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Genealogy at School

5th to 8th Grades

The Odyssey of Our Ancestors

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During your genealogical adventures, you can discover many, many ancestors. In this game, you can become one of them and make the decisions they might have made. See for yourself what the Canadian migratory experience is all about.

Choose a time period:


Colonization (1604-1800)

Choose between these two situations

Immigrants to New France (1670)

Choice 1

You are a young Frenchman, 18 years of age, and you volunteer to leave for the colony. You know you can become rich working in the fur trade. You await your embarkation at Bordeaux, France; you depart for Quebec City in New France. Travel to the new colony is very difficult. The ship on which you cross the ocean is crowded and dirty. You have run out of fresh fruits and vegetables and two people have scurvy. Continue

Choice 2

You are a young Frenchman, 25 years of age, and you have been recruited by a seigneur of New France to settle in his seigneury. You await your embarkation at La Rochelle, France; you depart for Port Royal in Acadia. Travel to the colony is very dangerous. While crossing the Atlantic Ocean your ship runs into several huge storms. During one such storm you save a man from falling overboard. Continue

United Empire Loyalists (1783)

Choice 1

The Patriots have won the Revolutionary War. You are a Loyalist and now must leave the country. The British have offered to help you relocate in the colony of Nova Scotia, Canada. You travel from Connecticut to New York in the United States, where you board a ship destined for Nova Scotia, Canada. You must leave behind most of your belongings. You look forward to your new home in British North America where you have been promised free land and supplies from the British. However, you must first get through the 12 long days of travel on the water. Continue

Choice 2

When the Revolutionary War broke out, you joined the newly formed Royal 84th Regiment; you have been captured and spend time in a military prison in Philadelphia in the United States. Upon your release, you discover that your land has been seized, so you travel to rejoin your regiment now stationed at Quebec City. You travel overland, take a barge across Lake Champlain and go down the Richelieu River on your way to Quebec City. Among the people travelling with you are soldiers and four Loyalist families who carry with them the few belongings they can take on the barge. You help the families portage when you come to the rapids. Continue


Building a Nation (1800-1900)

Choose between these two situations

Emigrants from Great Britain (1815-1850)

Choice 1

Your family is devastaded by the potato famine. You have not eaten properly for weeks and you are desperate to leave Ireland. You have arrived at Cork and will soon sail to Quebec City in Lower Canada. You leave Cork to sail for Quebec City. Once you arrive, you travel on to Montréal. Your ship is called a "coffin ship". People on board are dying of a dangerous disease called typhus. Canadian officials are placing the ship in quarantine at a station meant for this purpose at Grosse-Île. Continue

Choice 2

Family members return to Scotland after Britain defeats Napoleon in the War of 1812. There is no work in Scotland so you decide to accept the British government's offer of a new life in Upper Canada. You leave your beloved Scottish hills and walk to Glasgow where you depart for Quebec City in Lower Canada. The former soldiers in the family don't mind the rough conditions during the two-month ocean crossing, but the rest of the family is anxious to see land. Continue

Emigrants from Western Europe and China (1880s)

Choice 1

You leave your wife and young son in the province of Guangdong, Southern China, to come to Canada to work on building the Canadian Pacific Railway. You await your embarkation at Shanghai in China; your destination is San Francisco, United States. Once you arrive, you go on to Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada. The travel to the new colony is very difficult. The ship you are travelling on is crowded and dirty. Everyone on board has been recruited to work on the railway. Continue

Choice 2

You leave your homeland in Iceland because the volcanic activity of Mount Askja has left you homeless. The first part of your journey takes you to London, England. From there you depart for Quebec City in Canada. Your trip to Canada is extremely dangerous. Navigation has been particularly difficult because of harsh weather during the entire trans-Atlantic crossing. Your ship is caught in a violent storm and is almost forced to return to London. Continue


Canada in the 20th Century 1900-2000

Choose between these two situations

Emigrants from Eastern Europe (1908)

Choice 1

You are a 39-year-old fruit farmer of Jewish heritage, living just outside the city of Gomel in Russia. Your family wants to leave Russia because of the persecution Jewish people face there. You hear that Canada is offering free land to immigrants. Imagine, owning your own land! You have travelled overland to the port of St. Petersburg and now await your embarkation. Your point of entry will be Saint John, New Brunswick, in Canada. The ship is crowded but you and your fellow countrymen find room for yourselves. Your former neighbour who now lives near Calgary, Alberta, in Canada, has promised to help your family get a fresh start in his community. Continue

Choice 2

You are a 22-year-old man from Ukraine. You see a book written by Dr. Josef Oleskow that urges Ukrainians to go to Canada. You decide this might be a good option for you. There is not enough land at home, and in Canada, you might eventually own your own farm. After a long, overland journey to Odessa, Russia, you take a ship to London, England, where you depart for Halifax, Nova Scotia, in Canada. You are several weeks at sea. You have never been to sea before and endure constant seasickness. You have met several other Ukrainians on board and they have helped you pass the time. It is wonderful to have found some people who speak the same language. Continue

Emigrants from Africa (1982)

Choice 1

You are a young teacher from Uganda. The election held in 1980 made you realize that Uganda would not remain democratic for much longer. You flee to Kenya, where you apply for and receive refugee status. In Nairobi you await your flight to Toronto, Ontario, in Canada. The food served during your flight is different from the food you usually eat. You are not sure you like it. Your flight is not direct and you stop at London, England, and at Halifax, Nova Scotia, before you arrive in Toronto. Continue

Choice 2

You are a South African journalist, victim of the apartheid. You have decided to emigrate because of the violence and uprisings. At Maseru, in Lesotho, you board a plane destined for Montréal, Quebec, in Canada. Your flight is very turbulent and you must keep your seat belt on for most of the long trip. Continue