Naturalizations records can contain a wealth of information and are
often the only place that an
immigrant's ship arrival information is indexed (ship arrivals in
Canada are largely un-indexed). Further information on Canadian
naturalizations can be found on the Canadian
Centre's Natuaralization Search Engine.
Original records for naturalizations prior to 1915 are generally not
available, but there is one major exception. Records (but not the applications) for many early Montreal naturalizarions ARE available - see entry on home page under HOW-TO GUIDES AND SEARCH ENGINES
Until the 1920's, if a
husband was naturalized, his wife and any children born prior to
arrival were also implicitly naturalized. Later, they were naturalized
only if they were explicitly listed on the application forms. In either
case, a person who was naturalized along with their husband or father
could later apply for a Naturalization Certificate with their own name
on it (often required for a passport or old-age benefits). When the
wife/child applied for their own papers (perhaps many years later), the
file for this certificate
could have much of the same information as the now-destroyed pre-1915
To request a naturalization file, several conditions must be met:
- The requestor must be a Canadian citizen OR a person who resides
in Canada. This is because the naturalization records are made
under Canada's Access to Information Act, and it is only citizens or
residents that are granted this privilege. There is no formal
requirement that the requestor must be related to the person
- If you do not meet this criteria, the Jewish Genealogical Society of Montreal offers a service to request files on your behalf. Write to email@example.com.
- You must provide proof that the person died at least 20 years
ago. A formal death or burial
certificate, newspaper obituary, or tombstone photograph (showing name
and date-of-death) will all be accepted. No proof is required if the
person was born at least 110 years ago.
The request should be made using an Access to Information Request Form.
Two formats are available:
Under "Federal Government Institution" fill in:
Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Public
Include as much information about the person as you can. This should
- Surname and given name(s) including all known variants
- Approximate or actual date of birth
- Country/town of origin, to the extent that you know it
- Name of spouse and any children that were born before arrival
Although it is not mandatory, include the Naturalization Certificate
Number and Series (a letter from A-F). Some certificate numbers will
also have an "F" suffix meaning the certificate was issued in French.
For naturalizations between 1915 and 1936, the series/number can be
found on the Canadian Genealogy Centre's web site (see above).
Check the box saying you want copies of the original documents, and the
box saying that you are a citizen or resident of Canada.
A non-refundable fee of five Canadian dollars payable to the Receiver
General of Canada must be submitted with the request (cheque or money
Don't forget to date and sign the form.
The form, proof-of-death and fee should be sent to:
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Public Rights Administration
360 Laurier Ave West