Intro to Canadian Jewish genealogy Resources workshop. Focussing on the scattered evidence that we are here.
This workshop focuses on Canadian resources to support your search for your ancestors. But of course, that promise must naturally go geographically astray. In my own family, for example, my mother and grandmother lived and died in Vancouver, but neither was born here. In fact, no one in my family was born and died in the same place, as far back as I can tell.
But we must necessarily ground our search in what we know, (almost for sure).
(Image of page)
Thousands and thousands of Jewish ancestors breathed a huge sigh of relief, having escaped Europe, kissing the ports of St John, Quebec, and Halifax before heading down to the states. So Canadian boat manifests are crucial to some searches. And many people got off the boats and took the CPR to Winnipeg, which if you look at the page of a Winnipeg City Directory, circa 1930, you would see whole neighbourhoods and school students list of Jewish names. These ancestors invested in Winnipeg, for perhaps a generation or two as tailors and storekeepers, until their children's education allowed them to move to warmer places with better occupational options.
Waves of ancestors escaped to Canada through the Far East, spending a generation or two in China.
What are archives:
e.g., Montreal telephone directory can tell you when your Lithuanian great-grand parents anglicized or shortened their surname from Landsman to Lands.
Kinds of archives:
scattered evidence of people who changed their names, religions, lied on documents
(Example of Baba)
Today, digitization has allowed dusty scraps of paper formerly hidden in metal filing cabinets- to come into the light.