Ontario Military Records

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Online Records[edit | edit source]

These records at Ancestry.com can be searched free-of-charge at a Family History Center near you.

Online All-Canada Military Records Including Ontario[edit | edit source]

These links will take you to military records for the entire nation. Many records for military servicemen and women from Ontario aree included.

Research Guide[edit | edit source]

Loyalists[edit | edit source]

Many of the Loyalists who arrived in Ontario beginning in 1784 had served in militia units attached to the British army. See, Loyalists

Militia[edit | edit source]

During the 19th century, Ontario men between 16 and 60 years of age served in reserve units of local militia organized by county. Men reporting for militia duty were listed on annual muster rolls. Militia units were organized on a county basis. This system was replaced in 1855 with an active volunteer militia. It became the basis for the Canadian army. Militia members fought in military actions such as the War of 1812, the 1837 Rebellion, and the Fenian Raid of 1867, but records are few.

  • 1828-1829 - Men of Upper Canada: militia nominal rolls, 1828-1829 (Toronto: Ontario Genealogical Society, 1995) Family History Library, WorldCat: This volume reproduces the province-wide 1828-1829 muster roll — the most complete that was undertaken (the original records are held by Library and Archives Canada as RG 9, Series 1-B-2, vols. 29-31).
  • The Archives of Ontario has some muster rolls and militia records and published transcripts of muster rolls.
  • Some have been published in periodicals and books such as:
    • Bull, Stewart H. The Queen's York Rangers: An Historic Regiment', Erin, Ontario: The Boston Mills Press, 1984. Family History Library. WorldCat Includes lists of officers of the York County militia in 1798, 1812, and 1837.
  • Additional militia returns are in the periodical articles listed in Brenda Dougall Merriman's Genealogy in Ontario, pages 184-85.(Family History Library, WorldCat

Rebellion of 1837[edit | edit source]

War of 1812[edit | edit source]

South African War, 1899-1902[edit | edit source]

  • The South African War (1899-1902) is a key event in the military history of Canada. It was the first time in its history that Canada dispatched troops to an overseas war. In October 1899, the tensions between Dutch South Africans, known as Boers, and British South Africans erupted into open warfare. The government of Canada eventually responded to the crisis by recruiting, equipping and transporting two contingents of volunteers to serve with the British forces in South Africa. The British War Office paid all other costs, including pay and return transport. Later contingents were financed completely by the British War Office, with the exception of one recruited and paid for by Lord Strathcona.
  • Canadians participated in nine important battles between the November 1899 arrival of the first contingent in South Africa, and the end of the war in May 1902.
  • A total of 7,368 Canadians and 12 Nursing Sisters served in South Africa. This database brings together three groups of records pertaining to the South African War: the service files, medal registers and land grant applications.

World War I (1914-1918)[edit | edit source]

Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) service records are available through the Personnel Records Unit of the National Archives of Canada. These service records contain detailed information from enlistment to discharge. Information may include each person's date and pace of birth, address at time of enlistment, name and address of next of kin, marital status, occupation, personal description (eye and hair color, height, weight, distinctive marks or scars), and religion.

World War II[edit | edit source]

Library and Archives Canada[edit | edit source]

Library and Archives Canada holds an extensive collection of records of the Canadian men and women who have served their country in the military and in the early years of the North West Mounted Police. There are records relating to Loyalists, the War of 1812, the Rebellions, the South African War, the First World War and the Second World War, many of which are featured in databases, research guides and virtual exhibitions. The records include muster rolls, military service files, unit war diaries, medal registers, photographic collections, documentary art and posters, as well as published sources.[1]


There are numerous smaller collections available on-site at the Library and Archives Canada. Military Heritage provides listings for those records.

  1. "Military Heritage", Library and Archives Canada, https://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/Pages/military-heritage.aspx, accessed 21 October 2020.