The following was written by The Generations Network, parent company of www.Ancestry.ca:
Canada Day is not only a great day to spend with family – it’s the perfect time to get together and learn more about how your family came to be Canadian. To celebrate our 142nd birthday, for the first time Ancestry.ca is making available the Canadian Passenger Lists free to access from June 29 through July 3, 2009.
The Canadian Passenger Lists, 1865-1935 captures 70 years of immigration to this country and includes the names of more than 5.6 million individuals who travelled from around the world to start a new life in Canada.
It is estimated that 11.6 million Canadians, or 37 per cent of the population today, are direct descendants of those in this collection.
Canada Day is a great time for us to reflect on our roots and to look at the ancestors who helped build this great country. This is a rare opportunity to delve into the records and discover the story of how one’s ancestors arrived in this country, who they came with, where they arrived and where they settled. They help paint a picture of a family’s journey and of a new beginning in a land of promise.
The collection is fully indexed, meaning the records can be searched quickly and easily online by name, month or year of arrival or ship and port of origin.
In total, the collection includes original images for more than 310,000 pages of historical records chronicling the arrival of more than 4,000 ships at ports across the country.
Fast facts about the Canadian Passenger Lists, 1865-1935
- Digitising and indexing the passenger lists took approximately 83,000 man hours - that’s the equivalent of a person working 24 hours a day, seven days a week for 9.71 years.
- There were roughly two men arriving in Canada for every woman. 4,711,452 men are listed in the Collection compared to 2,574,644 women.
- 1913 and 1919, the years immediately before and after the First World War, saw the largest number of arrivals in Canada, with 485,660 and 419,113 people arriving respectively.
- Liverpool, England was the most common port of departure for those coming to Canada between 1865 and 1935, with almost three million leaving that port. Quebec City was the most common landing port, with more than three and a half million arrivals.
- The 24th of March 1919 was the busiest day ever at Canada’s ports, with 11,263 people arriving.