Immigrants to Canada, Porters and Domestics, 1899-1949

The following is from Library and Archives Canada website:


During the 19th and early 20th centuries, Canada actively recruited three classes of immigrants: farmers, agricultural workers and domestic servants, including porters.

The demand for urban and rural household help could not be met internally. In response, the government of the day developed an immigration policy intended to draw suitable British single women, ages 17 to 35. This policy would have a major impact on the number of women entering the country as domestics. Before the First World War, 75 percent were from the British Isles. In 1904, 2,523 women entered Canada as domestics. This figure rose to 4,467 in 1906 and continued to rise until the beginning of the Depression (1929).

Library and Archives Canada holds many series of records regarding domestics sent to Canada. They are described in the guide Records on the Immigration of Domestics.

Library and Archives Canada has launched a new online database. “This online database allows you to access more than 8,600 references to individuals who came to Canada as porters or domestics between 1899 and 1949. Names were taken from lists contained in the Central Registry Files series of the Immigration Branch (RG76 BIA) and other files held at LAC.”

Learn more about the database by clicking here.

Search the database by clicking here.

Thanks to ResearchBuzz for the heads-up.

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