29 July 2009

Canadian naturalizations: More information

Stanley Diamond, president of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Montreal, has provided more information on the Canadian Naturalization records (1914-1932), previously reported by Tracing the Tribe.

The new database includes more than 200,000 people who were naturalized during this period. They came from about 80 countries, and we estimate that about 1/3 of them were Jewish.

This new index has taken many years to get to this stage, from the time when we first heard about the printed records, which are very difficult to search and only available in fragile books at a few libraries in Canada. Although a finding-aid was created by our society several years ago, this new search engine makes finding records much easier.

We are grateful to the Jewish Genealogical Society of Ottawa which funded original scanning of these records, and to the years of work by society members Ruth Diamond, who did the vast bulk of the data entry, and Alan Greenberg, who managed the project and handled the image processing and database creation.

And we are particularly appreciative of the efforts of the Canadian Genealogy Centre (CGC) within Library and Archives Canada for creating such a great home for the naturalization database.
Search the database here.

The work is not yet over, adds Stan.

The JGS of Montreal has scanned a similar collection of records (1932-1952) with some 400,000 additional naturalizations, which will need to be indexed. The group is double-entering the 1914-32 records to ensure no errors and that all individual are properly indexed. This project will soon start.

To order copies of the full naturalization (application) files for your ancestors, see the research guide on the JGS-Montreal site.

According to Stan, naturalization records prior to 1914/16 are generally not available, but there is a major exception - records have been preserved for those naturalized in the Montreal Superior Court and they are also indexed on the CGC. The JGS-Montreal web site also has a research guide for those records.

The site has been redone recently and contains much information for those searching family in Montreal or Canada, in general.

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