Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Canada Company

Throughout history, private companies have always been interesting in settling people on colonized lands and large tracts of lands acquired from national governments and monarchs. It was no different in parts of modern-day Canada. One interesting example was The Canada Company. It was formed in the 1820s to sell and settle land in Ontario, of which its southern parts was known as Upper Canada from 1791 to 1841.

After settling the first generation of arrivals, it was in the interest of such companies to facilitate the settlers to write back to family members in their place of origin and send remittances. Both acts would encourage more settlers to come to the company's lands. The Canada Company settled a considerable number of Irish immigrants and compiled a large amount of documentation in the process.

The company's records were acquired by a Canadian archive after it ceased operation in 1951. Among the records were four volumes that reported on the company's efforts to assist settlers with their remittance payments.  Relevant genealogical information from these volumes was included in Genealogical extraction and index of the Canada Company remittance books, 1843-1847, published in 1990.[1] About half of those immigrants  were from Ireland. The records detail the residence of the settler and, crucially, the residence of person receiving the remittance in Ireland. These people are most likely to have been family members or those from the settler's place of origin in Ireland.

This publication is not universally available.  Copies can be found at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, Toronto Public Library, and elsewhere . The original records are at the Archives of Ontario.

[1] Dwight D. Radford and Kyle J. Betit. A Genealogist's Guide to Discovering Your Irish Ancestors. Betterway Books: 2003, p.67.


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