How do I track down my ancestors who came to Montreal via the port?
Hundreds of thousands of immigrants have passed through the Port of Montreal since the city was founded in 1642. Here are a few tips to help you find your ancestors:
There are no comprehensive records of immigrants who came to Canada. In 1803, a series of laws was passed in the British Parliament to regulate the transportation by ship of emigrants to North America. Unfortunately, however, only a few passenger lists have survived and complete nominal rolls do not exist. Try your luck at http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/immigration/immigration-records/immigrants-before-1865/Pages/introduction.aspx
From 1865 to 1935
You can find passenger lists by consulting the Canadian immigration records kept at Library and Archives Canada (LAC) http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/immigration/immigration-records/passenger-lists/passenger-lists-1865-1922/Pages/introduction.aspx
From 1936 on
Records of passengers/immigrants arriving in Canada by ship are kept by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
For its part, the Port of Montreal has lists of ships (arrivals and departures) from 1881 to the present day. Since these are historical documents of great interest to researchers, we carried out a major project to digitize these registers over the years. They are available here : List of vessels.
Do you have any questions about the Port of Montreal or its activities? Let us know at