Medical Personnel

Was your ancestor a doctor, nurse, coroner or other type of medical worker? Find out what resources might be available relating to their employment.

Resources at Library and Archives Canada

Pre-Confederation sources

Library and Archives Canada holds the following series relating to medical licences and applications made before 1867. Some of these records are indexed on David Crawford’s website.  See Other resources.

  • Applications for Medical Licences from 1788 to 1848 in Quebec, Lower Canada, Canada East (RG 4 B28)

    These records are arranged by date; they are not indexed by name. They are available on the following two microfilm reels, which are digitized on Héritage:

    RG 4 B28, volume 47, 1788 to 1811, pages 1 to 296, microfilm H-1733

    RG 4 B28, volume 48, 1811 to 1816, pages 297 to 557, microfilm H-1733

    RG 4 B28, volume 49, 1817 to 1821, pages 558 to 860, microfilm H-1733

    RG 4 B28, volume 50, 1822 to 1826, pages 861 to 1132, microfilm H-1733

    RG 4 B28, volume 51, 1826 to 1829, pages 1133 to 1421, microfilm H-1733 and H-1734

    RG 4 B28, volume 52, 1830 to 1834, pages 1422 to 1696, microfilm H-1734

    RG 4 B28, volume 53, 1834 to 1837, pages 1697 to 1930, microfilm H-1734

    RG 4 B28, volume 54, 1837 to 1848, pages 1931 to 2082, microfilm H-1734

  • Court of Quarter Sessions from 1818 to 1841 in Quebec (MG8-B10, volume 1)

    Court of Quarter Sessions from 1818 to 1841 in Quebec (MG8-B10, volume 1)

    These records are typed transcripts of authorizations for licences to practice medicine in the Province of Lower Canada (Quebec). Some are transcripts of “a true copy” dated 1826, 1827, 1831, 1832 or 1837.  The applicants lived in Quebec City. The licences are in English.

    The following list provides the names and page numbers, which you will need if you want to order a copy. The records are not on microfilm or online.

    ...
    Name Type of licence
    (as written in the document)
    Year Page number(s)

    Blanchet, John

    Surgeon

    1820

    1

    Bowles, Joseph

    Chymist, Druggist and Apothicary

    1837

    24 and 25

    Brent, James

    Apothecary and Druggist

    1829

    15 and 16

    Christie, Robert Andre

    Physician, Surgeon and Manmidwife

    1837

    25 and 26

    Fortier, Octave C.

    Physic and Surgery

    1830

    17 and 18

    Hall, John Lilly

    Physic, Surgery and Midwifery

    1839

    26, 27 and 28

    Lyons, William

    Physic and Surgery

    1831

    12, 13 and 14

    Marsden, William

    Physic and Surgery

    1830

    14 and 15

    Martin, Francis Joseph

    Physic, Surgery and Midwifery

    1827

    11 and 12

    Martin, Vincent

    Physic, Surgery and Midwifery

    1832

    23 and 24

    Michaud, Alexis Thomas

    Physician, Surgeon and Manmidwife

    1833

    22 and 23

    Murray, Francis

    Medecine, Surgery and Midwifery

    1825

    7 and 8

    Nault, Jean Zephirin

    Physician, Surgeon and Manmidwife

    1835

    18 and 19

    Parent, Joseph

    Medecine and Surgery

    1820

    9 and 10

    Perrault, Charles N.

    Doctor in Medecine

    1818

    3

    Poole, Charles

    Physician, Surgeon and Manmidwife

    1835

    20 and 21

    Reece, William

    Physic and Surgery

    1823

    2

    Roberts, George

    Physic, Surgery and Midwifery

    1823

    10 and 11

    Rowler, John

    Surgeon

    1819

    8 and 9

    Scott, Montague

    Physician, Surgeon and Manmidwife

    1836

    21 and 22

    Seguin, François Jacques

    Physic and Surgery

    1822

    16 and 17

    Sims, Lindsay

    Ship’s Surgeon HMS MUTINE

    1826

    5 and 6

    Tessier, François-Xavier

    Physic and Surgery

    1826

    4

    Whitelaw, John

    Physic and Surgery

    1826

    6 and 7

    Wolff, James Fitzgerald

    Physic, Surgery and Midwifery

    1841

    28 and 29

  • Medical Board Certificates and Reports, Upper Canada (Ontario), 1819 to 1854 (RG 5 B9)

    These records have been indexed by name in the General Index. If you find a reference, it will give the page number(s). The following list provides the corresponding volume number, which you will need if you want to order a copy. The actual records are not on microfilm or online.

    RG 5 B9, volume 61, 1819 to 1828, pages 1 to 226

    RG 5 B9, volume 62, 1829 to 1834, pages 227 to 605

    RG 5 B9, volume 63, 1835 to 1846, pages 606 to 941

    RG 5 B9, volume 64, 1846 to 1848, pages 942 to 1006

    RG 5 B9, volume 65, 1849 to 1850, pages 1007 to 1011

    RG 5 B9, volume 66, 1851, pages 1012 to 1060

    RG 5 B9, volume 67, 1852 to 1853, pages 1061 to 1148

    RG 5 B9, volume 68, 1854, pages 1149 to 1191

  • Register of Medical Licences Issued, Upper and Lower Canada (Ontario and Quebec), 1819 to 1867 (RG 68)

    This register indicates only names and the date of licences issued. The register is arranged by surname:

    RG68, Register Medical Licences, microfilm C-3947

  • Registers of Licences for Surgery and Midwifery, Canada West (Ontario), 1866 to 1867 (RG 68)

    Copies of licences issued for the practice of physic surgery and midwifery. Each certificate includes name, date and place:

    RG68, Liber Canada LT, microfilm C-3908

  • Register of Coroners of Upper Canada (Ontario), 1800 to 1867 (RG 68)

    Commissions granted to coroners, which indicate name, date and place. At the front of each register there is an index arranged geographically by county and city:

    RG68, Liber Canada HR, 1800 to 1866, microfilm C-3908

    RG68, Liber Canada LE, 1866 to 1867, microfilm C-3908

First World War sources

Personnel Records of the First World War (includes the files of doctors and nurses who served with the Canadian Expeditionary Force)

The Call to Duty: Canada's Nursing Sisters (includes archival resources, links and some biographies)

Other archival sources

If a doctor or other medical worker donated their personal papers to Library and Archives Canada, the collection will be described in Archives Search. Select “Textual material” to limit your search and use a name as keywords.

External links to other institutions

Each province and territory has self-regulatory bodies established by legislation to regulate and license physicians and nurses. Lists of those authorities can be found on the following websites:

Some boards and colleges have transferred their older records to the relevant Provincial or Territorial Archives.

Some university archives hold records relating to doctors and nurses who trained there. See: ArchivesCanada.ca list by name of university

Other resources

David Crawford, McGill University Librarian Emeritus, has created a website with many resources for the history of medicine in Canada. There are links to biographies, bibliographies, and histories. There is also an alphabetical list for Medical Licences issued in Ontario and Quebec prior to 1867. Visit David Crawford’s website.

Published sources

You can use Library Search to find biographies of individuals. Use subject keywords such as medicine, biographies, physicians and a name or place.

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