Library and Archives Canada (LAC) holds some records about religious organizations. Most of these records relate to Christian clergy. Religious archives hold most clergy employment records.

On this page

Before you start

Gather information about the person, such as:

  • name
  • approximate year of birth
  • place of residence
  • religious denomination

Places to look

Organizations or societies

LAC holds the records of several religious organizations or societies. Some contain records relating to clergy.

  • In Collection Search, search by religious domination and keywords such as “organization,” “society,” or “mission.”

Here are some examples of missionary society records from the Church of England in Canada between 1699 and 1951. The fonds include reports and correspondence written by the missionaries.

You can also try searching by name:

  • In Collection Search, search by last name and keywords (examples include priest, minister, rabbi)

Published sources

You can find information and biographical notes on local clergy in:

  • community histories
  • clerical directories
  • annual reports of religious denominations

Canadiana has digitized some of these publications from before the 1920s.

We’ve prepared a list of books from our Aurora catalogue that are helpful for genealogy research. These books contain entries for individual clergy members that show the dates and places of where they worked. Some entries also include personal details such as birth and death dates.

Each title in the list includes the author and the LAC call number.

  • Click on a title in the list to open the full catalogue entry. If you scroll down, you'll see a list of other libraries that hold copies. You can also check your local library’s online catalogue.
  • If the call number includes the word genealogy, the book is in the genealogy room at our Ottawa location.

Example of a call number: Genealogy Ref. - CS88 A2 A38 2003

Search the Aurora library catalogue for other books about clergy, using keywords such as:

  • clergy
  • Canada or a specific place in Canada
  • directories
  • biography
  • name of any religious denomination
  • person’s name

Access the records

Digitized records

If you find a record of interest, there may be a digital image. Some of these are available through Collection Search. Others, particulary digitized microfilms, may be available through Héritage.

Non-digitized records

For records that are not digitized, you will need to see them in person. If you cannot visit us in person, you may want to order copies or hire a researcher.

Related resources

Religious archives hold most records relating to clergy.