Post Offices and Postmasters: 1851 - 1981

​​The Post Offices and Postmasters dataset traces the openings and closings of post offices in Canada. It includes the names and appointment dates of postmasters for most years between 1851 and 1981.

Search the records

  • Go to Collection Search and click on "Advanced Search"
  • In the "All these words" box, enter the name of a postmaster or a place
  • In the "Database" box, select "Post Offices and Postmasters”
  • Optional: for “Date,” enter a specific year or time period
  • Optional: for "Specific terms," select "Postmaster" or “Electoral District” and enter it in the box on the right for a more precise search
    • Be aware that place names from the period are used, for example: records for current-day Tulita, NT should be searched for under Fort Norman, NT
    • Be aware that place names could be anglicized, for example: Île-aux-Grues becomes Crane Island
  • Click the "Search" button

Terminology

Electoral district are specific geographical areas that reflects political boundaries. It might also be known as a riding, ward, or voting district. Electoral districts can refer to municipal, provincial or federal political areas.

Postmasters oversee the operation of a post office.

Accessing the records

Information from the postal history cards have been transcribed into the database. The originals have been withdrawn from consultation for preservation purposes.

  • From the search results click on the office name to see the database entry
  • Under the “Record Information – Details” tab you will find the text from the postal history card for that office
    • Please note the text appears exactly as it did in the original records; therefore, the database entry cannot be altered in any way.
  • The entry includes information about the post office and its’ postmasters:
    • Name of province or territory for the post office
    • Name of the post office (as stated in the register)
    • Name of the federal electoral district of the post office
    • Name of Postmaster
    • Military status: In this column, you may see the notation “O.A.S.”, which refers to a provision of the Civil Service Act. Veterans who had seen overseas active service in the First or Second World War, or their widows, were given hiring preference for government jobs.
    • Date of birth
    • Date of appointment
    • Date of vacancy
    • Cause of vacancy
  • A dash (-) indicates that the record did not include that information
  • An asterisk (*) indicates that, in compliance with the Privacy Act (1983), certain personal information has been omitted from the database

About the records

The database has been created from a series of postal history record cards (RG 3, volumes 3484 to 3536) that document postmasters employed at individual post offices located across Canada. The cards were created by the Public Affairs Unit of Canada Post from files and letterbooks that can now be found in RG 3 series B-2 and D-3.

The information from the Postal history record cards for all provinces and territories have been entered into the database. Unfortunately, the original register to the reports for the years 1875 to 1902 did not survive.

Please note that there are no employment files for postmasters.

Related resources at Library and Archives Canada

Consult Collection Search to find other files related to a post office or a postmaster.

Use the keywords "RG3" and the name of a person, place or post office.

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