Library and Archives Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Institutional links

Genealogy and Family History

What to Search: Topics


Public Service

Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Research at Library and Archives Canada

Library and Archives Canada holds records relating to federal government public servants.

Personnel Files

Personnel files of former federal government public servants are destroyed after the individual's 80th birthday. For information about access to the files of public servants born less than 80 years ago, consult Federal Public Service Personnel Records.

Historical Files

A few personnel files were retained for historical purposes in the Public Service Commission fonds (Record Group 32). Search the ARCHIVED - Government of Canada Files database.

Keywords: surname
Record Group: 32

Consult the inventory description for the Public Service Commission for information about other types of records in that fonds, such as lists of civil servants (public servants).

Departmental Records

If you know the department for which an individual worked, search the ARCHIVED - Government of Canada Files database for possible records. If there are no hits by surname, try searching with other keywords.

Keywords: "employ$," "staff," "personnel," "establishment book$" (use the wildcard)
Record Group: select relevant department from drop-list

Annual Reports

The annual reports of federal government departments sometimes include lists of employees. The annual reports of the Auditor General also include such lists for various departments. All annual reports are published in the Sessional Papers of the Dominion of Canada, available at Library and Archives Canada and many other libraries.

Annual Reports for the Department of Indian Affairs (1864 to 1990) are available online.

Department of Finance (RG 19)

Some records have survived relating to employees of various federal government departments, including establishment books (1843-1920) and superannuation registers (1870-1891). Search the ARCHIVED - Government of Canada Files database. Select Detailed Search.

Keywords: "superannuation," "establishment"
Finding Aid: 19-8

Earlier Records

The following records consist of applications and lists of appointments. They are not indexed by name and are not available on microfilm.

Post Office

The Post Offices and Postmasters database contains the names and dates of service of former postmasters and postmistresses. Note that many of these individuals were paid by commission and were not Post Office employees.

Mail couriers and those who operated rural mail service routes were hired by contract and were not Post Office employees. References to contracts can be found in the annual reports of the Postmaster General, 1851-1917, and the ARCHIVED - Government of Canada Files database. Select Detailed Search.

Keywords: place name
Finding Aid: 3-43

For records from 1839 to 1893, also try searching without a place name, using only the Finding Aid number.

Research in Published Sources

Civil Service List of Canada/Liste du Service Civil du Canada (1883-1918)

Civil Service List of Canada, 1892, p. 25


Civil Service List of Canada,
1892, p. 25.

These annual publications include the names, dates of birth, dates of appointment and salaries of federal civil servants, including some Post Office employees. Paper and microform copies are available in many libraries;search AMICUS for locations.

Research in Provincial Sources

For information about records relating to employees of provincial and territorial governments, we recommend that you start your search by contacting the relevant Provincial or Territorial Archives.


Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4