Most of our past discussion has focused on immigration
records of the United States. However, there is another British country
in North America from which many of us have ancestors -- our country
to the north, Canada. Indeed, the approach to tracing the immigrant
origins of Canadian ancestors is really identical to U.S. Immigrants.
Some sources are less available, while others are more plentiful, but
the process and tactics remain the same. Canada, of course, is a foreign
country, so you will use the same approach to find Canadian immigrants
living in the United States, as you would British, German, Dutch, Italian,
Polish or Scandinavian immigrants in the U.S.
There are, however, some slight differences for
United States residents who have ancestors from Canada.
Unlike the European countries, and like the United
States, Canada was a destination country for millions of immigrants.
Many of their descendants in turn immigrated to the United States. Therefore,
in effect, when you are tracing an immigrant into Canada, you must realize
that within a couple of generations, you will again be looking for the
origins of an immigrant -- this time from the country they left before
coming to Canada.
In the case of loyalists who left the new United States
during and after the Revolutionary War, the "foreign" country
you will be tracing them to is the former British colonies, now known as
the United States. Then, within a few generations again, you will be faced
with tracking an immigrant's origin one more time, generally back to England.
Thus, with Canadian ancestry, your search for an immigrant's
home town may occur two or even three times for the same surname!