On July 1st each year, Canadians celebrate Canada Day. On July 1,  1867, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the Province of Canada were united as a single country. The union was an outcome of the Constitution Act, which granted Canada a large measure of independence from England.

Over the course of a century, Canada gradually shed its dependence on the United Kingdom, but didn’t become completely independent until 1982. That same year that Canada Day became an official holiday.

In honor of Canada Day, Ancestry.ca is offering free access to 40 million historical records today through July 2.

The following records include the years leading up to and following the Confederation and come from some of the largest collections on Ancestry.ca:

  • Canadian passenger lists and ocean arrivals: These name the masses of people who arrived by ship at port cities across Canada
  • The 1871 Census of Canada: This was the first census Canada conducted as a nation. It reveals household members, ages, jobs, parents’ birthplaces and more.
  • Birth, marriage and death records: These come from British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia.
  • Military records: These come from the War of 1812 and World War I, as well as lists of officers from 1832 and 1863 to 1939.

Click on www.ancestry.ca to search the free databases.

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