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Thursday, January 29, 2009

What is the British Bonus System?

Marina wrote: I have the name of the ship that my great grandparents travelled to Canada on & the date they arrived at St Johns, New Brunswick. I believe they then took a train to their destination of Pickering, Ontario. On the ship's passenger list it stated that William Mann was allowed a British Bonus. I am wondering what records might be available regarding this bonus or their settlement in Pickering.

MY ANSWER: Hi Marina. See "Manifest Markings on Canadian Passenger Lists" for information on the British Bonus System.

Briefly, the British Bonus was a commission paid by the Canadian government's Immigration Branch to steamship booking agents in the United Kingdom and in European countries for each suitable immigrant who purchased a ticket to sail to Canada.The immigrants themselves did not receive the bonus,although those who settled on western homesteads did receive a separate monetary bonus upon proof of settlement.

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