- November 2009 -
November is here and it’s the perfect time to reflect and remember as you look forward to the holidays. To honour those who sacrificed and fought for what they believed in, we’ve added several new military collections from around the world. We also have an exciting new collection that launched last week - The Ocean Arrivals Collection, 1919–1924 which provides detailed immigration records giving you a remarkable glimpse into the lives of those who arrived on our shores. This is definitely going to be an insightful and unforgettable November newsletter!
FEATURE STORY: Canadian Ocean Arrivals, 1919-1924
Looking for family that emigrated to Canada by sea? Your ship just came in.
From 1919 to 1924, people arriving in Canada by boat were greeted with a new and much more detailed entry form. While in previous years the focus was simply on keeping a detailed list of immigrants, the Form 30A focused on the individuals, giving us a powerful glimpse into their lives. Both fascinating and informative, these records are at the heart of our exciting new Ocean Arrivals Collection.

While today we think of ocean voyages as a great way to relax, unwind and get away from it all, our ancestors saw these journeys as anything but a vacation. In the Ocean Arrivals Collection, you’ll learn all about the brave souls who uprooted their families and emigrated to Canada by sea from 1919 to 1924 - including their place of birth, their reason for coming to Canada, how much money they had in their possession and who their nearest relative at home was, plus much more.

You can almost imagine the excitement and apprehension they must have felt as you look at their actual signature within these records!


The Ocean Arrivals Collection is the latest addition to our comprehensive selection of immigration records. Try these collections as well, to ensure your search is as thorough as possible:

Passenger Lists Collection, 1865 to 1935
Border Crossings: From Canada to U.S., 1895-1956
New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957
UK Incoming Passenger Lists, 1878-1960
Search all Immigration & Emigration records
Canadian Historical Postcards
(La Carte Postale du Canada)
Postcards bring history to life and provide an invaluable glimpse into the Canada of yesteryear. And, with your help, we can add even more to our Canadian Historical Postcards Collection. This collection is part of the Ancestry World Archives Project (AWAP) and is keyed in entirely by volunteers looking to help preserve the world’s historical records. If you’d like to be a part of this exciting project, here’s where you can.

In This Issue

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Search these historical collections and you can experience Ancestry.ca search without subscribing. Maybe you'll find someone in your family?
U.S. WWI Civilian Draft Registrations, 1917-1918

U.S. Naval Deaths, World War I

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Getting Started Webinar
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Feedback: Make this year's resolution all about family
Are you looking to spend more time with your family in the New Year? Perhaps fill that gap in your family tree? We want to know all about your resolutions for 2010.
Who knows? We may even feature them in our upcoming newsletter to inspire other Ancestry.ca members.

NEW COLLECTIONS: Available for Canadian Deluxe and World Deluxe Members
Ocean Arrivals, 1919-1924
Chronicling the immigrants who arrived on our shores by boat, the Ocean Arrivals Collection takes advantage of the much more detailed records that were kept during the period between 1919 and 1924. While previous passenger lists simply catalogued those arriving by sea, our newest collection features records that focused on the individuals and offer rich insight into their lives.

NEW COLLECTIONS: In honour of Remembrance Day:
Available for World Deluxe Members
Final Release: British Army WWI Service Records, 1914-1920
You may find up to as many as 16 pages of information on your WWI veteran in this collection of 2 million service records for soldiers who served in the British Army during WWI.

Each record includes a variety of possible documents, including conduct sheets, medical history forms, disability statements, awards, discharge papers and more.

De Ruvigny’s Roll, United Kingdom, 1914-1924
This collection of biographies for more than 26,000 Army, Navy and Air Force personnel from the UK who were killed during WWI is one of the great family history resources for the Great War.

The amount of information for each soldier varies depending on where it came from. Those biographies written by family members usually contain extensive detail, and approximately 7,000 of the biographies include photographs.

First Release: Bavaria, Germany, WWI Muster Rolls
Search approximately 1.5 million records for Germans who served in the Bavarian Army (Bavaria is the largest state in Germany, occupying about 20% of the country’s land mass).

You’ll find rich detail on each soldier, including a record of their service, key dates, medals/honors, injuries and more.

This initial release contains records for the Bavarian War Ministry, High Command, Infantry (excluding reserves) and Cavalry.

Ireland, Casualties of World War I, 1914-1918
If you had an ancestor who died during the Great War and was either born in Ireland or had Irish residence while serving, search this roll of honor. It lists more than 49,000 Irish individuals who died during the war.

Each record includes the name of the soldier, his/her regiment, rank, death place/date and birthplace. You will also occasionally find other details included, such as age, elaboration about how the individual was killed, medals or other facts.

NEW COLLECTIONS: Available for World Deluxe Members
Australian Electoral Rolls, 1903-1954 - updated
If your ancestors voted, you can find them.

Since censuses weren’t taken in Australia, electoral rolls, or lists of voters, are an important “census substitute”—especially since voting was compulsory after 1924.

We’ve added 18 years of records to our existing collection, so it now includes the years 1936 to 1954. You’ll find any adults over 21 who voted, along with their address and occupation.

Paris and Vicinity, France, Births, Marriages and Deaths, 1700s-1900s
If your ancestors lived in the former region of France known as Seine, which today includes Paris, Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis and Val-de-Marne, you’ll want to visit one of our vital records collections for the area. We’ve updated our birth and marriage collections with approximately 600,000 more transcriptions taken from original parish church registers and created a new collection of approximately 1.2 million death records extracted from newspapers and other death notices. You’ll discover the name of the deceased along with his or her death date and place.

Paris, France, & Vicinity Deaths, 1860–1902
Paris, France & Vicinity Births, 1700–1899
Paris, France & Vicinity Marriages, 1700–1907

“I can't tell you the intensity of my emotions when I read my grandfather’s name in the Canadian Passenger Lists.”

When I began researching my family tree 15 years ago, I knew that my grandfather had been in America at the turn of the 1900s. Nothing else.

Thanks to Ancestry.ca, I have discovered many wonderful things, such as when he arrived in the U.S., that he disembarked in Boston and even that he lived in Lawrence, Massachusetts. I can't tell you the intensity of my emotions when I read my grandfather’s name in the Canadian Passenger Lists.

I also found out my grandmother’s name was in the Passenger Lists and that she arrived in Boston in 1907 - information that was completely unknown to my parents! I felt that finally my roots had grown deeper. Looking at images of the ships they arrived on, and learning the ship names and ports of departure, I felt as if I was travelling with them, as if the past was projected in my present.

I now know where my grandparents lived and worked, thanks to Ancestry.ca’s Census Collection, as well as with whom they travelled and shared their American dreams. I actually saw the map of the street where they lived when they arrived.

I even learned that my grandmother worked in a wool factory while my grandfather helped blow up rocks to build a bridge in the then-developing state of Massachusetts. And that’s not all - I also discovered that my great uncle's name was in a Passenger List and that my mother's cousin worked on the Canadian Trent Canal.

Furthermore, I learned that my great grandmother travelled to Boston for her daughter's wedding, but never returned home after becoming ill. Thanks to Ancestry.ca, I discovered who her daughter married and where they lived, when my great-grandmother passed away and where she was buried.   I visited her burial site and finally felt at home.

I wish I could share this with my mother! I'm so grateful to know that a bit of my family history is entrenched with the American immigration history, and I'm very proud to pass this knowledge on to my grandchildren. As a child of immigrants, growing up without relatives close by, I always felt as if my roots were exposed to the elements. Not anymore!

Fran S.
Toronto, ON


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