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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Finding an Ancestor in Canada Requires More Precise Location

Angela asked Olive Tree Genealogy a question about finding someone who moved to Canada.

I am searching for my great uncle, Julius Idavain, born 1/12/1918 in Estionia,  he had brother Edward 1/3/1910 , (my grandfather)   a sister HIlda 2/5/1913  , Edward took ill and later died in New york in 1942,   Julius visited my mother when she was a child,, she was told by her grandfather that Julius had moved to Canada , and used to keep in contact by ltr with her grandfather,   I have searched records for canada but cannot find anything , even on any ship records, . Any ideas ??
Angela - You will have trouble searching for records unless you can narrow down the geographic location. Canada is the second largest country in the world and every province and territory has different records from different years kept in different locations! So unless you know at the minimum a province or territory you're going to have a challenge.

Also, ships passenger records to Canadian ports of arrival are not available online after 1935. Immigration records after 1935 are in the custody of Citizenship and Immigration Canada. To obtain a copy you must meet certain requirements which are outlined on the website.

You could try the Border Crossing records for USA and Canada if you have not already done so.  These are found on

Canada also has strict privacy laws so it will be quite difficult for you to get information for the years you require it. For example our most recent searchable census is 1911. This will give you some idea of how far back you need to go to access many records.

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