In the early 1800s, an increasing number of immigrants from the British Isles were arriving in North America. The St. Lawrence River was the main seaway at the time and the city of Québec became a major destination point for over 30,000 immigrants a year. About two-thirds of them were Irish.
During those years, many poor immigrants had to rely on benevolent societies for assistance when they arrived in North America. The Montreal Emigrant Society was established in 1831. Its main purpose was to provide transportation for immigrants who had arrived at Montréal from Québec and were destined for settlement in different parts of Lower Canada (Quebec) and Upper Canada (Ontario).
Agricultural products from the Great Lakes region of Upper Canada were sent to Montréal by boat. On the return voyage from Montréal, the boats were used to transport immigrants going to Upper Canada. Besides paying such transportation costs, the Montreal Emigrant Society also provided employment and temporary relief in sheds located on the west side of the Lachine Canal in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue.
From 1831 to 1835, the Montreal Emigrant Society provided relief to 49,740 immigrants; in 1832 only, 10,244 immigrants were given relief and 8,763 received assistance to settle.
Return of the poor and destitute emigrants forwarded and relieved by the Montreal Emigrant Society from 23rd May 1832 to 1st November 1832.
|Where sent||Adults||Under 14||Under 7||Infants||Total|
|To Upper Canada|
|To Lower Canada|
|Coteau du Lac||1||0||0||0||1|
Library and Archives Canada holds one register of names of immigrants for the year 1832 from the Montreal Emigrant Society (RG 7 G18). The register is available on microfilm reel H-962. This is the only register from the Montreal Emigrant Society that Library and Canada holds. We have not been able to locate similar registers for other years in other institutions. This register has been scanned and digitized images are accessible in this database.
The register for 1832 contains columns for the following information:
This research tool provides access to 1,947 references to the Montreal Emigrant Society Passage Book for 1832 held at Library and Archives Canada.
Staff members had originally created a nominal card index to the register. Information from the cards was input into this database. The register was consulted to verify the original indexing.
The content of the database entries reflects the original language used in the documents. This information was not translated.
Important note: Given that some of the original documents are very difficult to read, some information in the database may be incorrect and/or incomplete.
The search screen allows you to search by the name of the head of family or group that was given relief. You can enter a surname and/or given name.
Note that some entries include only an initial for the given names. Try searching by surname only.
When you have entered your search terms, click on "Submit". The number of hits found will be shown at the top of the results screen.
Your search results will be posted as a summary list from which you will be able to obtain more detailed descriptions.
The results list contains the following fields:
Name (surname and given name of the head of family or group)
Where sent (destination)
You can export the results to a diskette or to your own computer.
Click on the underlined name of the person of interest to you to access the detailed description.
The detailed description contains the following fields:
Name (surname and given name)
Microfilm reel number
You can view the corresponding page by clicking on "View image".
You can print the images or save the images on your own computer. Use the following Access link for other options such as borrowing microfilm.
Other archival immigration records exist. Consult Immigration for more information about these records.