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Banner: ArchiviaNet: On-line Research Tool
ArchiviaNet: On-line Research Tool

Upper Canada and Canada West
Naturalization Records (1828-1850)
Online Help

Search Screen
How to Interpret the Results
How to Obtain Copies
Other Resources


From 1763 until the Canadian Citizenship Act came into force on January 1, 1947, people born in Canada were all British subjects. Since immigrants born in Great Britain and the Commonwealth were already British subjects, they had no need to become naturalized or to obtain British citizenship in Canada.

A number of earlier laws governed naturalization before 1947. Under these acts, aliens (mostly Americans, Germans and non-British subjects) could petition for naturalization. If successful, they would swear allegiance to the British sovereign and would be granted the rights of someone born within the British Empire.

In the early 1800s, many people were coming from the United States to settle in Upper Canada, later known as Canada West, now Ontario. Concerns were raised by authorities about their loyalty to the British monarchy, since most of these new settlers grew up under a republican government. The Act to Secure and Confer upon Certain Inhabitants of this Province the Civil and Political Rights of Natural Born British Subjects was passed in 1828. Under this act, alien men who had been living in Upper Canada for seven years, were expected to take an oath of allegiance before the County Registrar and thus become British subjects.

After the union of Lower and Upper Canada, a second Naturalization Act was passed in 1841. Finally, a third act was passed in 1845 that reduced the required period of residence from seven years to five years.

Library and Archives Canada holds 188 registers (RG 5 B47) that include the names of 2,967 persons naturalized between 1828 and 1850. The registers are available on microfilm reels C-15692 and C-15693. However, please note that these records are sometimes difficult to read because of the poor quality of the original documents and microfilms. The registers have been scanned and digitized images are accessible in this database.

List of registers and content

The registers for 1828 to 1841 contain columns for the following information:

  • Name
  • Present Residence
  • Addition, degree or occupation
  • Signature
  • Date of Registry
  • Number of Entry

The registers for 1841 to 1850 contain columns for the following information:

  • Name in full
  • Residence on 10 February 1841
  • Present residence
  • Date of the expiration of the seven years residence
  • Whether the party was or was not less than sixteen years of age at the date named in the next preceding column and if he was, then the date at which he attained that age.
  • Signature
  • Date of Registry
  • Number of Registry


This research tool provides access to 2,967 references to the Upper Canada and Canada West Naturalization Registers held at Library and Archives Canada. Each register was consulted in order to verify the names of the person naturalized.

The Friends of the National Archives of Canada created a database from a nominal card index that was available in the reference room of the National Archives of Canada (now Library and Archives Canada). Library and Archives Canada would like to thank Sharon Bowman and Norman K. Crowder for their work on this project.

The content of the database entries reflects the original language used in the documents. This information was not translated. Most of the registers consist of several pages, usually including an introduction or explanatory text and the schedule of names.

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.

Search Screen

The search screen allows you to search by the name of the person naturalized. 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.

How to Interpret the Results

Results List

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 of person naturalized (surname and given name)
County (where the person was naturalized)

You can export the results to a diskette or to your own computer.

Click on the underlined name of the person naturalized for a more detailed description of the item of interest to you.

Detailed Description

The detailed description contains the following fields:

Name of person naturalized (surname and given name)
His or her place of residence
County (where the person was naturalized)
Number (number of the entry in the register)
Microfilm reel number

You can view the corresponding page by clicking on "View Image". Then, by clicking on "Start", "Previous", "Next" and "End", you can view all the pages of that register for that particular county and year.

You can obtain more details on the naturalization registers by clicking on "Fonds Description".

How to Obtain Copies

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.

How to Access Library and Archives Canada Records

Other Resources

Other archival naturalization and citizenship records exist. Consult Citizenship to obtain more information about these records.