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May 5, 2012

Filling in the Gaps - Finding an Ancestor Arriving Canada Before 1865

Cindy asked Olive Tree Genealogy a question about her Irish ancestors' immigration to Canada.
thank you in advance for your time,  I am trying to find my husbands family.
Robert Moynan born 1821 in Ireland and his wife also from Ireland lived in Farnham and is buried there along with his wife. I am looking for records of emmigration but find nothing.  I do know that some records from Ireland are missing and I don't know if they came as "Poor" any ideas?
 Hi Cindy - I see from your online tree that the family were in Quebec before 1851 when their daughter was born. That's a challenge because prior to 1865 ships passenger lists for Canada did not have to be kept. So finding one is tricky. Some have survived but most have not.

Don't despair though as there are substitutes to finding an actual passenger list, such as shipping company records, Emigration Agent records, Steamship records from ships taking immigrants up the St. Lawrence River, etc.

But first you might want to try to narrow your timeline for their immigration. Have you checked the online Lower Canada Land Petitions to see if Robert petitioned for land?

When you are ready to begin your immigration search, Filling in the Gaps has a comprehensive list of all passenger lists and substitutes for ships passenger lists to Canada before 1865. Each one is linked to an online database. The one exception is the 1831-1865 records from the Hawke papers which are not online but can be consulted at the Ontario Archives. Hawke was an emigration agent who kept records of arriving passengers. However the James Allison papers (another emigration agent) are available online or as a lookup from 1823 to 1845. 

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