The only large exchange of population between the United States and Canada occurred after the American victory in the Revolutionary War. Many Americans did not agree with the separation from England and remained loyal to the King. Loyalists in America had their property confiscated by the American government, and the British government offered them free land in Canada. To obtain land, they had to file petitions. It is these petitions which often provide a wealth of personal information for the present-day genealogist.
Aside from this and despite the War of 1812, the United States and Canada have interacted closely with each other since the colonial period. As a result, large numbers of Canadians have immigrated to the United States, making them the sixth largest source of immigration since 1820.
Needless to say, if your genealogical search leads you to Canada, it will probably eventually lead you to Britain or France. In addition to the Public Archives of Canada in Ottawa, Ontario, there are a wide variety of societies and texts available for exploring your genealogy in Canada.
Contacts and Sources
Alberta Genealogical Society
Ontario Genealogical Society
Canada also has an excellent archive system, thanks to the National Archives of Canada located in Ottawa, Ontario. Each of the provinces also has its own provincial archive. For more detailed information about researching in Canada, see the topic Canadian resources.
Helpful Web Sites offers links to many helpful Web sites that focus on Canada:
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