British Columbia Naturalization Records - FamilySearch Historical Records

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British Columbia Naturalization Records, 1859-1926
This article describes a collection of records at
British Columbia, Canada
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Flag of British Columbia
Location of British Columbia, Canada
Record Description
Record Type Naturalizations
Collection years 1859-1926
Languages English
Title in the Language
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
British Columbia Archives, Victoria

What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]

This collection includes records from 1859 to 1926. These records include naturalizations from the counties of Victoria and Cranbrook, British Columbia. They include applications, oaths of allegiance, naturalization certificates and other documents. The Canadian Citizenship Act of January 1, 1947 introduced Canadian citizenship to Canada. Prior to that time Canadians who were born in the United Kingdom were considered British subjects.

Immigrants to Canada have never been required to apply for citizenship. Some nationalities were more likely to naturalize than others. Until 1947, settlers from Britain were considered citizens of Canada without needing to naturalize. Of those from other countries who applied, some did not complete the requirements for citizenship. Evidence that an immigrant completed citizenship requirements can be found in censuses, court minutes, homestead records, passports, voting registers, and military papers. British Columbia did not join Canada until 1871 so naturalization and citizenship were handled by the colonial government(s) before 1871. The earliest naturalization records are Oaths of Allegiance signed from 1859 and are in the British Columbia Archives. Naturalization records may be an important piece in discovering your family's history.

These records may contain information about where your ancestor came from, which is the most valuable piece of information when tracing them in their homeland. Without a place of origin, previous generations cannot be identified with much solidarity. Naturalization records may also give information on your ancestor's immigration, such as the date he or she arrived or the ship he or she rode on. These are all valuable pieces of information if you were to look for an ancestor's name in a passenger list.

Image Visibility[edit | edit source]

Whenever possible FamilySearch makes images and indexes available for all users. However, rights to view these data are limited by contract and subject to change. Because of this there may be limitations on where and how images and indexes are available or who can see them. Please be aware some collections consist only of partial information indexed from the records and do not contain any images. For additional information about image restrictions see Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections.

To Browse This Collection[edit | edit source]

You can browse through images in this collection using the waypoints on the Collection Browse Page for British Columbia Naturalization Records, 1859-1926.

What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]

The following information may be found in these records:


  • Name of immigrant
  • Date of immigration
  • Residence
  • Place of origin
  • Date of arrival in Canada

Oaths of allegiance

  • Name of immigrant
  • Date of immigration
  • Residence
  • Years residing in Canada


  • Name of immigrant
  • Occupation
  • Residence
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Date of immigration
  • Name of ship

After 1915, records may also include birth dates, birthplaces and other information about the immigrant and the immigrant’s family.

Collection Content[edit | edit source]

Sample Images[edit | edit source]

How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • The name of your ancestor
  • The name of a relative or date of the event

Search the Index[edit | edit source]

Search by name on the Collection Details Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes in the Search Collection section with the information you know
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

View the Images[edit | edit source]

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page

  1. Select the County
  2. Select the Record Type, Box and File Numbers, and Years to view the images

Important: There are indexes available in the Cranbook records. The indexes are located in the file folder, Index Box 1 to Box 9, 1905-1923. Find your ancestor's name and look for the box, file and folio numbers located by their name. This is the information you will use to find your ancestor in the collection. The numbers you are looking for are located at the bottom of each page. In addition, Christopher J. P. Hanna developed an index to British Columbia Naturalizations from 1859-1882 [Title: BCARS, GR 1554, British Columbia Archives, no date of publication]. This is available at the British Columbia Genealogical Society Library or through other libraries. Also, a British Columbia Genealogical Society volunteer is indexing the earliest British Columbia naturalizations and this index is available on the British Columbia Genealogical Society's Research Projects web page and is being updated as indexing continues.

How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Add any new information to your records
  • Look at passenger arrival records can help you determine when an ancestor arrived and the port of departure. They can also help identify family and community members who arrived together and the country they came from
  • Use the information found in the Naturalization Records to determine when vital events in your ancestor's life occurred. This can lead to information that can point to additional family members and generations
  • Use the information to find other records such as birth, christening, census, land marriage and death records
  • Repeat this process with additional family members found, to find more generations of the family
  • Church Records often were kept years before government records were required and are a good source for finding ancestors before 1900

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Consult the British Columbia Record Finder to find other records
  • If your ancestor does not have a common name, collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This can help you find possible relatives
  • Search the records of nearby areas
  • Check for other names. An individual might appear under an unexpected name for a variety of reasons:
    • They might have been listed under a middle name, nickname, or abbreviation of their given name
    • A woman may have returned to her maiden name after the death of her husband
  • There are very few passenger lists for ships coming into Canada before 1865. Lists were not made or were destroyed. The Library and Archives Canada website has posted an index of some lists that have survived
  • Search the indexes and records of British Columbia, Canada Genealogy
  • Search in the British Columbia Archives and Libraries
  • Search in the FamilySearch Catalog

Research Helps[edit | edit source]

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in British Columbia.

Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation:
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.