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Monday, January 18, 2010

Finding a Canadian Naturalization Record

Arnold's Question (edited):
I can not find the Naturalization Records for my Great Aunt Becky (Pesse) and Great Uncle Isidore (Yitzhak) Yetnikoff, who lived in Montreal, Quebec Canada after they each immigrated to Canada separately and were married in 1914.

Becky (Pesse Meyerowitz) was born in Jacobstadt, Russia on July 23, 1889. She left Russia in September of 1907. My great aunt is listed in both the Hamburg and Ellis Island passenger ship records. My great aunt and uncle were married in 1914 in Montreal. Becky remained in Canada the remainder of her life and died in 1982 at 92 years of age.

My Great Uncle Isidore Yetnikoff was born in Yetaterinslav, Ukraine in April of 1892. He came to Canada with his parents Beryl and Leah (Vashevnikov) Yetnikoff and their 6 European born children, between 1902 and 1906. I do not know the name of the ship, or the port that they entered Canada. I presume that Isidore and Becky became Naturalized Canadian Citizens sometime after their marriage in 1914. Isidore passed away in Montreal in 1974. I would appreciate if you could help me break through this brick wall.

Olive Tree Answer: Hello Arnold, it seems you have done quite a bit of research on your great aunt and uncle. One thing that you might be overlooking is that they may never have naturalized. Naturalization was optional, not mandatory.

However, if you have not already done so, you may want to take a look at the Canadian Naturalization Records website.

You may be in luck because Citizenship and Immigration Canada holds records of naturalization and citizenship from 1854. The originals of records dated between 1854 and 1917 have been destroyed. However a nominal card index survives. It provides information compiled at the time of naturalization, such as present and former place of residence, former nationality, occupation, date of certification, name and location of the responsible court. The index rarely contains any other genealogical information.

You can also search The Canadian Naturalization databases which contain references to people who applied for and received status as naturalized Canadians from 1915 to 1932. A new Version of the Canadian Naturalization 1915-1932 Database became available as of July 22, 2009, held at Library and Archives Canada (LAC). It now includes the names of 206,731 individuals who applied for and received status as naturalized Canadians from 1915 to 1932. It is searchable online. I am having trouble connecting to it this morning, but you can use the link provided at the Canadian Naturalization Records website.

Don't overlook the 1940 Registration File. This resulted from the compulsory registration of all persons, 16 years of age or older, in the period from 1940 to 1946. This is another way to find an ancestor in that time period. This is a Census Substitute, not a naturalization record. However the forms did ask if the person was naturalized, and if so, what year and what place they naturlalized in. The forms also ask the year of immigration to Canada if not born in Canada.

1 comment:

  1. Check also Border Crossing records at (or .ca), in case they visited the USA. At a minimum, name and citizenship are noted. That may answer the "did they" question and narrow down the "when".