We are pleased to announce the addition of millions of new pages of Canadian content to our archives. We have papers from Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec, and Saskatchewan. We also have newspapers from Canada’s three territories, Northwest Territories, Yukon, and Nunavut.
The papers in this collection capture 244 years of fascinating Canadian history and chronicle a broad range of subjects, including people, politics, business, sports, and entertainment. This archive will allow researchers and historians to quickly search people, subjects, and events across the country and filter the results by date, location, and even by a specific newspaper. If you have ancestors from Canada, search obituaries and marriage announcements. These can potentially provide new insights and genealogical details previously unknown. In the coming months, watch for hints to appear in your Ancestry® trees as our machine-learning algorithms identify these marriage announcements and obituaries and generate hints.
The oldest paper in the collection is the La Gazette du commerce et littéraire, pour la ville et district de Montréal, Canada’s first French-language weekly paper. It was founded in 1778 after Benjamin Franklin encouraged Fleury Mesplet to start a paper to persuade Canadians to join the American Revolution. Later in 1785, Mesplet began publishing The Montreal Gazette, a French-English bilingual paper, and Canada’s oldest newspaper still in publication.
The papers in this collection contain reports on some of Canada’s important news stories, such as the Fenian Raids in the 1800s. During the raids, a secret society of Irish nationalists planned armed incursions in Canada. Their goal was to conquer Canada and exchange it with Great Britain for Irish independence.
You can also read about Canada’s first railroad, the Champlain and St. Lawrence Railroad, which opened in 1836 and ushered in an important era of transportation. By 1885, the last spike of the Canadian Pacific Railway was hammered in place in British Columbia, linking BC to Eastern Canada via a transcontinental railway.
In the late 1890s, some 100,000 prospectors rushed to the Yukon, seeking their fortunes in the Klondike Gold Rush. Soon, several newspapers, including The Daily Klondike Nugget and the Dawson Daily News began reporting on news from the goldfields.
The ports in Canada played an important part in the journey of many immigrants. Halifax was a landing place for many immigrant ships, and papers like The Evening Mail or The Halifax Herald can provide news about ships and passengers.