Sunday, April 18, 2021

Canadian Genealogical Virtual Research Intensive - Immigration to Canada

Canadian Genealogical Virtual Research Intensive (CGVRI) is the only genealogical research institute dedicated to offering courses of interest to family history researchers and genealogists researching in Canada and the provinces. 

All courses are taught by instructors who are Canadian and/or live in Canada. 

The mission of CGVRI is to offer in-depth courses that will expand students' understanding of Canada, its history, geography, immigrants and settlers, and will further develop their knowledge and skills of researching their family history in Canada. This will be achieved through the use of virtual presentations, in-class discussions and activities. Some courses may include optional homework and projects. 

Two concurrent courses of eighteen (18) classes each are being offered for the week of July 18 -23, 2021. 

Classes are 75 minutes in length. There are four classes per day, Monday through Thursday. Two classes on Friday. 

All course times are listed in the Eastern (Toronto, Canada) time zone, and will be taught virtually. 


Objective of this Course: The objective of this course is for students to gain a better understanding of the various ethnic and cultural groups that not only settled in Canada, but helped to shape the country, and ultimately lead to the multicultural mosaic it is today.

Our Instructors: Peggy Homans Chapman, Carolyn Heald, Lianne Kruger, Robyn Morales, Gary Schroder and Linda Yip, Christine Woodcock 

Course Level: Intermediate 

Prerequisite: Students are expected to a good understanding of genealogy methodology and research, both online and offline, be able to cite sources and have a familiarity with using archives for genealogical research. 


10:00 AM: The Colonizing of the Maritimes

From the mid 1600s, the Scots and English started arriving in the Maritimes, first in Newfoundland as merchants offering support to the cod industry. Then, in the late 1700s they began arriving in Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia to settle the colony, in particular taking over land from the Acadians that had been expelled. 

11:30 AM: Early Irish Settlers in Atlantic Canada

With exception of New Brunswick, most Irish settlers came pre-famine, especially to Newfoundland. A second wave led many Newfoundland Irish to Maritime provinces. Non-existent passenger lists and lack of early records are a challenge but methodology can still count. Historical context and patterns such as cluster emigration can come to your rescue and weaken the brick walls. 

1:30 PM: Early European Emigrants to Maritime Provinces: Acadians, New England Planters (Americans), Loyalists, German-speaking Peoples

Don’t assume that European settlers in the Maritimes were mainly English and Scots. Early immigration included French, Germans, Swiss, and groups from the American colonies. The session focuses on these groups who began emigration in early or mid-1600s, and what led them to leave their homelands and what brought them to the Maritimes. The goal is to provide a framework for searching these ancestors. 

3:00 PM: Black Nova Scotians

The first large group of immigrants were the Black Loyalists (about 3500) who came as refugees after the American Revolution between 1782 and 1785. Another 2000 Blacks arrived in Nova Scotia following the War of 1812, with late arrivals coming into Cape Breton in the early 1900s. 


10:00 AM: How Do I Find My French-Canadian Ancestors in Quebec?

Quebec has a rich heritage of genealogical records from the 17th century until the present. We will focus on the types of records and indexes that are available including census records, parish registers, census records, notarial documents and all kinds of other fascinating items. We will also discuss the most important websites to use in French Canadian research. 

11:30 AM: My Ancestors were Irish in Quebec

This class will focus on the rich Irish Genealogical Heritage in Quebec and how to find and use the key genealogical resources for Irish research in Quebec including the most important databases and websites. We will discuss immigration patterns, differing types of land records, cemetery records, church records, and the different of records available for Irish Catholics and Irish Protestants in Quebec. You may be surprised at how many different types of historical documents survive. 

1:30 PM: How Do I Discover My English and Scottish Ancestors in Quebec?

Quebec has a wealth of Genealogical Resources for those of you who had ancestors or relatives who lived in the province during the 19th and 20th centuries whether they came from Glasgow or Burnham on Crouch in Essex. Topics will cover census records, Catholic and Protestant church records, notarial records, land records and many others. How many people know that there is an excellent database of Marriage Licenses in Quebec for the period 1869-1969? Come and discover these family history gems. 

3:00 PM: Researching Irish Palatines in Canada

In 1709, more than 10,000 Protestants from the German Palatinate sailed to England, hoping to be sent to America. A third of them were settled in Ireland where they formed a unique enclave amidst the larger Catholic population. Over time, they lost their German identity and became Irish, and like the Irish, they emigrated to British North America in droves. The Irish Palatines are one of Canada’s hidden ethnic groups, traceable only through surnames. Learn how to identify groups of Irish Palatines who emigrated from Ireland and settled in Canada. 


10:00 AM: The Underground Railroad and Black Settlers in Upper Canada

For thousands of enslaved Americans, Canada was a beacon of hope. A sophisticated system known as the Underground Railroad helped these men and women get to freedom. Started by a group of abolitionists based mainly in Philadelphia, this clandestine and sophisticated helped enslaved Africans get to the safe haven that was Canada. 

11:30 AM: Settling Upper Canada: Lanark Settlement, Huron Tract, Talbot Settlement

Following the American Revolutionary War, the Crown wanted to ensure the retention of Canada and so set about systematically settling the country with colonists. Many of the land settlements were in Ontario, including the large swaths of Crown land in central and southern Ontario. 

1:30 PM: British Home Children

Between 1869 and the Great Depression, over 100,000 children were sent to Canada from Great Britain. The idea behind this scheme was to alleviate the number of destitute children living in workhouses. These youngsters were transferred from the workhouses to Children's Homes and then were sent to Canada to work on farms as indentured servants. 

3:00 PM: The Great Emigration: Italian Immigrants

Italians began settling in Canada in larger numbers in the 19th century and this continued fairly steadily until the 20th century. Italian settled all over Canada doing backbreaking seasonal work, for such labour intensive jobs as building railways and hewing coal. 


10:00 AM: Manitoba: Hudson Bay Company and Red River Settlement, Western Métis, Northwest Land Settlement

Scotland has a long history with the HBC beginning in the late 17th century when they began recruiting Orkney men to work at York Factory. Scots men at York Factory often coupled with Cree women, creating the Metis Nation. 

11:30 AM: From Catherine to Canada: German Russians into Canada

From Catherine (1763) to Canada, this class covers the German Russian community on the way to Canada, the 5 Ws and how of finding a community whose borders change quickly and frequently. We'll begin with the basics and introduction of the German- Russian community. Boarders impacted by this community range, not just Germany, Russia and Canada. We’ll look at great places using timelines and known research points to help you work your way back to the time of Catherine the Great and beyond. 

1:30 PM: How the Canadian West Was Won

The Canadian west was not won by cowboys and guns. The west was won by homesteaders and railways. For a $10 registration fee and a lot of hard work a male farmer could have 160 acres of land for free. Farmers or want to be farmers came from all over. In this session, using a couple of case studies, we will search for homestead records, review all the components to understand what the records state, convert the data to enter and locate it on Google Maps, and view what the areas look like today. 

3:00 PM: To the Prairies and Rocky Mountains: Immigration to Alberta

Alberta has and continues to have people from all over the world immigrate to within its borders. We will discuss those who came, where they built and where to search for the records. Groups such as the Mormons, RCMP, homesteaders, United Kingdom, Eastern Europe, and internment camps holding German, Japanese and Italian Canadians, many who stayed after the war. 


10:00 AM: Chinese Genealogy Essentials

This presentation will be an overview of Chinese genealogy essentials to give students a basic understanding of what they’ll need to know to trace Chinese families. No Chinese is required. We will discuss names in English and Chinese, suggest translation tools, discuss key cultural components as they relate to genealogy, and frame the student’s thinking for finding available record sets. 

11:30 AM: Chinese Canadian Immigration Records

This presentation will build on Chinese Essentials to look at the rich genealogical documents that resulted from the laws regarding Canadian Chinese immigration. The student will gain a better understanding of the 3 key periods of immigration. The class will include a real time analysis using freely available documents. There will be a handout of Chinese genealogy resources. 

12:45 PM Wrap-up Discussion and Farewell 

Tuition is $429 cad (~$345usd/£250) 

To register:





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