MyHeritage Releases New Historical Record Collection: United States, Border Crossings from Canada 1895–1956

MyHeritage Releases New Historical Record Collection: United States, Border Crossings from Canada 1895–1956

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We are pleased to announce the publication of 12.5 million records from a new collection, the United States, Border Crossings from Canada, 1895–1956. During the late 19th century many United States immigrants decided to arrive via passage from Canada to avoid harsh inspections at U.S. ports like Ellis Island. The collection, which includes images, is significant as it offers important details of ancestors who made their way to the United States via Canada. The MyHeritage index offers additional details not found in other versions of this collection, such as information on family members.

In the late 19th century, some immigrants bound for the U.S. opted to travel to the U.S. via Canadian Atlantic ports like Quebec City, Montreal, and Halifax and then make their way to their United States destinations aboard trains. The MyHeritage U.S. Border Crossings from Canada collection offers rich details about the lives of these immigrants during this pivotal transition from their country of origin to their new lives in the U.S.

The records include the individual’s name, age, gender, date of arrival, arrival port, marital status, birth date, birth place, last residence, destination, port of departure, and nationality, as well as the names and addresses of family members both in the United States and the home country. In addition to immigrants seeking citizenship in the United States, many of the records in the collection pertain to U.S. or Canadian citizens passing through the border for work or travel. The records were listed on cards, with information added to both sides of the card. During the initial microfilming of the collection, often the image of the second side was flipped in an awkward and difficult-to-read configuration. Exclusive to the MyHeritage collection, in cases where the two sides appear together, you’ll find a reconfigured second side that is right side up and adjacent to the front side, so it can easily be viewed as one complete record. 

Though crossings between the U.S. and Canada happened across the length of the border, the primary border office that contained these records was in St. Albans, Vermont starting in 1895. As the years progressed, new offices opened that were more local to each border crossing.

The ports of entry included in this collection, by U.S. state, are as follows:

  • Idaho: Eastport (1924–1956); Porthill (1923–1952)
  • Maine: Vanceboro (1906–1952); Calais (1906–1952); Jackman (1909–1953)
  • Michigan: Detroit (1906–1954)
  • Minnesota: Noyes (1912–1956); Baudette, Warroad, and International Falls (1910–1923)
  • Montana: Havre, Loring, Opheim, Raymond, Turner, Westby, and White Tail (1924–1956); Chief Mountain, Cut Bank, Del Bonita, Gateway, Great Falls, and Roosville (1923-1956); Babb (1928–1956)
  • New York: Buffalo, Lewiston, Niagara Falls, and Rochester (1902–1954); Alexandria Bay, Cape Vincent, Champlain, Clayton, Fort Covington, Mooers, Rouses Point, Thousand Island Bridge, and Trout River (1929–1956); Hogansburg, Malone, Morristown, Nyando, Odgensburg, Rooseveltown, and Waddington (1929–1956)
  • North Dakota: Dunseith, Neche, Pembina, Saint John, and Walhalla (1912–1956); Ambrose, Antler, Carbury, Fortuna, Noonan, Northgate, Portal, Sherwood, and Westhope (1921–1952); Northgate and Saint John (1910–1921)
  • Vermont: St. Albans (1895–1952); Small ports in Vermont (1895–1924)

Sample Records

The collection contains the record of Robert Wardrop, who arrived in Quebec from Scotland and whose ultimate destination was Clinton, Indiana, where his brother Mat lived. The record contains information on Robert’s last residence in Stonehouse, Scotland, as well as his age, marital status and wife’s name, and a physical description.

Border Crossing Record of Robert Wardrop [Credit: MyHeritage United States, Border Crossings from Canada 1895–1956]
Border Crossing Record of Robert Wardrop [Credit: MyHeritage United States, Border Crossings from Canada 1895–1956]
Also found in the collection is the record of Canadian hockey player Lawrence (Larry) Aurie, bound for the city of Detroit, Michigan to play for the Detroit National Hockey league. The record contains Larry’s age, birthplace, and destination, as well as information on his father and friend back in Canada.

Border Crossing Record of Larry Aurie [Credit: MyHeritage United States, Border Crossings from Canada 1895–1956]
Border Crossing Record of Larry Aurie [Credit: MyHeritage United States, Border Crossings from Canada 1895–1956]

Summary

The new MyHeritage United States, Border Crossings from Canada 1895–1956 offers keen insights into the lives of immigrants, travelers, and citizens traveling across the U.S. Canadian border during this period. Searching the collection on MyHeritage is free. To view these records or to save records to your family tree, you’ll need a Data or Complete plan.

If you have a family tree on MyHeritage, our Record Matching technology will notify you automatically if records from the collection match your relatives. You’ll then be able to review the record and decide if you’d like to add the new information to your tree.

Enjoy the new collection!

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