Collection contains surviving historical records of passengers travelling the St. Lawrence from 1819 to 1838
TORONTO (Sept. 26, 2013) – Ancestry.ca, Canada’s largest family history website, announced today the launch of almost 200,000 passenger records dating from 1819 to 1836, documenting passengers travelling between Quebec City and Montreal on the ships of the St. Lawrence Steamboat Company.
The St. Lawrence River is one of the world's great waterways and has played a vital role in the history of Canada, serving as the main route into the continent for French explorers in the 17th century. Throughout the 19th century and well into the 20th, the river carried hundreds of thousands of immigrants to Canada in search of a new life in a new land. For this reason, the St. Lawrence Steamboat Company passenger lists are significant source of information for genealogists and family historians.
“The passenger lists can offer Canadians rich information about their ancestors but also help paint a picture of the changing face of Canada through one of our most significant bodies of water,” says Lesley Anderson, a genealogist and Content Manager for Ancestry.ca. “The St. Lawrence River is an important part of our history, and we are proud we can offer the only known surviving historical records of the ships that operated on the river in the 1800s. This collection is truly a national treasure.”
The history of the St. Lawrence Steamboat Company is an important part of Canada’s history. Following the successful launch of his brewing company in the 1780s, John Molson and his sons expanded into the shipping industry by creating the St. Lawrence Steamboat Company. The vessels transported passengers and freight along the St. Lawrence River between Montreal and Quebec City.
Travellers during this time, who were mostly English speaking, often used the vibrant thoroughfare as a stepping stone to make their way into the United States. One method of entering the U.S. from Canada was to take a steamer from Quebec City to Montreal and proceed south by sleigh, foot or horse and buggy.
In this new collection of historical records, users can find the name of a passenger departure city and the amount paid for a ticket. Members can also see whether a passenger travelled in steerage or cabin, travel dates and if they travelled with family. The collection will help provide users with context for when their ancestors arrived in Canada or the U.S. This new collection supplements Ancestry.ca’s vast database of millions of historical passenger and immigration records, which also includes:
To check out the new St. Lawrence Steamboat Company records please visit ancestry.ca.
- Canadian Passenger Lists and Ocean Arrivals – These collections consist of all records of immigration to Canada by ship or overland between 1865 and 1935, a period of 70 years that saw the largest influx of immigration into Canada ever, from all parts of the world.
- Pre-Confederation Passenger Lists – These lists contain correspondence and dispatches regarding emigration from the British Isles from 1758 to 1851. The collection also includes letters from many people requesting information and assistance to immigrate to Canada. It showcases the waves of immigration to Canada in the century before Canada became a nation.
- U.S. and Canada, Passenger and Immigration Lists – These collections relate to immigration for the U.S. and Canada prior to the 1820s. Housing more than four million records of individuals who arrived on U.S. and Canadian ports from the 1500s through the 1900s.
Ancestry.com is the world's largest online family history resource with approximately 2.7 million paying subscribers across all its websites. More than 11 billion records have been added to the Ancestry.com sites and users have created more than 50 million family trees containing more than 5 billion profiles. In addition to its flagship site www.ancestry.com, the company operates several Ancestry international websites along with a suite of online family history brands including Archives.com, Fold3.com and Newspapers.com, all designed to empower people to discover, preserve and share their family history.