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Guide to Canadian Jewish Genealogical Research

Compiled and Edited by Bruce Brown for JewishGen Education, February, 2013

Canada Background

Canada has the world’s fourth-largest Jewish population.  According to the Canada 2001 Census, there were 348,605 Jews currently living in Canada.

Canada consists of 10 provinces and 3 northern territories.

Map of Canada

Jewish immigration primarily occurred between 1850–1939.  It was the beginning of the pogroms of Russia in the 1880s, and continuing through the growing anti-Semitism of the early 20th century, that millions of Jews began to flee the Pale of Settlement and other areas of Eastern Europe for the West.  Although the United States received the overwhelming majority of these immigrants, Canada was also a destination of choice due to enticement for free land and less stringent immigration requirements.  Even for immigrants whose final destination was the United States, steamship companies advertised passage through Canada as a more desirable route for immigrants who wished to avoid tougher U.S. inspectors upon arrival.

The primary ports of Canadian immigration and years of available records are:

  • Québec City and Montreal (Québec), 1865-1935;
  • Halifax (Nova Scotia), 1881-1935;
  • Saint John (New Brunswick), 1900-1935;
  • North Sydney (Nova Scotia), 1906-1935 (these include mostly ferry arrivals from Newfoundland and St-Pierre-et-Miquelon, with a few passengers in transit from other countries);
  • Vancouver (British Columbia), 1905-1935;
  • Victoria (British Columbia), 1905-1935;
  • Via New York, 1906-1931; and other eastern United States ports, 1905-1928 (these lists include only the names of passengers who stated that they intended to proceed directly to Canada).

Researching immigrants to and through Canada

It was not too long ago that the only way to perform Canadian genealogy was by manually slogging through microfilms ordered through the Mormon Church Family History Center (and usually taking two weeks to arrive.)  Things have really changed.  Thanks to lots of volunteer work, more and more records are being computer indexed allowing us to perform Canadian research on our home computer that’s easier, faster, and more productive.

The sections categorized in this document detail the many specific internet locations and organizations to help you find information about your family.  As a minimum in your research, there are three main data sources you will want to know about and have access/contact:

  1. Ancestry.com or Ancestry.ca: Containing many different types of records, this is a subscription service that requires payment, but you should be able to get free access at many local libraries.  Ancestry.com has the broadest selection of computer-indexed material searchable by surname, and generally provides the most productive results of any data source.  www.ancestry.com or www.ancestry.ca.  Frankly, a subscription to Ancestry.com is a must for any serious Canadian researcher.

  2. The National Archives of Canada has a web site called the Canadian Genealogy Centre, which has an index to nearly three million records in a variety of categories.  It generally does not provide as productive searches as Ancestry.com, but is free.  A sample list of the collection is available, as is a list of the databases; its master search capability is also available online.

    The National Archives of Canada
    395 Wellington St.
    Ottawa, ON K1A 0N3
    Canada
    613-996-7458

  3. Jewish Genealogical Organizations, Museums and Archives: These groups are organized by city and are a wonderful way to get data such as cemetery records, and newspaper articles such as obits and wedding announcements.  Their services are free but they welcome donations.  A list of these organizations is provided in a separate section in this document.  You can find records generally not available through Ancestry.com.

If you are researching ancestors who settled in Canada, then the following types of documents and records should be of interest to you:

  1. Canadian Census Records; provides the immigration date to help locate the passenger manifest
  2. Passenger Manifests into Canadian and Selected US Ports; includes the major ports of Montreal and Halifax
  3. Border Crossing Records; both from U.S. to Canada and Canada to U.S.  Canadian citizens would sometimes visit or eventually immigrate to the U.S.  These border records provide useful genealogic information.
  4. Naturalization; the actual naturalization approval form is not much value, but the application contains useful data.
  5. Birth, Marriage and Death Records — the Vital Records
  6. Cemetery records and photographs; provides the age, Hebrew name, and father’s name
  7. Newspaper Articles; includes both city and local Jewish papers
  8. City Directories provide the profession and prove residency in the directory year
  9. National Registration of 1940 provides year of arrival of immigrants
  10. Passport Applications and Identity Documents typically provide age and town of residence
  11. Land Records reveal the date the ancestor was in Canada, sometimes immediately after immigration
  12. Military Records provide age, rank, and location/date of service
  13. Jewish Genealogical Societies, Museums, & Libraries help you find all the above
  14. Ask A Librarian via telephone to request data in a library archive
  15. Meta Search — a search through several search tools simultaneously
  16. Other Archives & Online Search Sites — additional sites to try if none others work
  17. Phonebook Listings if you need to find a living person in Canada
  18. Miscellaneous Sites — other places to go for specialized research projects

If you are researching ancestors who immigrated to the United States via a Canadian port, the following documents should be of interest:

  1. Passenger Manifests into Canadian and Selected US Ports; includes the major ports of Montreal and Halifax.  For passengers heading directly to U.S. cities, there also will be a separate U.S. Passenger Manifest, containing more useful information than on the Canadian manifest.  This type of manifest is typically found in Ancestry.com as a border crossing record.

  2. Border Crossing Records; both from U.S. to Canada, and Canada to U.S.  United States citizens would sometimes visit relatives in Canada or travel there on vacations.  These border records provide family names and addresses.

U.S census records will provide the year of immigration, which is useful for the Canadian passenger manifest and border crossing searches.

The following sections will provide details on methods and locations to provide the above information.


Canadian Census Records

A hyperlinked table to all census records is provided below.  It is based on a site of the National Archives of Canada, but contains many corrections and direct links to Ancestry.com.

All census returns from 1851 to 1916 have been digitized, and are currently available on multiple websites.  All digital images and indexes to those census returns will be available on Library and Archives Canada website.  A searchable database for years 1851 to 1916 is available at Ancestry.ca.

Census By Place Where To Find
1851 Canada East, Canada West, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia Ancestry.ca: 1851 Census of Canada East, Canada West, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia
FamilySearch.org: Historical Record Collections
The 1852 and 1881 Historical Censuses of Canada
1851 Census of New Brunswick Index
Census of 1851
1861   Ancestry.ca: 1861 Census of Canada
FamilySearch.org: Historical Record Collections
1871 Canada East, Canada West, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia Census of Canada, 1871
Census of Ontario, 1871
Ancestry.ca: 1871 Census of Canada
FamilySearch.org: Historical Record Collections
1881   Census of Canada, 1881
Ancestry.ca: 1881 Census of Canada
FamilySearch.org: Historical Record Collections
The 1852 and 1881 Historical Censuses of Canada
1891   Census of Canada, 1891
Ancestry.ca: 1891 Census of Canada
FamilySearch.org: Historical Record Collections
1901   Ancestry.ca: 1901 Census of Canada
Census of the Alberta District and the Northwest Territories, 1901
Automated Genealogy (searchable by name)
Census of Canada, 1901 (not searchable by name)
1906 Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta Ancestry.ca: 1906 Canada Census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta
Automated Genealogy Index, 1906
Census of the Northwest Provinces, 1906
1911   Ancestry.ca: 1911 Census of Canada
Automated Genealogy, 1911
Census of Canada, 1911 (not searchable by name)
1916 Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta Ancestry.ca: 1916 Canada Census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta
Census of the Prairie Provinces, 1916

Passenger Manifests

Immigration Years Port(s) Name Search Canadian Archives and Ancestry.com Internet Location(s)
1832-1937 This database includes information on 33,026 immigrants whose names appear in surviving records of the Grosse-Île Quarantine Station between 1832 and 1937. Parks Canada provided the data. Yes CollectionsCanada.gc.ca: Immigrants at Grosse-Île
Yes Ancestry.com: Canadian Passenger Lists, 1865-1935
Before 1865 There are no comprehensive nominal lists of immigrants arriving in Canada before 1865. Few such lists have survived. There are some lists available for 1717-1760 and 1786 on microfilm, Irish immigrants in the early 1820s, and Montreal in 1832. Yes CollectionsCanada.gc.ca: Passenger Lists before 1865
Yes Ancestry.com: Ship Passenger Lists to Nova Scotia, Canada
Ancestry.com: New Brunswick, Canada, Passenger Lists: 1834
1865-1922 Québec (1865-1921)
Halifax (1881-1922)
Saint John (1900-1922)
North Sydney (1906-1922)
Vancouver (1905-1922)
Victoria (1905-1922)
New York (1906-1922)
Eastern American coast (1905-1922)
No CollectionsCanada.gc.ca: Passenger Lists, 1865-1922
Yes Ancestry.com: Canadian Passenger Lists, 1865-1935
1919-1924 “Form 30A Ocean Arrivals”

Québec
Halifax
Saint John
North Sydney
Vancouver
Victoria
Partial; Based on surname letters, locate reel number to perform manual search. CollectionsCanada.gc.ca: Form 30A, 1919-1924 (Ocean Arrivals), Microfilm Surnames

“Microform Digitization” Microfilm reels:

CollectionsCanada.gc.ca: Form 30A, 1919-1924 (Ocean Arrivals), Microform Digitization
Yes Ancestry.com: Canada, Ocean Arrivals (Form 30A), 1919-1924
1919-1924 “Form 30 Border Entry” Partial; Based on surname letters, locate reel number to perform manual search. CollectionsCanada.gc.ca: Form 30, 1919-1924 (Border Entries), Microfilm Surnames

“Microform Digitization” Microfilm reels:

CollectionsCanada.gc.ca: Border Entry, Form 30, 1919-1924, Microform Digitization
1925-1935 Québec
Halifax
Saint John
North Sydney
Vancouver
Victoria
Yes, but then points to reel number.
First note the arrival date, ship’s name, volume, page and microfilm reel numbers and then consult Microform Digitization to view the actual page.
CollectionsCanada.gc.ca: Immigration Records (1925-1935)

“Microform Digitization” Microfilm reels:

CollectionsCanada.gc.ca: Microform Digitization
Yes Ancestry.com: Canadian Passenger Lists, 1865-1935

Steve Morse also has developed a web-based search tool that is connected to the Ancestry.com databases, covering the years 1865 to 1935.  It offers the ability to filter results by additional parameters, including age.  It is located at SteveMorse.org: Searching the Passenger Lists in One Step.

Note that search terms for the Canadian Ancestry.com database, as well as the Steve Morse front-end, require a minimum 3-letters for either the first or last name.

To view Canadian manifest microfilm reels directly, it is no longer necessary to order them through the Mormon Church LDS Family History Centers.  The manifests can now be viewed at Ancestry.com: Canadian Passenger Lists, 1865-1935.  On the right side of the screen, under “Browse this Collection” select Port, Year, Month and Ship.  The manifest reels are also accessible online at CollectionsCanada.gc.ca: Passenger Lists, 1865-1922.

Records of immigrants arriving at Canadian land and seaports after January 1, 1936 are in the custody of Citizenship and Immigration Canada.  To request a copy of another person’s immigration record, mail your request to:

Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Public Rights Administration
360 Laurier Avenue West
10th Floor
Ottawa, ON K1A 1L1 Canada

Please note that:

  • The request should include the full name at time of entry into Canada, date of birth and year of entry.  Additional information is helpful, such as country of birth, port of entry and names of accompanying family members.

  • Applications for copies of documents must be submitted on an Access to Information Request Form (Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat) by a Canadian citizen or an individual residing in Canada.  Fee: $5.00, payable to the Receiver General for Canada.

  • The request must be accompanied by a signed consent from the person concerned or proof that he/she has been deceased 20 years.  Proof of death can be a copy of a death record, a newspaper obituary, or a photograph of the gravestone showing name and death date.  Proof of death is not required if the person would be over 110 years of age.


Border Crossing Records

An overall explanation of the border crossing records is provided in the article by Smith, Marian L.: “By Way of Canada: U.S. Records of Immigration Across the U.S.-Canadian Border,” 1895-1954 (St. Albans Lists) (National Archives and Records Administration, Prologue Magazine, Fall 2000, Vol. 32, No. 3).

Steve Morse has developed a web-based search tool that is connected to the Ancestry.com databases, covering the years 1895 to 1956.  It offers some additional ability to filter results to include age of the immigrant.  It is located at SteveMorse.org: Searching the Canadian Border Crossings Lists in One Step.


Naturalization

The Canadian Naturalization 1915–1932 Database is available at CollectionsCanada.gc.ca: Canadian Naturalization 1915-1951.

The naturalization records contain a wealth of information; they usually give the port and exact date of arrival in Canada.  If arrival was through the US, they usually also list the US arrival details.  In many cases, a wife and children were naturalized along with the father.  If the naturalization was prior to 1915, there are no original records, but if the wife or a child later applied for a naturalization certificate in their own name (quite common), many details of the original application (including arrival information) are often replicated in this later application.  It now includes an index to the names of 206,731 individuals who applied for and received status as naturalized Canadians from 1915 to 1932.  The JGS of Montreal carried out the project, and have now made available a finding aid to the 2,000+ pages of naturalization index pages and the full name index.  JGS of Ottawa funded the digitization of the images.  The Montreal Society is also leading a new project to create indices to the 1932–1951 Canadian Naturalizations.  All 4,000 pages have been scanned and will be available shortly online as a first step to data entry.  Due to the different nature of the published lists, a finding aid is not possible, and data entry of the approximately 400,000 names will be required to make the data readily searchable.  This new project was partially funded by the IAJGS Malcolm Stern Grant. (Source: Avotaynu.com: Nu? What’s New? Vol. 10, No. 15, July 26, 2009).

These naturalization records can only be requested by Canadian citizens or residents.  They are available under the Canadian Access to Information laws, which grant access only to those categories of people.  However, there is no requirement that the requestor be directly related to the person naturalized.  Any friend or colleague who is Canadian or lives in Canada can make the request.  Specific instructions for ordering the Naturalization record are at CollectionsCanada.gc.ca: Canadian Naturalization 1915-1951.


Births, Marriages and Death Records (also known as the Vital Records)

Ancestry.ca’s vital record database accesses a wide variety of records on their website.

The National Archives of Canada does not hold vital records, as civil registration is not a federal jurisdiction.  Thus Library and Archives Canada does not hold copies of birth, marriage or death registrations, and cannot issue certificates.  However, the National Archives does provide pointers to the provincial offices that may have the records, as detailed at CollectionCanada.gc.ca: Provincial and Territorial Archives.

A list of online death indexes for Canada is also available.

Montreal & Québec Records: The web site of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Montreal has a number of research guides for Montreal and Canadian research, and is a good place to start for research such as this.  The JGS-Montreal also holds a large number of birth, marriage, death records as well as tombstone photos, and provides a guide for Jewish vital records research in Québec.

Indexed birth and death notices for the Montreal Star for only the years 1977 to 1979 are also available.  Requests for name searches during that time span may be e-mailed to montrealstar@sbcglobal.net.  Translated Yiddish obituaries from the Keneder Adler (1908–1931) are available online from the Canadian Jewish Heritage Network.

Ontario: The Ontario government provides a birth certificate service for births registered in Ontario.  Death certificates are also available, via a long-form request for $22 Canadian.  Request an order form from the Registrar-General, PO Box 4600, Thunder Bay, ON P7B 6L8, (800) 461-2156 in Ontario, (807) 343-7420 elsewhere; say that you are next of kin and allow 6–8 weeks.

Ontario: Births 1869-1913, Deaths 1939-1947, and Marriages 1801-1928 are available at Ancestry.com.

Toronto: Vital records from 1929 to present are available from the Ontario Office of the Registrar General, P.O. Box 4600, 189 Red River Road, Thunder Bay, ON P7B 6L8.  Note: Births: 1869–1902, Marriages: 1801–1917, and Deaths: 1869–1927 are held by the Archives of Ontario; additional death records can also be found at the University of Toronto Library’s necrology database.

British Columbia: includes vital records through the 20th century, searchable via the British Columbia Archives; a PDF guide to the BC Archives genealogical research resources is also available online.

Manitoba: Vital records for Manitoba are available online for births (>100 years), marriages (>80 years) and deaths (>70 years).

For other areas of Canada, check with the appropriate Jewish Genealogical Societies, listed in a separate section below.


Jewish Cemeteries


Newspapers

The various heritage centers, listed in a separate section, are excellent resources to obtain the city and local Jewish newspapers containing birth, wedding, special event and death announcements.


City Directories

Historic city directories provide addresses and types of business engaged by ancestors.  The directories also confirm residency in a particular year.


National Registration of 1940

The National Registration File of 1940 resulted from the compulsory registration of all persons, 16 years of age or older, in the period from 1940 to 1946.  The information collected includes name, address, age, date of birth, conjugal status, dependents, country of birth, nationality, racial origin, languages, education, general health, class of occupation, occupation or craft, employment status, work experience by type, mechanical or other abilities, latent skills, wartime circumstances, previous military service.  A search can be undertaken by Statistics Canada for an individual after the following information or documentation has been provided:

  • Proof that the individual has been deceased for more than 20 years. A death certificate is preferable. However, any document that indicates the date of death, for example an obituary notice, is acceptable.
  • The individual’s place of residence during the registration period.

The charge is $45.00 Canadian for each record.

For more information and to order the records, go to Statistic Canada’: Searches of the National Registration File of 1940.


Passport Applications and Identity Documents

An overall discussion of Canadian Passports can be found at NaturalizationRecords.com.

The largest collection of passports is in the Likacheff-Ragosine-Mathers (LI-RA-MA) collection, created 1898-1922 by the consular offices of the Tsarist Russian Empire in Canada; 11,400 files pertain to Jewish, Ukrainian and Finnish immigrants who came to Canada from Russian Empire.  The files include passport applications, identity papers and questionnaires containing general information.  Released 10/06, 55,000 images are available.  Click the “Search” link on the left to search the database.

All other online passport sources have relatively insignificant numbers of holdings.


Land Records (Online)


Military Records

  • The Canadian Genealogy Centre Military Web pages are part of Library and Archives Canada (LAC). These pages link to both online resources (internal and external) and to information on LAC holdings of use for tracing ancestors who were active in the Canadian and other military forces. The links and advice for family historians are divided into topics that include: the French Regime; British forces; Loyalists; First World War; Canadian forces after 1918; military medals; war diaries; and war graves. LAC holds many varied resources for genealogists, such as: officer lists; letters; Canadian military personnel records; and medal registers. The information includes: how to access the material; how to read the various types of document; and samples of each type of document. This is a good, comprehensive guide to the types of information available to family or military historians looking at Canada.

  • Canadian Military Records at Ancestry.com contain primarily soldiers of the first World War 1914-1918 and militia and defense forces 1863-1939.

  • The Commonwealth War Graves Commission


Jewish Genealogical Societies, Museums, & Libraries

These organizations provide valuable genealogical information and should be a priority as you do your research.


Ask a Librarian

Many large Canadian libraries have significant genealogical holdings and can provide answers to specific questions, sometimes over the telephone and sometimes over an internet messaging chat capability.  These libraries may be found at CollectionsCanada.gc.ca: Genealogy Links: Libraries.


Meta Search

These are sites that perform searches at several other search sites simultaneously.

  • Three major archives in Canada have created a consolidated search engine that permits their online databases to be searched in one step. The groups are Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BanQ), Library and Archives Canada (LAC) and the Council of Provincial and Territorial Archivists (CPTA) of Canada. The site, called “That’s My Family” (“Voici ma famille” in French) is similar to many of the functions at the Stephen P. Morse One-Step site in that it does not have a search engine but instead uses the search engines at the three facilities and filters the results back to the user as a single search.

  • Immigration records are at Ingeneas.com

  • The Infospace one-stop search site ties together general search engines including Google and Bing.

  • The Ancestors Search site is a one-stop search site for the National Archives of Canada.


Other Archives & Online Search Sites

  • A Directory of Canadian Genealogical Resources, called AVITUS, enables you to access databases, catalogues and Web sites regarding genealogical fonds and collections all over Canada. As an example, using the keyword “Jewish” it provided links to the various Jewish genealogical societies in Canada as well as the site of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies. All told, there are 25 topics covered under the category “Jewish”.

  • JewishGen Discussion Group Archives

  • Avotaynu Magazine

  • Canadian Genealogy Index, 1600s-1900s, from the Ancestry.ca site: “This database contains over two million records referencing individuals from all regions of Canada, as well as early Alaska.  The vast majority of the records fall between 1600 and the mid-to-late 1900s, although some records date before the 1500s.  Gleaned during twenty years of research from over one thousand different sources — including city directories, marriage records, land records, census records, and more — this collection of names represent one of the most complete indexes to historical Canadian records available.”

  • Jewish Immigrant Aid Services (JIAS) client name lists from 1922–1952 are found at the Canadian Jewish Heritage Network site.


Canadian Phonebook Listings (current)


Miscellaneous (Non-Online Search) Sites

  • Center for Jewish History

    In addition to general histories of the Jews in Canada, both the American Jewish Historical Society (AJHS) and YIVO Institute for Jewish Research have library and archival resources containing genealogical information about Jews in Canada.  Additional resources are available in the Genealogy Institute.

  • United HIAS Service, Main Office, N.Y

    Collection includes materials on Jewish Immigrant Aid Society, Canada.  Consult the finding aid, which will help locate correspondence and some immigrant lists from specific European countries to Canada for the period of 1944-1962.  YIVO Record Group 245.7.

  • National Jewish Welfare Board, Bureau of War Records.  Includes data cards on individuals in the service, 1940-1969, ordered alphabetically.


Making Your Searches More Productive

Even having ready access to all of the online databases, it is easy to miss ancestor records due to variations in the spelling of their first and last names.  Spelling errors typically occur because:

  • As a matter of convenience, the ancestor deliberately changed the spelling over the years, but we emphasize that name changes did not occur at the Port of Entry; see the Ancestry.com Learning Center.

  • Names were altered due to the disparity in pronunciation of certain letters between English and other languages.

  • Census takers and other government employees collecting and recording data made spelling errors on their forms due to a variety of reasons.

  • The person who did the computer indexing misinterpreted the spelling due to the agent’s bad handwriting or poor image quality and entered the names incorrectly into the database.

Recognizing that inconsistent spellings may be more the rule than the exception, it is useful to have a search strategy to deal with the challenges of locating records without knowing the exact spelling.  Around 1920, a phonetic indexing technique "SOUNDEX" was developed to deal with spelling variations.  In 1985, the method was further refined by Randy Daitch and Gary Mokotoff to better accommodate eastern European names.  But in many instances we may want to perform an “Exact” spelling search to reasonably limit the numbers of responses to search queries.  For exact searches, the proper use of the asterisk (*) and question-mark (?) wildcards as letter substitutes is critical.  An asterisk is used to replace one or more letters, while a question mark substitutes for only one letter.

There are two general strategies for determining how to use these wildcards.  The strategy also has to take into account that for Canadian Manifest queries, the first or last name must have at least three letters.

The first strategy is to make a list of all known name variations from records already collected.  Here is an example of such a list:

ZELBOVITCH
ZELBOVITZ
ZELL

The common search term to include these names, but open the door for new possibilities, would simply be "ZEL*".  A variation of the search, excluding ZELL, could also have been ZELBOV* or even Z?LB?V* if we had doubts about the vowels.  This search ultimately found the correct manifest for ZELBOVICIUS.

A second strategy is in cases where we don’t have the luxury of owning records showing possible name variations.  Take the surname "SANOFSKY", for example.  The first step is to go to a listing of known Jewish name variations such as the “Searching Ashkenazic Reference Books for Jewish Surnames in One Step” and the Avotaynu Surname Database.  Here is an excerpt:

SoundexNameDatabases
467450SAMOVSKIDK
467450SAMOVSKIID
467450SAMOVSKIJLn
467450SAMOWSKIA
467450SAMWICKKg
467450SANOFSKYJKg
467450SANOVSKIYD
467450SANOWSKAA
467450SANOWSKIA

There also is an excellent list for the Winnipeg Jewish Community at the Jewish Heritage Center of Western Canada.  Here is an excerpt surrounding the SANOFSKY name:

SAFRON(1), SAGMON(1), SAIDLER(1), SAIDMAN(11), SAIFER(9), SAIFERS(1), SAIR(21), SAITLER(1), SAK(2), SAKINOFSKY(1), SALAMON(2), SALAN(1), SALITA(1), SALSBERG(1), SALTZBERG(1), SALTZMAN(17), SALZBERG(1), SALZMAN(2), SAMELS(1), SAMETZ(1), SAMIT(1), SAMOSH(3), SAMOVITCH(1), SAMPHIR(4), SAMPHIRE(1), SAMUEL(1), SAMUELS(21), SAMUELSON(1), SANBRAND(2), SANDELL(7), SANDERS(1), SANDERSON(6), SANDLER(8), SANDOMERSKY(1), SANDOMIRSKY(6), SANDOR(1), SANGE(1), SANGRO(3), SANGURSKY(1), SANGUSKY(1), SANKIN(2), SANOFSKY(1), SANT(1), SAPER(35), SAPERSTEIN(5), SAPIRO(2), SAPOZNIKOW(2), SAPPER(2), SARBANEK(1), SARBIT(9), SARNER(9), SARVER(2), SAS(1), SASLAFF(2), SASLEY(6), SASLOW(3), SASNOW(6), SASOVSKY(1), SASS(1), SASSOON(1), SATAN(1), SATANOFF(1), SATANOV(3), SATANOVSKY(1), SATIN(2), SATRAN(4),[…]SNELL(4), SNIDAR(1), SNIDER(25), SNOWBALL(1), SNUKAL(7), SNUKEL(1), SNYDER(6), SOBEL(2), SOBILMAN(1), SODOMSKY(28), SODOVSKY(1), SOFIAN(1), SOFORENKO(1), SOHN(2), SOHT(1), SOIFER(11), SOIFFER(2), SOKOL(2), SOKOLINSKY(1), SOKOLOFSKI(2), SOKOLOFSKY(1), SOKOLOV(11), SOKOLOVSKY(1), SOKOLOW(3), SOL(1), SOLIMON(1), SOLMAN(1), SOLOCHIK(2), SOLODKEY(1), SOLODKY(2), SOLOMON(52), SOLOTAROV(1), SOLOTKIN(1), SOLOVE(6), SOLOVEY(3), SOLOWAY(15), SOLSBERG(1), SOLTZMAN(5), SOMMER(11), SOMMERS(2), SOMOGYI(1), SON(1), SONDOCK(1), SONDRISEN(1), SONENFELD(1), SONICK(1), SONKIN(3), SONNENFELD(2), SONNENSHEIN(1), SONOFSKY(1), SONSHINE(1), SOOBICH(1), SOOD(6), SOODE(3), SORIN(14), SORKIN(1), SOROKA(2), SOROKIN(14), SORONOW(14), SOSKIN(1), SOSNOWICZ(3), SOSOWSKY(1), SOTOLOV(9), SOUDACK(15),[…]

Looking at the surnames that may be close to SANOFSKY, we can experiment with various search term alternatives.  Assume the first letter is an S, but we are not sure if the second letter is an A or O.  And we will assume an “SK” sound, but not sure if a Y or I ends the name.  We can construct a universal search term to accommodate all these assumptions: S*SK?  In fact, this search term came up with the successful search for SANOWSKY.  In most instances, many variations of the search terms, using the wildcards, will be required.


APPENDICES

Appendix A: The Jewish Community in Canada

The earliest Jewish community in Canada was established in 1759, when Jews were first officially permitted to reside in the country.  The first congregation was founded in 1768 in Montreal.  Jewish settlement was mainly confined to Montreal until the 1840’s, when Jewish settlers slowly began to spread throughout the country.  Jewish immigration increased around the turn of the 20th century, as it did in the United States.  Today, Jews make up approximately 1.2% of Canada’s population.

Other sources of information include:

Appendix B: Books and Periodicals

  • Arnold, Abraham. The Life and Times of Jewish Pioneers in Western Canada. (Jewish Historical Society of Western Canada) 1969.

  • Canadian Jewish Chronicle, 1916-1935. The national Jewish weekly of Canada. Microfilm.

  • Canadian Jewish Year Book 1939/40, edited by Vladimir Grossman. Includes articles and statistics about the Jews of Canada and the world. Lists Jewish organizations, histories of the organizations (including some discussion of individuals), and books published that year.

  • Dor L’Dor. Journal of the Jewish Genealogy Society of British Columbia.

  • Eker, Glen and Deborah Pekilis. Jewish Residents of the Maritimes in the 1901 Census of Canada. (1993). Lists name, date of birth, place of birth, year of immigration, occupation and place of residence.

  • Gottesman, Eli. Who’s Who in Canadian Jewry. (Jewish Institute of Higher Research, 1965).

  • Israelite Daily Press: the 100th Anniversary Souvenir of Jewish Emancipation in Canada and the 50th Anniversary of the Jews in the West. (Israelite Daily Press, 1932). English and Hebrew.

  • Jewish Residents in the Canadian Census. Montreal & Québec City (1871-1901); Toronto (1861-1901); Western Canada (1861-1901); Canadian Maritime Provinces (1901); Greater Québec Province (1871-1901). Alphabetical listings within districts.

  • Montreal Forum. Quarterly publication of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Montreal.

  • Prominent Jews of Canada: A History of Canadian Jewry Especially of the Present Time through Reviews and Biographical Sketches, edited by Zvi Cohen (Canadian Jewish Historical Publ. Co., 1933).

  • Rosenberg, Louis. Jewish Mutual Benefit and Friendly Societies in Toronto, 1896-1944. (Canadian Jewish Congress, 1946). Does not mention individual names, but provides a demographic overview of Jews in Canada and the societies in Toronto. AJHS F 1059.5 .T68 R5.

  • Shem Tov. Journal of the Toronto Jewish Genealogy Society. Genealogy Institute.

  • “The Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue,” from John Borthwick, Historical and Biographical Sketches from Borthwick’s Gazetteer of Montreal. (n.d., 1890’s). Accomplishments of Montreal’s Sephardim.

  • Tapper, Lawrence F. Archival Sources for the Study of Canadian Jewry. (National Archives of Canada, 1987). English and French.

  • Tapper, Lawrence F. Biographical Dictionary of Canadian Jewry, 1909-1914: From the Canadian Jewish Times. (Avotaynu, 1992).

Books Online

Appendix C: Related blogs about Canadian genealogy research

  1. Librarians Helping Canadian Genealogists Climb Family Trees

    The idea is that volunteers will, once a month, perform select genealogical research within their area.

  2. CanadaGenealogy, or, ’Jane’s Your Aunt’

    This will affect at least some of the decisions Canadians make about their own genealogy research and their … And by summer 2011, most Canadian genealogists will have caught a Canadian history fever—some will be cramming for the War …

  3. Newsletter with person documentation of Research in Canada

  4. Various Online sources for genealogy

  5. Google search

Appendix D: More on Canadian Naturalizations

Date: Mon, 27 Jul 2009 00:04:56 -0400
From: smsdiamond@aol.com
Subject: 1914-1932 Canadian Naturalizations now fully searchable online

On behalf of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Montreal, I am pleased to announce that for the first time, Canadian Naturalization records for the period from 1914 to 1932 are searchable by surname, given name and country-of-origin, and without any charges.  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.

You can search the database at http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/naturalization-1915-1932/index-e.html.  For the entire collection of databases, just go to http://www.genealogy.gc.ca/.

Despite this achievement, the work is not over yet.  The JGS of Montreal has scanned a similar collection of records for the years 1932-1952 which includes about 400,000 additional naturalizations.  These records will need to be indexed, and we also will be double-entering the 1914-32 records to ensure that there are no errors and that all people are properly indexed.  This project will be starting shortly.

To order copies of the full naturalization (application) files for your ancestors, see the research guide on the JGS-Montreal web site - http://jgs-montreal.org/#research.  In general, naturalization records prior to 1914/16 are 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 these records.

If you have not checked out our web site recently, please do - it has recently been redone and there is a lot of helpful information for those researching Montreal and Canadian family - http://jgs-montreal.org.

Stanley Diamond
President, Jewish Genealogical Society of Montreal

The web site of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Montreal at http://jgs-montreal.org has a number of research guides for Montreal and Canadian research and is a good place to start for research such as this.  The JGS-Montreal also hold a large number of birth, marriage, death records as well as tombstone photos.

Alan Greenberg
VP, JGS-Montreal
Montreal, Canada


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