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Debunking popular myths about African-Canadian genealogy

Contrary to popular belief, records do exist for researching African-Canadian genealogy.

From 1793 until the end of the American Civil War in 1895, more than 30,000 slaves came to Canada via the Underground Railroad. Other migrations occurred during the War of 1812, from California to Vancouver Island from 1858 to 1860, as well as between 1909 and 1911, when more than 1,500 farmers moved to Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Library and Archives Canada offers various sources. Among them are The Muster Book of Free Blacks (who were among loyalist refugees when they settled in Nova Scotia) and the Book of Negroes (contains names of black loyalists, their origins, names of their white associates, ships that carried them and more).

Meanwhile, other documents include a list of black chaplains enlisted in the Canadian army (1942 to 1944), and the Canadian Pacific Railways’ list of black porters (1930 to 1956). Metro

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