October 27, 2011

NEW! Poor Law Union Immigrants to Canada 1836-1871 ONLINE

For the past six months Olive Tree Genealogy has been working on a new project to reconstruct names of passengers on ships sailing from England to Canada before 1865.

I'm pleased to announce that 23 ships with the names of pauper immigrants sent from England sent by the Poor Law Union to Canada between 1836 and 1853 are now online and freely searchable.

The Poor Law Union Act of 1834 was responsible for determining if impoverished individuals and their families were to be sent to the Workhouse, supported by their parishes, or given passage to a British colony such as Canada, New Zealand and Australia. 

As well as the newly reconstructed ships passenger lists, there are hundreds of immigrant names listed by year from 1836 to 1871. The yearly lists are individuals who were offered passage on board ships sailing to Canada, but the specific ships each sailed on are not named.

There are no comprehensive ships passenger lists of immigrants arriving in Canada prior to 1865. Until that year, shipping companies were not required by the government to keep their passenger manifests. This reconstructed set of passenger lists and emigrants by year is a valuable tool for those genealogists whose ancestors left England for Canada in this time period.

Please take a few minutes to have a look at POOR LAW UNION IMMIGRANTS TO CANADA

You can also consult the other projects for ships passenger lists to Canada before 1865 at Filling in the Gaps

This new project consists of names extracted from the Poor Law Union records. More information and details on individuals can often be found by using the reference sources given on each page, and sending a request to National Archives UK. 

I have also included bits and pieces of extraneous detail that helps us understand the plight of these impoverished people. For example the ship Albion sailed to Quebec in 1836. Included in the Poor Law Union correspondence is a lengthy and interesting description of the passengers being held for 24 hours on arrival in Quebec. It seems the master of the ship did not receive his money (poll tax) from the Poor Law Union. So he demanded it from the passengers, who could not pay. This resulted in him imprisoning them on board until they were ordered released.

Hopefully you will find an ancestor or two in this new, never before published, lists!

2 comments:

Celia said...

A fabulous new resource for pre-1865 immigrants to Canada - this is really exciting!! I will have to pull out my early Canada immigrants details once more in hopes of finding them here! Thank you so much for your great work. Cheers.

William Sharpe said...

Lorine - Poor Law Union

This has been a valuable contribution to tracing my families history...

http://www.olivetreegenealogy.com/ships/canada/PLU-PrinceGeorge1842.shtml

John Sharp my Great Great Grandfather and possibly Ann and Henry. This is a great blessing for my family and I'm sure many others in Canada and the US. A most excellent and timely posting.

W. Sharpe