Sunday, 18 October 2015

Customs and Immigration Officers

I used to live in a small border town, and we were always going back and forth from Canada to the US. We got to know a lot of the customs officers and they were pretty easy going since we were all "regulars".  One time when I was going across, the long-time officer on the US side, who was stuck there most of the day, asked if I would get him come cigars on my way back. It was like that. The worst was in summer when they had student help... they didn't know us, were more by the book and real sticklers. 

A customs officer is a federal position, therefore in the Sessional Papers of the Dominion of Canada their names, stations and wages were listed in the Auditor General's Report.

The Department of Immigration was responsible for advertising for settlers, and making sure they arrived safely and were cared for. Immigration officers and staff were also listed in the Auditor General's Report, under the Department of the Interior.

My husband's mother's family immigrated to Canada in 1900 from Galicia, Austria. Canadian immigration agencies advertised for hard working families that were willing to farm for free land. They were taken to Hamburg where they were put on a ship to Halifax, from there put on a train to Winnipeg. They stayed there a while before moving on to Saskatchewan. At that time Mr. W F McCreary was the  Commissioner of Immigration in Winnipeg and his report in the Sessional Papers of the Dominion of Canada for 1901 listed several people responsible for locating, transporting, visiting and feeding the Galicians (as well as other immigrant groups).

These records are great whether your ancestor was an Immigration Officer or an Immigrant!

Relevant Links

Related Posts:  Sessional papers

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