Charles Cut Knife Hill (2 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 26
WINTER, Charles F. Cut Knife Hill (2 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 26
WOODMAN, W. Fish Creek (1 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 20
WRIGHT, William Thomas Batoche (9 to 12 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 36
YOUNG, Alex. L. Batoche (9 to 12 May 1885) 1885 Annual Report of the Department of Militia and Defence, p. 36

Published Sources

External Links to Other Institutions

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