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Ontario GenWeb Project: Citizenship / Naturalization Records
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Citizenship / Naturalization Records

What Is It

Citizenship = To be a citizen of a country; Citizenship is sought by those living in a country they were not born in

Naturalization = When a person is granted full citizenship of a country they were not born in

From 1763 to 1 Jan 1947 any person born in British Crown lands or colonies were considered British subjects. These subjects were not required to be naturalized (this included those born in Upper Canada / Canada West / Ontario). After 1 Jan 1947, any person not born in Canada who wished to live in Canada was required to apply for citizenship.

British Subjects were those born in England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, parts of Canada (like Ontario), Australia, India and the British West Indies. If your ancestor was born in any of these areas prior to the 20th century (1900), you will NOT find a citizenship or naturalization record if they immigrated to another British colony.

When a non-British subject immigrated to Canada (before 1947) they could apply for Citizenship/Naturalization after living here for at least three years.

How Do I Use It

Information in a citizenship or naturalization record can be used to find out where an immigrant came from, when they came, and where they were living at the time of application. Some records also state names of relations (parents, spouse, children).

How Do I Find It

The book "Upper Canada Naturalization Records, 1828-1850" by Donald A. McKenzie lists those who took the Upper Canada oath of allegiance between 1828 and 1850.

Many Naturalization and Citizenship records from 1850-1865 seem to have disappeared. And the original records from 1854-1917 have been destroyed. Some copies remain and are in the custody of Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

To request a copy of a citizenship or naturalization record for an immigrant who applied after 1854, you need to submit a request to Citizenship and Immigration Canada on the "Access to Information Request Form". This form can be found at most Canadian public libraries and federal government offices. Or you can request a form by writing to:
   Public Rights Administration Office
   Citizenship and Immigration Canada
   Third Floor, 300 Slater Street
   Ottawa ON K1A 1L1
Be sure to ask for the current fee schedule for obtaining this information, especially if you do not live in Canada.

Once you have received the form and filled it out. Mail it with the current fee to:
   Information Management
   Public Rights Administration Office
   Citizenship and Immigration Canada
   Third Floor, 300 Slater Street
   Ottawa ON K1A 1L1
"If the search through the Access to Information finds a document, the applicant receives only a copy of that document."

What Does It Look Like

If you have an Ontario citizenship or naturalization record that OntarioGenWeb could post on this page as an example, please consider sending it in.

Is It Online?

Not as a whole, no. Those that are online are in the 'Related Materials' links.

Alternate Resources

  • Immigration Records

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