Published date: 9 March 2012

Researching in Canada is vastly different than researching in the UK. Records are especially different in areas originally settled by the French. This talk gives an overview of record keeping in Canada, how the records are organised, and where to find them.

Michael Leclerc is a noted genealogical author, editor, and presenter. He is co-editor of Genealogical Writing in the 21st Century: A Guide to Register Style and More, second edition. He is a previous board member of the Federation of Genealogical Societies and the Association of Professional Genealogists. After 15 years at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, he recently joined Mocavo as chief genealogist.

Author: Michael Leclerc Duration: 47:12

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  1. 21 March 2012
    4:15 pm

    jim marshall

    my mother &her twin brother where sent to a orphanage in st john new brunswick in the early 1930 appox my mother was adopted by a scottish couple and they left he

    r brother at the orphanage and that was the last time she ever had contact with him my mother came back to st john and went to find out about him but the orphanage had burnt down and i would like to find out what happend to my uncle the name was osborn my mum told us that her mums first name was JEAN OSBORN my mum and brotherwhere born in 1917 can any one help me find out about my uncle and his family

  2. 22 March 2012
    11:55 am


    here is a Canadian Website that may help you

    good luck–sources-links.html

  3. 22 March 2012
    10:44 pm

    Rob Gilmore

    This is a note for ‘Jim Marshall’, who commented above. I work in a Government archives in New Brunswick and may be able to assist him in his search for information relating to his uncle, or his Mum’s family. My contact info there is, in case he wishes to provide me with any additional information. Also our Archives website has a number of indexed and digitized records that may prove useful to others doing research on their New Brunswick, Canada families. The website address is Thank you.

  4. 23 March 2012
    1:52 am

    Irene Polkinghorne

    Looking for Descendants of John Caldwell married to Eliza .
    John was in WW1 have found his attestation papers but need a little more info on him. He was a butcher to trade had most of his children in Paisley Scotland and came to Thorold Ontario about 1913 or 14 as he was attested Mar 1916.

  5. 23 March 2012
    2:36 am

    Helen Gillespie

    Check the New Brunswick Archives website for BMD and newspaper extractions.

    It’s useful to provide names as well as places and dates.
    Documentation for the orphanage might be in the Archives.
    Your uncle would have been of age to serve in the War. Might be worth checking in KIA records at Library and Archives Canada

    or other military links

    Good luck with your research.

  6. 23 March 2012
    8:49 am

    Harry Gray

    Trying to find out what happened to my mothers Uncle Andrew Tobit born in 1890 in Crail, Scotland. Father was John and mother Helen Taylor. Andrew lived in Stanley Perthshire in the 1911 census and went to Canada in 1912. Calgary has an A Tobit listed in 1913 and is a porter on the CPR. No further trace has been found

  7. 23 March 2012
    9:23 am

    Lynda Frame

    My mother’s Aunt Mary Robb Forbes and her husband Charles White, emigrated to Canada 1930 from Greenock to St John, New Brunswick on Duchess of Atholl along with their 5 children, John, Elizabeth, Mary, Charles & Jean, last contact with them was 5 Jun 1941 a letter she sent to her brother William and his wife Mary (parents of my mum. They used to live in Inellan, Argyll, Scotland, if any one knows of any living relatives would love to hear from them.

  8. 23 March 2012
    9:50 am

    Elizabeth T

    Tip for anyone with military forebears. I found the marriage of my 3xgt grandparents in the online Nova Scotia records on Ancestry. They married when he was still in the Army. As she was from Ireland I assume that her father was also in the Army. However there was no mention of anyone else, even witnesses, beyond the couples names in the registers. Would there have been a civil registration of their marriage as well in order to validate it? Where would they be kept?

  9. 23 March 2012
    10:48 am

    Lori Oschefski

    Jim, we have a facebook group which included many Canadian researchers, including myself (I am the creator of the web site Andrea noted). The researchers in the facebook group are experienced and will be more then willing to help. Please contact us, I’m off to work right now or I would start now for you.

    either that or please contact me with your information at and I will help.

    A good place to start looking for lost children is the Library and Archives Canada data base for the Home Children. Even if you don’t know if they were home children or not. It contains a data base of the shipping records for the vast majority of children (but not all!)

    Also there is an excellent data base of children being built on It is well worth checking out this site!

  10. 23 March 2012
    11:40 am

    Maureen Somers

    I have been looking for my mother who was born in Greenook, Scotland in 1926 and I think she came to Canada after the Second world war. It is very difficult to obtain information on people coming to Canada. Where would I find this information. I would think that she came by ship.

  11. 23 March 2012
    6:05 pm

    Cedric Hall

    An Uncle of mine Albert E H Hall (known as Harry) born in Newport Monmouthshire in 1911 emigrated to Canada eventually returning to Europe in 1944 with the Canadian Militery. He was killed in action in August 1944 and this is his memorial
    In Memory of
    Private ALBERT E. H. HALL

    M/104761, Calgary Highlanders, R.C.I.C.
    who died age 33
    on 01 August 1944
    Son of Arthur and Kate Hall; husband of Helen Hall, of Edmonton, Alberta.
    Remembered with honour

    How do I find details about his time in Canada and his wife Helen and the operation that his detachment was on when he was killed?

  12. 23 March 2012
    8:43 pm

    Penny Holt

    Sorry, but this is the only TNA podcast that I have listened to that was a disappointment. Usually they are excellent. Leclerc’s knowledge of Quebec is very good, but there is a western portion of Canada (like half of it) that was completely neglected. He didn’t even give websites for the prairie provinces or British Columbia. This part of Canada had more English speaking settlers than French. I thought that speaking to a UK audience he wouldn’t have taken that into account. Although much less biased than most, he still had a very American perspective on Canadian history. Couldn’t you find an appropriate Canadian?

  13. 23 March 2012
    10:45 pm


    My grandmother was born in Glascow around 1910. She was born Grace Billingtom or Dillingham. She was a twin and also had another sister name Mary and a brother named Alan. She came to Montreal, Canada around 1930-ish. I am looking for Scottish relatives. Sandra Clarke

  14. 24 March 2012
    4:22 am

    Dale Wishart

    Alexander and William came to the Miramichi around 1760 to fish/farm – due to Americam privateers they left on the “HMS Viper” to fight with the British on the Great Lakes under General Halidimand – were promoted to Lieut. returrned to the Miramich in 1783 – William married Charlotte Taylor “The mother of Tabusintac” Written by Sally Armstrong. Alexander continued to live in the Miramichi area.I have been trying to find the following details concerning their early history prior to their arrival in Canada. (1) where did they came from Scotland/Ireland? (2) what ship did they come on? (2) any other information that may be available to help.

    thank you

  15. 24 March 2012
    8:05 pm

    Joyce Graham

    Looking for any info. on Norman and David Higgins who served in WW11 regular army. Norman died February 25 1992 in Medicine Hat, Alberta.
    They may have been born in Scotland.

  16. 25 March 2012
    12:17 pm

    Jane Finlay

    My father (John) and his two brothers were sent to the Railway Orphanage in Derby, England (from Scotland) when they were young boys. My father’s oldest brother, Andrew Finlay, born on 22nd November 1921 in Leith, Edinburgh, eventually emigrated to Canada and he and my father lost touch. I have no idea what part of Canada he lived in. Any idea how I could trace him? I’m trying to trace our family history for my daughter.
    My thanks to anyone who can point me in the right directio.

  17. 26 March 2012
    2:43 am

    Lori Oschefski

    Cedric, there is an Albert E Hall listed on the Library and Archives Canada British Home Child date base. He fits the stats for your Uncle. I checked his passenger list for this voyage and it states that his father was a Mr. A. Hall. He was 16 years of age, traveling without his family. His father is listed as his nearest relative in – and I can’t quite make out what this says, Ponty Mon.
    He is headed to Winnipeg and his intention is to become a farmer. Next I checked the data base for the Western Land Grants and there are listings there for an Albert E Hall – likely him. What I would suggest, if you think this is him, that you follow up with the Edmonton branch of the Alberta Genealogical Society – they have volunteer researchers who can pull the Homestead files and check the information. As well they can check the Henderson Directories for that area as well (city directories like the England’s Kelly’s). Another clue is that each adult over the age of 16 in 1940 had to fill out a National Registration card because of the war. You have to know generally where they were, which you do know. There is a fee but there is quite a bit of information which can be collected from this document.

    I have saved a copy of the passenger list if you need a copy you can contact me at my above mentioned web site.

    Albert E. Hall
    Age: 16
    Sex: M
    Ship: AUSONIA
    Year of Arrival: 1928
    Departure Port: Southampton
    Departure Date: 1928-05-04
    Arrival Port: Quebec
    Arrival Date: 1928-05-13
    Party: Miscellaneous
    Destination: Various locations
    Comments: 4 boys
    Notes: Vol. 4, p. 224
    Source: Library and Archives Canada
    Reference: RG 76 C1a
    Microfilm: T-14741

  18. 26 March 2012
    2:46 am

    Lori Oschefski

    Cedric, sorry I forgot to put the link in for the Alberta Genealogical Society

  19. 28 March 2012
    2:47 am

    john anderson

    My gt grandfather emigrated to Canada around 1890 from Scotland;
    he was a cooper by trade;
    his middle name may have been Macdonald as he was born illegitimately on 6 February 1858 at Papigoe, Wick, Scotland and his mother’s name was Willamena Macdonald. She died young in 1861 and from then on he took on the Anderson name (his father) also named John.
    I’ve been trying to trace him for years to no avail, Anderson being a fairly common name.
    I would be grateful for any news about him. I do know his widow visited Caithness, Scotland between 1959/1960. I would be grateful if anyone can assist with information about him.

    Elise Linney

  20. 29 March 2012
    11:12 am

    Lori Oschefski

    Joyce, I have a Norman and a Henry Higgins who came in 1920 with the Dr. Barnardo Homes.

  21. 29 March 2012
    10:34 pm

    Lori Oschefski

    Elise, we have some researchers who can look into this for you. May we have the name of his widow, as there are many Andersons.

  22. 30 March 2012
    7:45 am

    john anderson

    Dear Lori
    Thank you for your reply. I didn’t ever know his wife’s name but I took it she was quite a bit younger than him.
    He was born 06.02.1858. I feel he would have died around 1930′s but once his youngest sister, Margaret (who was only 3 years older than my grandfather – his son) died there was no longer anyone to ask about him since he had left Scotland all those years ago. He was brought up by his grandparents, Mr and Mrs Wm Macdonald, in Staxigoe, Wick and I suppose once they died he had no fixed abode, hence the reason for emigrating.
    My mother told me he went to Canada, but there is a chance he may have gone to America or Australia.
    Thank you

  23. 30 March 2012
    10:57 am

    Lori Oschefski

    Elise, I have started tracking him through the census:

    1861 Scotland Census about John Anderson
    Name: John Anderson
    Age: 3
    Estimated Birth Year: abt 1858
    Relationship: Nephew
    Gender: Male
    Where born: Wick, Caithness
    Registration number: 43/2
    Registration district: Wick
    Civil parish: Wick
    County: Caithness
    Address: Pilot Row
    ED: 1
    Household schedule number: 99
    Line: 21
    Roll: CSSCT1861_6
    Household Members:
    Name Age
    Margaret Macdonald 30
    Janetta Macdonald 24
    John Anderson 3

    I have a wife’s name for him of Isabella Murray, which many not be correct. There is another John Anderson whose wife’s name surfaces as Isabella McDonald.

    This is the John Anderson who married Isabella McDonald:
    1901 Scotland Census about John Anderson
    Name: John Anderson
    Age: 44
    Estimated Birth Year: abt 1857
    Relationship: Head
    Spouse’s name : Isabella Anderson
    Gender: Male
    Where born: Alves, Morayshire
    Registration number: 120
    Registration district: Ardclach
    Civil parish: Ardclach
    County: Nairnshire
    Address: Refouble Farm Ho
    Occupation: Farmer
    ED: 1
    Household schedule number: 22
    Line: 10
    Roll: CSSCT1901_37
    Household Members:
    Name Age
    John Anderson 44
    Isabella Anderson 41
    James Anderson 15
    Elsie Macdonald 36
    Colen Macintosh 19

    Elise, you can contact me at my above mentioned web site, we should probably continue through e-mail.

  24. 4 April 2012
    10:36 am

    lenceria fina

    I’ll right away grab your rss as I can’t to find your e-mail subscription link or newsletter service. Do you have any? Please allow me know so that I may just subscribe. Thanks.

  25. 4 April 2012
    11:31 am

    Marion Downie (admin)

    Please see our Help guide for more information on subscribing to our podcasts.

  26. 9 April 2012
    12:00 am

    Meredith Timpson

    My grt grt Grandfather retired from his work in Belfast as a Tidewaiter for the govt and received a pension which he had forwarded to Montreal in 1833 (June to be exact, according to the pension records in England.

    His name is John Timpson and we find no trace of him in Canada at all but his daughter shows up in Maitland, Ontario in 1855 married to a John Milks.

    We have a letter stating that there was a farm and a falling out with family but we would like to know if there is any record of where the pension money went, then can find the farm and possibly a grave for him.

    Can anyone help us?

    Meredith Timpson

  27. 11 April 2012
    9:16 am

    Carol Bostock

    I am looking for information on my great grandfather John Campbell Noble who came from “Upper Ontario” His father was a farmer, Robert, and his mother was Margaret McMunn. John was employed by a newspaper and emigrated to Victoria, Australia sometime in the 1850s His DoB was 1827 or 25

  28. 8 July 2012
    11:01 pm

    Ron Kidd

    I am searching for lost relatives :- Peter, Susan and Christopher Morrice, who until early sixties (I think) stayed at Point St. Claire, Montreal. They moved to Calgary after their G.Mother died. Their father was Ed Morrice who had died earlier and their mother was Marjory Morrice. I guess Peter would be around 70 now.

  29. 9 July 2012
    11:11 am

    Marion Downie (admin)

    Hello all,
    When posting comments, please observe our site participation guidelines and avoid posting personal information. This includes sensitive information, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses or other online contact details – relating either to you or other individuals.

    For further help with family history enquiries, please use our online contact form or use our extensive research guidance.

    Thank you.

  30. 8 August 2014
    10:25 pm

    Annemarie Nelson

    Hi trying to find my dads uncle his name is Victor Nelson he married Catherine Pollock Warwick Glasgow before moving to Canada haven`t found any of his childrens names so far to help so any information would be helpful

  31. 11 August 2014
    9:04 am

    Ruth Crumey (admin)

    Thank you for contacting us. Over here on the Archive Media Player we are unable to offer you research help – please see our research guidance at You can also contact the records experts using the form at , or send a question to one of our Live Chat sessions (

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