Military Records Канада

WW1 Military Service Records

Website: www.nationalarchives British Army Nurses’ Service Records 1914-1918

Australian WW1 Military Service Records

Service Records of men and women who served in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) during the First World War are archived in the Australian National Archives. All the records have been digitized and are available in the series B2455 to search and download for free. Visit the website below for details of how to do this and what you can find:

Website: Army World War 1 1914-1918 Personnel Records

British WW1 Military Service Records

Royal Navy Service Records

Website: www.nationalarchives Royal Navy Ratings’ Service Records 1853-1923

Website: www.nationalarchives Women’s Royal Naval Service Records 1917-1919

Website: www.nationalarchives Royal Naval Division Service Records 1914-1919

Website: www.nationalarchives Royal Navy Officers’ Service Records 1756-1931

Website: www.nationalarchives Royal Navy Officers’ Service Record cards and files c.1840-c.1920

Website: www.nationalarchives Royal Naval Reserve Service Records 1860-1955

Website: www.nationalarchives Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Service Records 1903-1922

Website: www.nationalarchives Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) Officers’ Service Records 1906-1918

Army Service Records

The availability of a Service Record for a British Army serviceman, which would tell you when the person enlisted, his medical history, who he served with and so on, are patchy. This is because approximately only 40% of the First World War Service Records survived damage due to fire during the Second World War. Those that did survive have recently been digitized and can be searched. See our pages on Service Records for more information:

Royal Marines

Website: www.nationalarchives Royal Marines’ Service Records

Air Personnel

Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC)

The Service Records for more than 7,000 women who served in the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps between 1917 and 1920 are held at the National Archives in Kew, Surrey. Records are held in series WO 398.

Website: www.nationalarchives Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps Service Records 1917-1920

British Army Nurses’ Service Records

Service Records for over 15,000 nurses are held at the National Archives in Kew, Surrey. Records in series WO 399 are for:

  • Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service
  • Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service (Reserve)
  • Territorial Force Nursing Service

Canadian WW1 Military Service Records

Canadian Service Records for 600,000 Canadians who served with the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the First World War are held by the Library and Archives Canada. An online database to search for named individuals provides the archives Accession number, a date of birth and regimental number for that person, together with a downloadable image of the front and reverse of the person’s Attestation Paper. The full Service Record can be viewed by visiting the archive in person or a copy of the complete file can be ordered.

New Zealand WW1 Military Service Records

War Service Records are held by Archives New Zealand. For information about who to contact see the website:

Website: Researching New Zealand Soldiers

US WW1 Military Service Records

US Army Personnel Records held at the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St. Louis for the First World War American Expeditionary Force were destroyed by a devastating fire in 1973. These records were dating from 1912 to 1963. Approximately 16-18 million Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF) were destroyed. 80% of the WW1 Army files were destroyed. No duplicates or microfilm copies were available for recovery of the documents.

6.5 million records were recoverable and were put in a «B» File (Burned File) area and later the reconstructed files were named the «R» Files (Reconstructed Files). Fortunately US Navy and US Marine Corps Service Records were not in the storage facility at the time and were not affected by the fire.

The following page explains what happened when the fire took hold and how the staff have worked to reconstruct the records where possible:

Website: The 1973 Fire

An article on the US National Archives website “They Answered the Call” explains the situation with the records and offers information on what is still available to be examined by family researchers:

Website: WW1 Military Service

US Draft Registration Cards

An article on the National Archives website explains about the Selective Service Act of 18 th May 1917 and the operation to draft men from the 52 states into the US military forces. It describes the information held on the registration cards and gives the complete Roll numbers by county for the cards on a free (large size) downloadable pdf file.

Website: WW1 Draft Registration Cards

A free search for draft registation cards with downloadable images can be found at:

Limited Time Free Access to Canadian Military Records, and New Records Online

Free Access: is providing free access to select military records from some of the most popular collections, from November 8 th to 12th, including records covering Soldiers of the First World War, the Rebellion of 1837 and the War of 1812, which can be accessed by visiting

Also, in honor of Remembrance Day, on November 1, 2012 announced the launch of more than 1.5 million new historical Canadian military records spanning more than 100 years. The following press release offers up all the details:

TORONTO (November 1, 2012) –

These new records, covering the First and Second World Wars, highlight the everyday lives of soldiers who served their country. The records which include military awards, service records and information on pay, will provide Canadians with a greater understanding of the men and women who fought in the conflicts that helped define this nation.

Two brand new Canadian collections: Canada, Military Honours and Award Citation Cards, 1900-1961, and Canada, Nominal Rolls and Paylists for the Volunteer Militia, 1857-1922, along with 30,000 new records in the existing Canada, War Graves Registers: Circumstances of Casualty, 1914-1948 collection, will be of great interest to any Canadians with military ancestors. has also added the UK, Commonwealth War Graves, 1914-1921 & 1939-1947 collection, which includes graves and memorials for Canadian soldiers who fought in the First and Second World Wars.

“Remembrance Day is such an emotional time for Canadians to reflect on the people who made the brave and often ultimate sacrifice for this nation and its ideals,” says Lesley Anderson, a genealogist and Content Manager at “We are so happy and proud to be able to provide a forum for Canadians to discover more details about their military ancestors and the lives they lived through the preservation and digitization of these rare historical records.”

The collections, which launch on November 1, 2012, include:

Canada, Military Honours and Award Citation Cards, 1900-1961, containing almost 70,000 records documenting awards and honours received by Canadian service personnel, both men and women. Some records include valuable and rare information on the soldiers’ next of kin, a physical description, their home address and a description of the meritorious action.

Canada, Nominal Rolls and Paylists for the Volunteer Militia, 1857-1922, contains more than one million records that provide detailed information about a soldier’s everyday life, including payroll. The records also include travelling expenses, battalion or regiment, rank, pay for the use of a horse and signature of the member for received pay. These small details can help paint a richer picture of the day-to-day routine of Canada’s servicemen and women.

UK, Commonwealth War Graves, 1914-1921 & 1939-1947, contains more than 500,000 records and includes information from both World Wars. The records list names of grave sites and memorials maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, and document who is buried in a cemetery and where, names of people with no known grave, next-of-kin and a history of military action in the area. The collection includes burial and memorial sites in about 150 different countries.

Canada, War Graves Registers: Circumstances of Casualty, 1914-1948, contains almost 30,000 new records added to the existing collection already available on The collection includes military burial documents from Canada, as well as casualty records from the U.S., prisoners of war and members of the Australian Air Force, Polish Air Force and Royal New Zealand Air Force.

The collections also provide opportunities for Canadians to learn the details of service of some of the nation’s most famous soldiers, including:

  • William Avery “Billy” Bishop – As a pilot in the First World War, Bishop achieved 72 kills, which made him the top Canadian ace in that war and earned him a Victoria Cross. The Toronto City Centre Airport is named after the award-winning Air Marshal.
  • William George Barker – A pilot in the First World War, Barker is the most decorated war hero in Canadian history. Only two other servicemen have received as many medals from the British Empire for gallantry.
  • John Weir Foote – Is the only member of the Canadian Chaplains’ Services to be awarded the Victoria Cross. In the Second World War, after a battle in Dieppe, France, Foote surrendered to the German Forces as a prisoner in order to be of help to the men that were captured. He remained with these men in captivity for almost three years.
  • Helen Elizabeth Hansen – A Nursing Sister during the First World War, Hansen was awarded a military medal in 1919 for distinguished service in the field. She was known to be ready for any duty, while always remaining cool and courageous.

Military records

Military records provide some of your most emotional discoveries. Find the war heroes in your family in our millions of service records, medal records, casualty lists and other Army records and Navy records.

Latest military releases

Gallantry Awards 1940-1949

Get an insight into what life was like for family members left back home during wartime with our new exclusive records collection—WWII Civil Defence Gallantry Awards. Nearly 2 million people volunteered for Civil Defence duties during WWII, which ranged from Air Raid Protection wardens to first aid and fire watching. Even boys and girls between 15 and 18 years old had a role, mainly as messengers.

You can explore our new collection to find out if any of your relatives won a medal (the George Cross is the highest civilian gallantry award) and uncover detailed accounts of heroic acts by ordinary people on the home front.

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Waterloo Records 1812-1817

In 1815, Napoleon attempted to reclaim his title as Emperor of France but was soundly defeated at the Battle of Waterloo by a coalition of British and Prussian forces. Over 25,000 British troops fought in the battle and these records will help you find your ancestors who were there.

Our Waterloo Medal Roll collection provides a list of all the troops who participated in the battle, but you can search the UK, British Army Muster Books and Pay Lists, 1812-1817, for even more details about your ancestor’s service. These troop accounts span the years of the Napoleonic Wars and include information such as rank, pay, regiment, start date, and more.

WWI War Diaries 1914-1920

Find out exactly what your relatives experienced during World War I, with two new collections of detailed War Diaries. These collections are extra special as they include daily reports on operations from the Western Front and the Gallipoli Campaign. You can find out where your ancestors were and what they were doing at particular periods during the war.

The level of detail varies depending on who was filling in each diary — but at times you can read what the weather was like and how morale was holding up. You’ll even find hour-by-hour accounts of some of WWI’s largest battles, from the soldiers’ point-of-view.

Recommended military records

WWI Service Records 1914-1920

Service records are the perfect place to start your search for World War I heroes. They reveal their ranks and regiments, where they served, what medals they received and many more personal details.

This collection, British Army WWI Service Records, 1914-1920, includes soldiers who either died during WWI or remained in service until the end of the War. Its sister collection, British Army WWI Pension Records, 1914-1920, covers soldiers who were discharged to pension — usually because they were injured.

Regimental numbers

When you find a relative‘s Service record, note down his regimental number. You can then use this to pick him out in other collections.

WWI Medal Records 1914-1920

Just about everybody who served in WWI was due a medal of some sort. As a result, British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920 — put together to record what awards each soldier had earned — is the most complete list of Britain’s heroes.

If you find a relative received the Distinguished Conduct Medal, you can learn more about the courageous deeds that earned it for them in our separate DCM collection.

Campaign Medals 1793-1949

Military Campaign Medal and Award Rolls, 1793-1949, provides details of more than 2 million soldiers over three centuries of warfare. It lists those who were eligible for a huge variety of campaign medals — which were usually awarded to everyone who fought in particular battles.

You can discover whether your relatives fought in the Napoleonic Wars, The Indian Mutiny, The Crimea or dozens of other conflicts. The two World Wars aren‘t included — you‘ll find the WWI rolls in our separate collection.

How do I obtain father’s military records (WWII) from canada?

What governmental agency do I correspond with to obtain my father’s naval personnnel records. I do not know what exact years he serverd but do have his naval number and his date of birth and death. I know he spent over thirty years in the navy.

Thank you for any help you can give me.

4 Answers

Canadian Military Records

For records of individuals serving after 1914, write to:

Personnel Records Centre

National Archives of Canada

Ottawa, Ont., K1A 0N3

Access to these records is governed by the Privacy Act. However, records of veterans

deceased for twenty or more years are open to the public.

Earlier military records are available through the Canadian Archives, beginning in the

16th century. Among the records of the Canadian militia you can find information about

servicemen in the Seven Years’ War, the War of 1812, the Rebellions of Upper and

Lower Canada in 1837 and 1838, the Red River Expedition in 1870, and the Northwest

Field Force in 1885. In addition to service records, you can find discharge documents and

bounty land records for Canadian and some British soldiers. It is best to contact the

National Archives to see what records for a particular period exist.

While the Canadian Archives do have some information about individuals who served in

the British military, it is limited. It is best to write to:

War Office and Admiralty at the Public Record Office

Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU

You can also find information about British officers in the following books, available in

Small but mighty: How Canada’s military produces some of the world’s best snipers

“Canada has the best sniper training program in the world. I’ve been saying this for years.”

It may sound like a bold statement, but Rob Furlong is among a tiny handful of people with the credibility to make such a brash assertion.

Back in 2002, then-Cpl. Furlong took down a Taliban fighter in Afghanistan from a distance of 2,430 metres. It was the longest kill shot in military history at the time, and broke a record set just days prior by teammate and comrade Master Cpl. Arron Perry.

Cpl. Furlong’s record was broken by British sniper Craig Harrison in 2009, but Canadian bragging rights were restored this past week with the revelation that a member of the Joint Task Force 2 (JTF 2) special forces unit shot an Islamic State fighter in Mosul, Iraq, from a distance of 3,450 metres.

It’s not uncommon for people to shoot similar distances in shooting meets and competitions, Furlong says, which is why he’s not surprised at a feat that people without experience with guns find scarcely believable.

“I don’t know why people have really had trouble digesting that this has been able to take place in a combat situation by one of the most elite forces in the world,” he told Global News. “It was only a matter of time.”

While the sniping feats of Furlong and the newly anointed Canadian record-holder – whose identity hasn’t been revealed – are well-known and celebrated, Canada’s sniping prowess isn’t something that dropped out of the sky after the turn of the millennium.

Indeed as far back as the early 20th century, Canadian snipers were being lauded for their exceptional sharpshooting skills.

“There was great enthusiasm in the Canadian ranks for sniping and those selected were sent to one of the sniping schools… where they were tested for proficiency,” military historian Martin Pegler wrote in his book Out of Nowhere: A history of the military sniper, from the sharpshooter to Afghanistan. “The Canadian sniper instructors were ruthless in their selection – of 39 applicants on one course, 11 were swiftly returned to their units.”

Pegler writes that Canada provided some of the finest snipers during the First World War, many of whom were aboriginal soldiers “whose backwoods skills, patience and acute eyesight made them ideally suited to the task.”

WATCH: PM Trudeau comments on record-breaking shot by Canadian sniper

Historical records indicate that Canada could claim eight of the top dozen snipers from all countries involved in the fighting during the war.

“Of those eight, at least five and probably six are aboriginal of some sort – Metis, First Nations or Inuit,” said Maj. Jim McKillip, a historian with the Canadian Forces department of history and heritage.

None was as decorated as Cpl. Francis Pegahmagabow, who is credited with 378 kills in his four years on the frontlines of Europe.

“His iron nerves, patience and superb marksmanship helped make him an outstanding sniper,” military historian Fred Gaffen wrote of Pegahmagabow in his book Forgotten Soldiers.

Francis Pegahmagabow pictured in Ottawa in 1945.

A backwoods upbringing probably has a lot to do with Canada’s history of sniping excellence, fellow military historian Mark Zuehlke posits.

Military Records Канада

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Military history of Canada — This article is part of a series Conflicts … Wikipedia

Wolverine’s Military Records and Personal Journals Released by Canada

There were a lot of fake headlines and cutesy jokes floating around yesterday (April Fools’ Day, in case you were blissfully unaware), but you may have missed this one: Canada’s official library and archives released the personal journals and military records of one James “Logan” Howlett, better known to X-Men fans as Wolverine. Among the newly-”declassified” documents are some interesting facts about the famous mutant, including details on his time as a fur trader and a miner.

Library and Archives Canada released the info via their website and Facebook page, along with an old sepia-toned photograph of Wolverine (he hasn’t aged a day!) and an attestation paper for the Canadian over-seas expeditionary force:

News ReleaseLibrary and Archives Canada’s major acquisition of the declassified journals and military records of.

As far as April Fools’ jokes go, this one is pretty entertaining — not so much a joke as a fun acknowledgement from Canada of their most famous superhero. Among the facts offered by the archive: Wolverine served in both World War I and World War II, served in the CIA during the Cold War, and spent some time working as a fur trader; the latter of which sounds like a much cooler version of The Revenant.

We’ll see Wolverine next in The Wolverine 2, which re-teams Hugh Jackman with director James Mangold and X-Men co-star Patrick Stewart for Jackman’s final big screen outing as the iconic hero. That film hits theaters in 2020. Meanwhile, director Bryan Singer has been playing a bit coy about the chances of a Wolverine cameo in X-Men: Apocalypse, but you can keep your fingers crossed for a surprise Jackman appearance when the film arrives on May 27.

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Canadian Military Records

If your ancestors lived in Canada, you may find that the country’s military records could be very helpful in tracing your family tree. Find out how to access these records, and learn more about what kind of information they contain.

Finding Military Records from Canada

The best places to look for Canadian military records include:

Helpful Tips

When searching for your Canadian ancestors who served in the military, it may help to keep the following tips in mind:

  • Find out as much information as you can about the date of service. If you can pinpoint a specific war in which your ancestor fought, you’ll have more success locating the military records for that individual.
  • If possible, try to determine the military branch of which your ancestor was a member. Together with the approximate dates of service, this information will dramatically improve your search results.
  • For perspective, consider learning as much as you can about the war in which your ancestor fought. This will help make your research more real and meaningful and will provide an added dimension to your genealogical files.
  • Keep at it! It may take a while to sort through Canadian military records for your ancestors, but the information you find will be well worth the work involved.

Canadian Military History

Prior to the Confederation of Canada in 1867, many Canadians served in the British and French armed forces, as well as in local militias. They helped to defend the territory from invading countries, the United States, and native people. Many Canadians fought against the Americans in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.

After 1867, Canada developed a national volunteer militia, which defended the country against threats like the Fenians, an Irish radical group bent on invading Canada from the south. This militia, as well as other subsequent ground forces for the defense of Canada, are often called the «Canadian Army.»

The Royal Canadian Navy was formed in 1910, and the Royal Canadian Air Force began in 1924. All three branches of the Canadian military were consolidated in 1968 to form the Department of National Defense.

By Way of Canada

U.S. Records of Immigration Across the U.S.-Canadian Border, 1895-1954 (St. Albans Lists)

Fall 2000, Vol. 32, No. 3 | Genealogy Notes

By Marian L. Smith

As researchers increasingly discover the large number of immigrants who came to the United States via Canada, they more frequently turn their attention to U.S. immigration records of arrivals to Canada or from Canada into the United States. These records, held at the National Archives, are popularly known as the «St. Albans Lists.» Although in many ways U.S.-Canadian border immigration records are easier to use than their passenger list counterparts for ports such as New York, Boston, or Philadelphia, they are a complicated and interrelated set of documents. To use them effectively, one must understand both who will and will not be found in those records as well as how each record may or may not relate to another document in the U.S. National Archives or the National Archives of Canada. This article discusses the records’ origin and arrangement, then presents examples to illustrate their use.

A large number of immigrants came to the United States via Canada during the mid- and late nineteenth century, and for them there is no U.S. immigration record. They landed in Canada where no U.S. officer met them or recorded information about their arrival in the United States. The always-growing number of immigrants who chose this route in the late 1800s finally convinced the United States, in 1894, to build and operate the bureaucratic machinery necessary to document the many thousands who each year entered at points along its northern border.

In earlier years immigrants landing in Canada were largely from Britain, Scandinavia, northern Europe, or Russia. In the 1880s, as the United States began to impose more stringent immigration rules at its own ports of entry, even more immigrants from the same regions and elsewhere chose to travel via Canada to avoid the trouble and delay of U.S. immigrant inspection. By the 1890s, steamship companies began to advertise passage through Canada as a more desirable route for immigrants who wished to avoid U.S. inspectors. While much of this traffic remained Irish, Swedish, Norwegian, or Russian, the business of carrying Italians, Greeks, and others from Mediterranean ports to Canada grew.

This evasion of immigrant inspection spurred the U.S. government to action. In 1894 the U.S. Immigration Service entered into an agreement with Canadian railroads and steamship lines serving Canadian ports of entry to bring those companies into compliance with U.S. immigration law. The steamship lines agreed to treat all passengers destined to the United States as if they would be landing at a U.S. port of entry. This meant completing a U.S. ship passenger manifest form and selling tickets only to those who appeared admissible under U.S. law. Canadian railroads agreed to carry only those immigrants who were legally admitted to the United States to U.S. destinations.

For its part, the U.S. Immigration Service stationed immigrant inspectors at Canadian seaports of entry to collect the manifests and inspect U.S.-bound immigrants. The largest Canadian Atlantic ports were Quebec and Montreal (summer) and St. John and Halifax (winter). Furthermore, between 1895 and 1906 the U.S. placed inspectors at northern land border ports of entry. Beginning in 1895, immigrants destined to the United States were subject to the following procedure upon arrival in Canada: U.S. immigrant inspectors at seaports inspected immigrants bound for the United States after they passed Canadian quarantine. If admitted, the inspector issued each passenger a «Certificate of Admission» showing he or she had been inspected and admitted. Railroads required all passengers who landed in Canada within the last thirty days to present their Certificates of Admission before boarding a U.S.-bound train. Then, when the train stopped at the border, another U.S. inspector boarded the train and collected the Certificates of Admission. In this way, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) tracked and connected an immigrant’s arrival at the seaport and his subsequent physical entrance into the United States.

At land border ports, inspectors also prepared another manifest list (Form 1-Canada). Similar to a ship passenger manifest, the form was titled «List or Manifest of Alien Passengers Applying for Admission to the United States from Foreign Contiguous Territory.» This border port manifest often relates to immigrants who had been in Canada for months or years and applied for admission to the United States at a land border port. Before October 1, 1906, the records include only those immigrants born outside Canada. Beginning on that date the records include Canadian-born immigrants.

Form 1-Canada contains all information required under U.S. immigration law, and sometimes more. To account for immigrants who lived in Canada before moving to the United States, Form 1-Canada contained additional columns for recording original arrival information. These columns called for the port, date, and steamship that originally carried the immigrant to Canada. The information allowed the INS to check Canadian ship passenger lists for that immigrant and allows researchers to do the same today.

At the end of each month, U.S. officers at Canadian seaports and land border ports of entry sent their ship or border lists to the INS Canadian Border District Office in Montreal.1 There, the lists were filed chronologically by year and month, then alphabetically by port. In some cases, ship lists from seaports would be filed at the beginning of a month’s records, followed by the land ports in alphabetical order. The lists are today found in two of the National Archives’ St. Albans Lists publications, divided largely by geography: Manifests of Passengers Arriving in the St. Albans, VT, District through Canadian Pacific and Atlantic Ports, 1895-1954 (NARA microfilm publication M1464) and Manifests of Passengers Arriving in the St. Albans, VT, District through Canadian Pacific Ports, 1929-1949 (NARA microfilm publication M1465). Most immigrants from Europe would be found in M1464.

Unless one knows the date and port of arrival, one gains access to the manifest lists by first searching one of two large Soundex indexes. The INS began to create the indexes in the 1930s by sponsoring a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project to transcribe nearly all available information from the lists to manifest cards, which were then filed by Soundexed surname. Researchers benefit from the existence of a comprehensive index to all arrivals between 1895 and 1917 and the majority of arrivals from Canada into Eastern and Midwestern States to 1927. The Soundex indexes are divided chronologically-one before and one after 1924 (NARA microfilm publications M1461 and M1463).

Changes to records procedure on the northern border affected the Soundex index, and these changes do not always correspond to the 1924 division date. After June 1917, the Soundex index included only arrivals/admissions east of the North Dakota/Montana state line. Later, after July 1, 1927, the index generally includes only those arrivals/admissions east of Lake Ontario. Thus the St. Albans Soundex 1895 to 1924 (NARA microfilm publication M1461) can only be considered complete between 1895 and 1917, and largely complete after 1917. After 1929, there is no geographically comprehensive index.

The later St. Albans Soundex, dating from 1924 to 1952 (NARA microfilm publication M1463) is a much smaller set. It remains unclear whether this set indexes only seaport arrivals or includes only certain land border admissions. It is known the later Soundex can be useful in locating records of immigrants who arrived in the United States at any port of entry before 1940, many of them in the 1930s, who either entered the U.S. illegally or overstayed their temporary visas. The Alien Registration Act of 1940 revealed these immigrants’ illegal status, and they soon applied for an immigrant visa and adjustment of immigration status in the United States. When a visa application was approved, the applicant had to travel outside the United States to collect the visa and return through a U.S. port of entry where a record of admission for permanent residence could be filed. Thus the post-1924 Soundex (M1463) contains records of many alien residents of the Northeast and Midwest who traveled to Montreal in the early 1940s so they might legally re-immigrate to the United States. Many of these World War II-era «re-immigrants» are Canadian-born individuals who arrived prior to 1924 or Jews who somehow made their way from Europe to the United States in the 1930s or very early 1940s.

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According to documented INS records procedure, Soundex cards for those immigrants admitted at land border ports after June 30, 1929, were supposed to be filed only at the actual port of entry where the immigrant entered the United States. See a list of arrival records available on National Archives microfilm.

As noted above, while some St. Albans Soundex cards constitute a complete record, most also serve as index cards containing references to port records filed chronologically. The following early twentieth century examples will illustrate how the St. Albans Lists operate.

A researcher searching for Wasyli Piotroczuk’s immigration record may or may not know when, where, or how he arrived in the United States. Perhaps she knows only that Wasyli was born in Russia in the mid-1880s and came to the United States as a young man destined to Chicago. Searches of the indexes to passenger arrivals at New York, Boston, and Philadelphia are either fruitless or yield so many possible immigrants that the search seems hopeless.

A search of the early St. Albans Soundex (M1461) produces a card for a Wasyli Piotroczuk, born ca. 1884 in (Turna?), Russia, destined to his uncle Pavel Viosluk in Chicago. The card contains all the information normally found on a large ship list. The card is located by 1) Soundexing the surname; 2) finding first names beginning with «W» (similar given names may be grouped together by place of birth), and; 3) searching for Wasyli.

The Soundex card also contains information about the immigrant’s arrival in Canada. In this case, it says Wasyli arrived on the SS Campanello on April 3, 1912, at Halifax, Nova Scotia. With this information, one proceeds to the passenger manifests for Canadian seaports and land border ports (M1464). The ship and port manifests look identical or similar to ship lists for U.S. seaports, but their arrangement has one important difference: They are filed first by year and month, then by port and ship.

To find Wasyli’s ship list, then, one must first find the St. Albans manifest records for April 1912. Once that year and month are located, one then searches within that month for the port, which in Wasyli’s case is Halifax, Nova Scotia. Upon locating Halifax, one searches for the ship Campanello. Though the ship list contains little additional information about Wasyli not already learned from the Soundex card, the list does indicate the Campanello left Rotterdam on March 23, 1912. The list also reveals other Campanello passengers traveling with Wasyli to the United States.

Note well that only those passengers who declared a U.S. destination will be listed in U.S. ship passenger records of arrivals at Canadian seaports. Because the United States listed such complete information for U.S.-bound immigrants, Canadian ship lists for the same passengers will contain only summary information. However, Canadian lists do usually provide a ticket or contract number that might be useful when searching for emigration records on the other side of the Atlantic. While Canada apparently did not spend time collecting information on U.S.-bound migrants, Canadian ship passenger lists contain complete information for immigrants destined to Canadian Provinces.

Mandel Kaufman’s grandchildren may have known he was a Russian Jew born in 1883 but knew little about his actual immigration. They would be excited to find Mandel’s Declaration of Intention to naturalize, filed in a Michigan county court in 1910, stating his arrival in the United States in October 1905. But searches of every ship arriving at New York in that month and year produced no record of Mandel. Did he give the wrong date? Were they wrong to assume he entered the U.S. at New York? What might they do to find this record of their immigrant grandfather, who lived and worked in Detroit?

A search of the St. Albans Soundex begins to resolve this mystery. A card for Mandel Kaufman shows his age, occupation, place of birth, and the name of his wife left behind in Russia. This should be enough information to identify him as the same Mandel Kaufman. The card indicates he entered the United States for the first time at Detroit, Michigan, on March 31, 1908, and contains all the information included in a standard U.S. immigration passenger list of that year. His last permanent residence was Toronto, Canada. Furthermore, the Soundex card indicates Mandel arrived in Canada at Quebec during October of 1905, aboard the SS Lake Michigan.

A separate search of the St. Albans passenger lists does not produce a record of Mandel aboard the Lake Michigan in October 1905. Mandel was likely on that vessel, but he was not at that time destined to the United States. Rather, he was destined to Canada and so would not be included in the U.S. record. Only U.S.-bound immigrants will be found on the U.S. list, while all immigrants aboard the Lake Michigan will be listed on the passenger list submitted to the Canadian government and now available at the National Archives of Canada. In this way the St. Albans Soundex can also serve as a partial or limited index to Canadian immigration records.

Though not found on a U.S. ship list, Mandel is listed on a manifest of aliens arriving at the port of Detroit during the month of April 1908. Like Wasyli’s ship list, the record holds little or no additional written information beyond that found on the Soundex card. Review of the port manifest in this case does reveal that Mandel was traveling alone.

Ship lists of U.S.-bound passengers at Canadian ports of entry often contain the same stamped or handwritten annotations as are common on ship passenger lists for New York or Boston. On the Campanello’s ship list, for example, one sees a passenger on line 11 whose record has been stamped «Deported» in the left margin. Reference to the same name, Gregori Charczuk, on the Canadian Archives manifest shows a stamp reading «Hospital» in the left margin. Such stamps are not unusual on U.S. passenger lists, and were it not for additional information in this case one would assume the immigrant Gregori Charczuk was hospitalized and deported due to contagious disease or some other medical condition.

Additional information in this case is suggested by the handwritten annotation scrawled across his record, which reads:

«[deported] April 24, 1912-See Montreal File 10932/358-appealed from excluding decision of BSI-Sec’y affirms exclusion as per Bureau letter of 4/16/12.»

This cryptic language translates to the following: Gregori Charczuk was excluded (i.e., barred from entry) by U.S. officers at Halifax. Like all other excluded immigrants he was held for a hearing before a Board of Special Inquiry (BSI), a panel of three inspectors who reviewed the inspector’s initial decision. In most cases Boards of Special Inquiry overturned the inspector’s decision and admitted the immigrant. In Gregori’s case, they upheld the decision to exclude and deport him. Gregori then appealed the decision of the BSI to the Bureau of Immigration in Washington, D.C., hoping the commissioner of immigration or secretary of commerce and labor would overturn the BSI’s decision. But in a letter of April 16, 1912, the secretary affirmed the exclusion, so Gregori Charczuk was deported on April 24, 1912.

Only a fraction of BSI cases were appealed to Washington, D.C., but those cases created files in Washington, which are today in the National Archives.2 Gregori’s file contains nine pages-three of them a transcript of his original BSI hearing in Halifax, which took place the morning of April 4, 1912, after all the other Campanello passengers departed on their various trains. The transcript reveals that Gregori was not at all sick. Rather, he appeared to be only fifteen years old, not twenty-two as he claimed. Nor had there been any communication from the friend in Chicago Gregori claimed was waiting for him. Thus the inspectors excluded him as a Likely Public Charge (LPC) and sent him to the Dominion Immigration Hospital to await a decision in his case. It is unknown whether Canada’s government hospital was the only detention facility available to U.S. immigration officials at Halifax or if they arranged to keep him there because they did not want to place a boy with no family in their regular detention quarters.

Correspondence in Gregori’s file indicates that the owners of the SS Campanello, the Uranium Steamship Company, were instrumental in drafting Gregori’s appeal of the BSI decision. The appeal was written on Uranium Steamship Company stationery and signed by an agent of the company in Halifax. Given the steamship company was responsible not only for paying Gregori’s return fare but also liable to pay his expenses until the next return voyage approximately two weeks later, one can see the company’s interest in Gregori’s admission. Ultimately, Gregori Charczuk was deported and departed Halifax on April 24, 1912, aboard the SS VolturNo. 3

The immigration records of Wasyli Piotroczuk and Mandel Kaufman and the deportation record of Gregori Charczuk all demonstrate that the U.S. immigration procedure familiar to us at large U.S. ports of entry also occurred at Canadian ports of entry after 1895. That procedure created official government records available today at the U.S. National Archives, through LDS Family History Centers, and other research institutions. United States records of immigration from or via Canada (the St. Albans Lists) are a genealogical researcher’s treasure.


1. Because this comprehensive set of records was compiled at Montreal, they would be better named the «Montreal Lists.» But in later years INS moved its Canadian Border District Office from Montreal to St. Albans, Vermont. Thus when INS eventually transferred copies of the records to the National Archives, the records came from St. Albans, and it is from this latter location we derive the unhelpful name «St. Albans Lists.» It is unhelpful because too many researchers assume from that name the records only pertain to arrivals across the Vermont/Canada border.

2. All Board of Special Inquiry decisions resulted in a file created at the District Office in Montreal, which explains the reference to «Montreal File 10932/353.» But District Office case files were destroyed decades ago. Only appeal cases in Washington, a fraction of the total, survive today at the National Archives Building in downtown Washington, DC.

3. Case of Gregori Charczuk, file 53392/193, box 411, Accession 60A600, Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, Record Group 85, National Archives Building, Washington, DC.

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