This database contains over two million records referencing individuals from all regions of Canada, as well as early Alaska. The vast majority of the records fall between 1600 and the mid-to-late 1900s, although some records date before the 1500s. Gleaned during twenty years of research from over one thousand different sources - including city directories, marriage records, land records, census records, and more - this collection of names represents one of the most complete indexes to historical Canadian records available.
This index helps you locate a particular individual in a specific time and place. Information that may be found in this database for each individual includes their name; year and place of the event or recording of the individual; province and county where the source is located; source title; and volume/page number where the individual can be found in the source. It is important to use the information found in this index to locate your ancestor in the original record which this index references as more information is generally available in original records than in indexes.
Canada, like the United States, is a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic nation. About 30% of Canadians today have French ancestry, the balance of the country being of English, Scottish, and Irish origins, plus a wide range of ethnic backgrounds as found in the United States. Canada also has a large population of Native Peoples as well as those of mixed Native and European races, or "métis."
The families living in the Atlantic provinces of Canada have been intertwined with the families of the New England states since the earliest times. In fact, the mixing of Canadians and Americans has been carried on to a surprising degree -- one example being that more than 25% of the families in Michigan today are descendants of Canadian ancestors. In addition, the expulsion of the French "Acadians" in 1755 led to the famous "Cajun" population of Louisiana and other southern states.
The Canadian Genealogy Index begins primarily with French records, starting in 1604. Like the U.S., Canada was first settled in the east, and then the population gradually spread westward in the 1700s and 1800s. The Northwest Territories were divided between several provinces in central and western Canada, but even then it remained the largest territory in Canada.
The war between the American Colonies and Britain, which lead to the Declaration of Independence divided families in the United States. Many of those wishing to remain loyal to the British crown lost property and possessions in the United States and fled into the Maritime and Central provinces, where they became known as the "United Empire Loyalists" or UELs. Ontario, known as Upper Canada, owes its founding families to the Loyalists who entered in the late 1700s, along with the Pennsylvania Dutch - German families primarily from Pennsylvania.
In 1867, the Confederation united the existing provinces of Canada. In 1949, Newfoundland, under British rule, joined Canada, and is well represented in the Canadian Genealogy Index.