Immigration > Canada
Immigration to Canada
Immigration from the Volga German colonies to Canada began in the late 1880s. Most immigrants settled in the Prairie Provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. Larger migrations began around 1900 after the homestead lands of the United States were already taken. Migration of Volga Germans from the U.S. to Canada was also spurred by rumblings of U.S. involvement in World War I. Recent immigrants had just escaped the Russian military conscription of the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05 and were not eager to get involved yet again in military service.
Originally destined for the agricultural areas of the Prairie Provinces and railroad centers, today one finds descendants of Volga German immigrants scattered across the nation in every Canadian Province.
Start the search for your Volga German immigrant ancestors with the Library and National Archives Canada website. Their Canadian Genealogy Centre has ship passenger lists from 1865 to 1935 for east coast ports. You can also send for the booklet - Tracing Your Ancestors in Canada.
Antwerp (Belgium), Bremen (Germany), and Libau (part of the Russian empire from 1795 to 1918 and now known as Liepaja, Latvia) are some of the ports that your ancestors may have sailed from.
Another useful resources is The Ships List which contains immigration reports, newspaper records, shipwreck information, ship pictures, ship descriptions, shipping-line fleet lists and more; as well as hundreds of passenger lists to Canada, USA, Australia and even some for South Africa.
An index to Canadian Naturalization Records is available for the years 1915-1951.
Last updated 1 February 2012.