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September 27, 2013

NEW! Canadian Immigration Records online 1819-1838

NEW! Canadian Immigration Records online 1819-1838
Example of a St. Lawrence Steamboat Passenger List
New on and! Great news. and have just published the St. Lawrence Steamboat Company Passenger Lists, 1819-1838.  The St. Lawrence Steamboat Company transported passengers and freight along the St. Lawrence River between Montreal and Quebec. The images are available to view and a search engine is provided so you can search by ancestor name.

Since ships passenger lists to Canada were not archived before 1865 this set of records can help you find an ancestor who arrived from another country and was continuing on his or her journey. See Filling in the Gaps for other substitute ships records for this time period.

The St. Lawrence Steamboat Company Passenger Lists usually contain the name of the passenger, abbreviations for ports of embarkation and destination, fare, amount paid, and remarks. You can also see whether they were traveling in steerage or in a cabin, and the dates of travel.

Where families are traveling together, you may find listings like this one: “Wm Gibbon & wife & 6 children - 12/3.” This indicates that he was traveling with his wife, and six children, and that three of the six were under twelve years of age. Children under twelve were allowed to travel at half-fare

As you can see from the image above, the pages with passenger names are in rough shape. So if you search by name and have no results, you may want to browse the images to see if you can spot the beginning or ending of a familiar name. As well, sometimes only a first name was legible to the transcribers, so consider searching by time period and only a first name. Sometimes only a first initial was used, for example Alexander Smith might be recorded as A. Smith. So it is wise to search only by last name and a time period. 

As well, Sue Swiggum, of has been transcribing the St. Lawrence Steamboat Company Passenger Lists for almost 10 years now and researchers will want to check her transcriptions too. 

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