Naturalization lists, 1915 to 1951

Do you have ancestors who were immigrants and who applied for citizenship? That process is called naturalization. The names of people who were naturalized can be found in the lists published by the Canadian government in the Canada Gazette and in the annual reports of the Secretary of State. Those lists are digitized and indexed by name in this database.

Black and white horizontal page divided in 7 columns with title on top and name of department in the right margin

Department of the Secretary of State, List of Aliens to whom Certificates of Naturalization under the Naturalization Acts, 1914-20, etc.

Credits

Library and Archives Canada gratefully acknowledges the contribution of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Montreal and its volunteers, who indexed all of the names in the lists and digitized the lists from 1933 to 1951. Without them, this project would not have been possible. Additionally, we acknowledge the support of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Ottawa, who digitized the 1915 to 1932 lists.

The lists

As required by the Naturalization Act of 1914 and later acts, the Government of Canada published lists of people naturalized from 1915 to 1951. The lists appeared in the following publications:

  • annual reports (Sessional Papers) of the Department of the Secretary of State, which was the department originally responsible for naturalization
  • the Canada Gazette, the official publication that reports weekly on the activities of the Government of Canada

Each entry in the lists usually includes the following details:

  • name
  • country of former nationality or relationship to the person being naturalized, such as wife or child
  • date that the certificate was issued or date that the oath of allegiance was taken
  • occupation
  • place of residence in Canada
  • certificate number and series
1915 to 1920

Certificates issued from 1915 to 1920 were published together in one report:

Report of the Secretary of State of Canada for the year ending March 31, 1920

The lists in that report are arranged by serial type and serial number.

Note:

These lists include the names of some people who received a certificate after 1914 but who had taken the oath of allegiance years before. For example, Charles Yasuchi Yamazaki was the owner of a Japanese newspaper in Vancouver. His certificate of naturalization was issued in 1916, but he had taken the oath of allegiance in 1894. His certificate was under the category of Series E. To find out what the series category means, see the section below on Information about the certificate series.

1921 to 1951

From 1921 to March 1932, the lists were published yearly in the Secretary of State’s annual reports.

From April 1932 to April 1951, the lists were published monthly in the Canada Gazette.

The certificates were listed alphabetically by surname. In some years, there were also supplementary lists added at the end of the main list.

After 1951

The Government of Canada stopped publishing lists of naturalization certificates after April 1951. You can find information about other records on our Citizenship and naturalization records page.

Before 1915

You can find information about earlier records on our Citizenship and naturalization records page.

Information about the certificate series

Certificates were issued based on the category of naturalization. Each certificate included a number and a letter, which indicated the series. “French” written after the certificate number meant that it was issued in French rather than English.

Series A to K

Note: “Alien” was the term used for a person who was not a British subject (before January 1, 1947) or a Canadian citizen (after January 1, 1947).

  • Series A: Certificates granted to adult aliens
  • Series B: Certificates granted to aliens with minor children included (a minor child was under the age of 18)
  • Series C: Certificates granted to minors
  • Series D: Certificates granted to persons whose nationality as British subjects was in doubt
  • Series E: Certificates granted to persons naturalized under earlier local legislation
  • Series F: Repatriation; certificates granted to persons readmitted to British subject status (no children included)
  • Series G: Repatriation; certificates granted to persons readmitted to British subject status (children included)
  • Series H: Certificates granted to married women whose husbands were naturalized
  • Series I: Certificates of retention granted to married women whose husbands had ceased to be British subjects
  • Series J: Certificates granted to married British-born women whose husbands were enemy aliens (subjects of a country at war with His Majesty)
  • Series K: Certificate granted to persons who had ceased to be British subjects during their minority (under the age of 18) because their fathers had ceased to be British subjects

There are more details about those series, in particular about how they related to wives and children. The website of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has a page about these Types of citizenship certificates.

The database

This database includes references to all of the names in the published lists, including the supplementary lists.

  • Start with a simple search. Try just a surname. If there are too many results, add a given name or country.
  • If you find a database reference, it will include a link to the digitized list. You will see the person’s name and details, including the certificate number.
  • The database does not include copies of the actual naturalization files. See How to obtain copies of records.
  • Not every name of every person naturalized between 1915 and 1951 appears in these lists. The reason is uncertain.
  • The database entries reflect the original language used in the documents. This information was not translated, except for the country of former nationality.
Search tips
  • Search for spelling variations of names using the * wildcard character, for example, Schn* for Schnider, Schneider, etc. or Ann* for Anne, Annie, Anna.
  • Consider variations of given names. As an example, for John, try Jan, Ivan, Jack, Giovanni, Juan, Johann, Jens, Janos, etc.
  • If no results appear, try searching for the names of the spouse or children.
  • The country of nationality might be different from what the country is called today. The country names are based on political boundaries as they existed at the time. For example, a place that is now in Ukraine might have been in what was then Austria or Russia.
Reasons why you might not find a name
  • To be naturalized in the period covered by the database, a person must have lived in Canada for five years.
  • Before 1947, people who were British subjects by birth did not need to be naturalized. To learn more, see our citizenship and naturalization records page under Historical background information.
  • It was not mandatory to become naturalized. Many immigrants never applied for citizenship.

How to obtain copies of records

Library and Archives Canada has these published lists only. We do not have copies of the actual documents.

The naturalization records are held by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. Visit our topics page on citizenship for more information about the records and how to request copies from that department.

Other resources

Our Citizenship and naturalization records page includes background information, useful things to know, and links to other resources and databases. There is also information about naturalization records held by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and how to request documents from that department.

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