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About the Toronto Office Assisted Immigration Registers


The four volumes of assisted immigration registers created by the Toronto Emigrant Office (series RG 11-3) record information about some of the immigrants who arrived in Canada between 1865 and 1883. The registers are a chronological listing of those new immigrants who were assisted by the government to travel to many different destinations across south-central Ontario.

Searching the Database

Enter a search term or terms into one or more fields in the search form.

Alternatively you may press the browse button to choose from a list of all values in that field, for example, all of the surnames in the database. The browse feature will show all variant spellings for names, places, trades etc.

Keep in mind that spellings of names and places recorded in the registers varied greatly and that abbreviations were often used (e.g. Wm. for William; N. Scotian for Nova Scotian). Using the browse feature will reveal variant spellings and abbreviations.

You may “truncate” a search term by using *. For example searching Fred* in the first name field will return Fred, Fredrick, Frederick, Freddy etc.

Brief Results

North-West Transportation Company adverstisement, 1880
Click to see a larger image (488K)
North-West Transportation Company
advertisement, 1880
Reference Code: RG 11-3-0-4
Archives of Ontario

After a search, you will be presented with a summary list of the “hits” for your search. This summary list is not listed in chronological or alphabetical order. Rather, records are displayed in the order in which the entries were recorded in the registers. The entries from volume 1 will preceded entries from volume 2 and so on.

You can click on a Last Name to see the full results for that register entry, or use the click boxes on the left to choose a number of results. Then press the “Show Selected Records” at the bottom of the page to see the detailed search results for your chosen records.

If your search results in only one “hit” the full record will display.

Detailed Search Results

Detailed search results will provide you with full transcriptions for all of the register entries that you selected in your brief search results.

To interpret the information provided about each database entry, see the Key to Transcriptions, or click on a field label to see a description of that field.

About the Toronto Office Assisted Immigration Registers

The four volumes of assisted immigration registers created by the Toronto Emigrant Office (series RG 11-3) record information about some of the immigrants who arrived in Canada between 1865 and 1883. The registers are a chronological listing of those new immigrants who were assisted by the government to travel to many different destinations across south-central Ontario.



The chronological breakdown of the volumes is as follows:


  • Volume 1: January 3, 1865 to September 20, 1870

  • Volume 2: September 26, 1870 to July 31, 1873 and October 2 1874 to Dec. 29, 1876

  • Volume 3: January 1, 1877 to January 31, 1883

  • Volume 4: May 24, 1873 to Oct. 2, 1874


All four of the volumes are similar; however the kind of information provided varies slightly from one to the next. Moreover, within each volume, some entries are more complete than others.

For detailed information on the data recorded in the volumes and transcribed in this database, see the Key to Transcriptions.

To see sample index pages click on the following:

A sample page from RG 11-3, volume 1
Click to see a larger image (402K)

A sample page
from RG 11-3, volume 1

A sample page from RG 11-3, volume 4
Click to see a larger image (454K)

A sample page
from RG 11-3, volume 4

Key to Transcriptions - Toronto Assisted Immigration Registers



Rules Followed in Transcriptions

  • The spelling of surnames, given names, ships' names, and place names have been transcribed as they appear in the registers. Contractions and short forms have been retained.

  • All entries were entered and verified. Nonetheless the handwriting in the registers can be difficult to read and on occasion, indecipherable.

  • Text fields without data have been left blank. When numerical fields were blank, indexers entered a zero to enable researchers to create data totals using computers.

Key to the Database Fields

Names

Names are usually those of an immigrant or the head of a family. They may also be the name of an agent, interpreter, or someone bringing children. Not all names in large parties were recorded.

Note: A semi-colon separates multiple surnames or given names that are included in a single entry. If several surnames are recorded in a single entry, semi colons and blanks are used to align the given name with the correct surname.

For example, the name field:

Smith; Graham, W.; R should be read as W. Smith and R. Graham

Note: Given names are often abbreviated: Wm., Fredk., Jno. for William, Frederick or John. Names shortened with a superscript for the last letter are printed in the transcription with an apostrophe.

Note: : “Unknown” If no name was given for a large party of a single ethnicity, “unknown” was entered in the surname column.


Date of Application

This date is the date that the immigrant applied at the Toronto Office for an assisted fare. If the applicant did not use the ticket, zeros were used in all numerical columns. In volume 4, this information was entered in a column titled “Date of Arrival”.

Nationality

Information was transcribed as recorded in the registers.

Trade

This information appears only in volume 4.

Ship

This field refers to the ship on which the immigrant arrived at the port of entry.

Landed

This field refers to the port of entry. Quebec City, Halifax, Portland (Maine) and New York City were the most common.

Destination

This field may refer to the final destination of the emigrant but it may also be the closest railway station to the emigrant’s final destination.

Note: Many abbreviations were used, for example: Sus. Bridge for Suspension Bridge. Some place names are spelt incorrectly or differently from the modern standard. Thus names now treated as one word were recorded as two, as in New Market. Names may also be spelled differently at different places in the registers, so that searches based on a place name require some ingenuity.

Railways

This column records the railway taken to the emigrant's final destination. In most cases, this field was left blank.

Railway names were abbreviated as follows:

  • GW (Great Western Railway)
  • GT (Grand Trunk)
  • N (Northern)
  • TGB (Toronto, Grey & Bruce)
  • T&N (Toronto and Nipissing)
  • CV (Credit Valley)
  • H&NW (Hamilton and North Western)

Railway Map of the Province of Ontario
Click here to see a larger image (729K)
Railway map of province of Ontario showing lines
chartered since Confederation by the Dominion &
Ontario legislatures & those already constructed, 1875.
Reference Code: A-6, Accession 9367
Archives of Ontario

In a few instances, the name entered in the column appears to be that of the steamboat, for instance, the Chicora bound for Niagara.


Male Adults, Female Adults and Children

This numerical data was entered as recorded. A zero was added if the field was blank. In volume four only, children were separated into columns for male children, female children, and infants.

Total number of fares

The most common entry is for one individual, but the total may also be the number of "souls" in a family travelling under the single name of the father. The total can also be the total number of a large party of immigrants grouped together in one entry by the agent.

Reference Code

The reference code is the Archives of Ontario reference code for this material.