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Much like the United States, Canada welcomes immigrants. With the exception of a Viking encampment that had been abandoned more than a thousand years ago, the earliest known true settlement was developed by the French and was located on St. Croix Island. In the year 1608, Quebec would be established as a colony and the English would soon arrive in droves, settling the land. During the Irish Potato Famine, many people of Eire moved to Canada and, during the United States Civil War, Canada became a safe-haven for American slaves. In fact, with every war and uprising, new people would travel across the seas and make a new life in Canada. In return, the country shares with us a very diverse and beautiful heritage, a brilliant tapestry of cultures to be enjoyed by all.

Genealogy is a fascinating process of tracing oneís heritage back, from generation to generation, and from country to country. There is something intoxicating about being able to sort through the mysteries and learn the names and lives of relatives long-forgotten. Most will agree that itís exciting and addictive, but it can also prove to be very puzzling, if one doesnít know the correct procedure to go about getting what they want. This can prove all the more daunting when records needed can only be found in another country. This poses all sorts of perplexing questions - What are the laws regarding Canadian Naturalization Records? Who has access to them and what is needed, in order to get them? We must also take into consideration, the happenings of 9/11 and how this might have affected our ability to obtain foreign records of this nature.

Naturalization records ARE available, provided that the individual that was naturalized has been dead for at least 20 years. Be prepared, however - all requests for copies of naturalization records must include some proof of death, such as providing a copy of the death certificate. If they do not include this, they will be denied. Additionally, all requests must also declare that they are being made through the Freedom of Information Act.

In your letter of request, you will want to include as much information about the deceased as possible. The more information you can provide, the easier it will be for the records to be located and sent to you. At the very least, your request should include:

- The individualís full name, at the time of naturalization
- Their year of birth, within 10 years
- Where they were naturalized

Also, be sure that you check with the repository, to ensure they do not require any further information and be sure, again, to state that this request is being made through the Freedom of Information Act. Additionally, for those who live outside of the Canada, be sure to put CANADA on the envelope. This is easily overlooked and can result in delays in your request.

For more information, or to inquire as to any processing details or fees, contact:
Public Rights Assistant
Public Rights Administration
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Journal Towers North, Third Floor, 300 Slater Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1L1.

You can also visit the National Archives of Canada at their website, located at:  (available in both French and English)

Included with the naturalization records, you can usually find some interesting information, such as the individualís full name, their residency at the time of naturalization, their city and country of birth, as well as marital status and a physical description. There is quite often a report on relatives, character references including names and addresses, and a Royal Canadian Mounted Police Report. Records predating 1918 are often sketchier and provide less information, but are still fascinating and exciting to obtain. Again, be sure to check ahead and find out the proper fees that will be involved with processing your request.

Genealogy is a fun and fascinating journey into the past. Hopefully this information will help you along on your journey. For your convenience, here are some more informative links, which may prove helpful:

The National Archives of Canada ~

The Canadian Genealogy Center ~

LDS Canada Source Guides ~

The Ships List ~

Canada GenWeb Project ~

Canadian Marriage and Divorce Records ~

Canadian Vital Records ~ 

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