Find resources for researching the family history and genealogy of Ukrainian Canadians. Note that political boundaries in Europe changed over the years. Ukrainian immigrants came from all over Eastern and Central Europe, including:
Many were citizens of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
On this page
Before you start
Gather information such as:
- approximate year of birth
- country of birth
- approximate year of arrival
- place of residence in Canada
Places to look
There are several ways to research your Ukrainian ancestors.
1. Census records
Canadian censuses often recorded the ethnicity of individuals and their place of origin. For example, the 1911 Census recorded ethnic origin and the country or province of birth. Starting with the 1901 census, census enumerators asked people who were not born in Canada to provide their year of immigration.
LAC holds the records for all official Canadian censuses.
You can search for your ancestor by name.
- Select your census of choice
- Enter your name term in the Surname and/or Given name(s) fields.
2. Birth, marriage and death records
Provincial government offices record births, marriages and deaths. These are also known as civil registration records. Those offices regularly transfer older records to the provincial or territorial archives.
For more information, see researching your ancestors in birth, marriage and death records.
Library and Archives Canada holds these archival records:
Michael Fesenko Collection (MG30-D226)
- Reverend Fesenko was the pastor of a Ukrainian congregation of the Presbyterian Church in Toronto from 1929 to 1976. This fonds includes a marriage register, 1912-1935. It also includes other lists relating to church members. See the fonds description for more details.
Timofiy Minenko fonds (MG31-H44)
- The Very Reverend Minenko served as a rector in the Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church of Canada. This fonds includes a marriage register for St. George’s Parish, Grimsby, Ontario, 1949-1974, and memberships lists for St. Demetrius' Parish, Torontoo, 1961-1967. See the fonds description for more details.
3. Immigration records
Immigration and citizenship records often had information about ethnicity and place of birth. For more information, see:
Information about many Ukrainian immigrants is found in these databases:
Other records we hold that might be helpful include:
- Vladimir Julian Kaye fonds (MG31-D69)
- This fonds includes information about Ukrainian Pioneer settlers in Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan.
- Immigration Branch, Central Registry Files (RG76):
- Professor Josef Oleskow, includes some lists of Galician immigrants to Manitoba, 1895-1896 (RG76, volume 109, file 21103, part 1, microfilm C-4772)
- S.A. Armstrong, Inspection of Prisons, Toronto, re Galician prisoners, 1908 (RG76, volume 529, file 803192, microfilm C-10621)
- Admission of "Surrendered Enemy Personnel", Ukrainian Refugees from England, 1946-1953 (RG76, volume 656, file B53802, microfilm C-10593)
- Galician and other Colonies in Western Canada, 1898-1912 (RG76, volumes 178 and 179, file 60868, microfilm C-7334)
- Custodian of Enemy Property and internment operations records (RG6)
- This sub-series includes certificates of release from internment camps, 1914-1919 (RG6, volumes 772 to 780). Search for a reference in Collection Search. Enter a surname and the keywords RG6 and release certificate.
4. Community organizations
Ukrainians established community organizations and societies. There are also collections of personal papers donated by individuals in the Ukrainian community. Find the records held at LAC by using Collection Search. You can try the keyword Ukrainian and add other words such as society, association and community. Also try searching by a person’s name.
Here are some examples:
On those fonds description pages, be sure to look at the “finding aid” to see what records they include.
5. Community newspapers
There were many Ukrainian Canadian newspapers. Search Aurora to find them by using key terms like Ukrainian plus newspaper. LAC holds some collections of Ukrainian community newspapers, including:
6. Published sources
Many Ukrainian Canadian historical societies and communities have published their own histories. Sometimes they'll have stories that help you better understand your ancestors' experiences. They may also include information about specific people. You can search Aurora to find these publications and genealogy guides and indexes. Try keywords like Ukrainian, history, genealogy or a place.
We've prepared a list of examples from our Aurora catalogue to give you an idea of the types of books you might find. Each title in this 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
Consider larger historical events that shaped Ukrainian Canadians’ experiences:
- There have been many waves of Ukrainian immigrants
- They deemed some Ukrainian immigrants and Ukrainian Canadians “enemy aliens” during the First World War
- Consider neighbourhoods and communities. It was common for Ukrainian immigrants to settle in the same areas, especially in the Prairie provinces. You may be able to find your ancestors by looking geographically.
- Spelling was not standardized, and the same names might be written in many different ways.
Access the records
If you find a record of interest, there may be a digital image. Some of these are available through Collection Search. Others, particularly digitized microforms, are available through Héritage.
Records that are not digitized
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.