Immigrants from the Russian Empire, 1898 to 1922

​​T​his database contains digitized files from the Likacheff-Ragosine-Mathers collection (MG30 E406).The records include genealogical information about immigrants from the Russian Empire who contacted the Russian consular offices in Canada for documents or services. The Russian Empire included areas that are now Ukraine, eastern Poland, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and other eastern European regions.

Search the database

  • Go to Collection Search and click on “Advanced Search”
  • In “All these words,” enter a last name (with or without a first name) or a keyword
    • Optional: Keywords may be a country or ethnicity, such as "Lithuania"
    • Try various spellings of the name or use the * wild card character (for example, Alex* for Alexei, Alexander, Aleksandr)
  • In "Database," select "Immigrants from the Russian Empire (1898-1922)"
  • Optional: In “Year of birth,” enter a year or a range of years
  • In “Religion,” leave the option at "All," or select from the drop-down box
  • Click the "Search" button

Search tips

Not all database entries include year of birth, religion or other keywords, so try searching with just a name first, then add other keywords.

If you cannot find the person in the database, browse the Likacheff-Ragosine-Mathers collection index, which has digitized images of the original index cards showing:

  • how a name was spelled
  • alternative names that may have been used (for example: “Abaeff, Basile," see "Abaev, Vasilii-Adzyrt”)

Access the records

The Passport and Identity Papers series of the Likacheff-Ragosine-Mathers collection are digitized in the database. To see other series in this collection, visit Library and Archives Canada to view the microfilm.

About the records

From the mid-1880s to the early 1900s, the Russian Empire had consulates throughout North America. Library and Archives Canada has microfilm copies of the Canadian consular records from Montréal, Vancouver and Halifax. The collection is called the Likacheff-Ragosine-Mathers (LI-RA-MA) collection, named after the last Russian consuls in Montréal, Vancouver and Halifax.

The collection is in four series, which are all on microfilm:

  • Passport and Identity Papers
    • contains 12,225 files that are digitized and searchable
  • Operational Records of the Russian Consulate-General in Montréal (includes the Russian Vice-consulate in Halifax)
  • Operational Records of the Russian Consulate in Vancouver
  • Registers and journals of the Russian Consulate-General in Montréal

The description of the Likacheff-Ragosine-Mathers collection includes:

  • an overview and historical background (in English only)
  • brief descriptions of each series (in English only)
  • a full description of the Passport and Identity Papers series (in English and French)
  • issues with recording and translating names, including tips for spelling Ukrainian and Finnish names (in English and French)
  • a sample of the applicant questionnaire (in Russian)
  • translations of the questions asked (in English and French)
  • an explanation of the fields in the index cards (in English and French)

Passport and Identity Papers series

These files are about Russian citizens who requested documents or services at a consulate in Canada. Most were applying for new Russian passports (because of the change of regime in 1917) or for travel visas to Russia. Some needed to prove their Russian citizenship so they would not have to register for the 1917 wartime conscription into the Canadian Expeditionary Force.

The archival reference is MG30 E406, volumes 37–121, microfilms M-7620 to M-7672, M-8270 and M-8271.

The files may include:

  • the questionnaire and photograph needed to get a new passport
  • documents to prove identity or to show previous Russian military service
  • correspondence with family members
  • passports from other countries that were once part of the Russian Empire
Date modified: