Canada Business Records and Commerce

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Business records in Canada include records of manufacturers, trading companies, banks, and other commercial establishments.


Ship Information Database allows searches or browses of vessels, masters, owners, builders, or voyages. For people, the exact birth place is usually given. The database has information about ships that were registered in Canadian ports or sailed in Canadian waters. Sources are given for the information. Additional information about the database.

Shipwreck Investigations at Library and Archives Canada[1]. The list of ships links to digital images of the investigation reports which often give information about the people involved, such as the ship master.

The Canada Company

Murdoch, Gerald. Canada Company Remittances, Jan- May 1845. The Canada Company was formed to promote settlement of Ontario. One method was to send money back to the homeland without charge. This list was transcribed from vol.1-3, of the Company papers. Only entries that show relationships are listed.  Names, addresses and purpose the funds are to be used for, are given. Article in The Irish Ancestor, vol. XIV. no.2. 1982 pages 99-104. FHL book 941.5 B2i

Hudson’s Bay Company

Records of this fur trading company are some of Canada’s most important. Until 1870, the company controlled almost four-fifths of the territory of present-day Canada, including northern Quebec and Ontario and most of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, and the Yukon and Northwest Territories. It was also active in areas now in the United States, including Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Hawaii.

A very helpful source is:

  • Finding Aid to the Hudson Bay Company Archives. (Family History Library film1730847 and 1730848). This is not a name index to the records but a description of the various series in the records.

Personal names from some of these records are in:

  • Briggs, Elizabeth, and Anne Morton. Biographical Resources at the Hudson’s Bay Company Archives. Volume One. Winnipeg: Westgarth, 1996. (Family History Library book 971 U33b v. 1). This book describes microfilm and book sources and tells where to find them. It includes a glossary of terms, a bibliography, and an index. Pages 48 to 59 list more than 1,100 men associated with the North West Company before 1821. Pages 153 to 158 list persons associated with expeditions to the American Northwest (present Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Nevada, and Oregon) from 1824 to 1829.

The Hudson’s Bay Company Archives to about 1904 may be loaned to public libraries. There are journals and correspondence (1,900 rolls of microfilm) for more than 200 trading posts (1703–1894), and lists of officers, servants, and contracts (1774–1904). Records of employees usually give name, age, occupation, pay rate, and location of employment. Further information is available from:

Inter-Library Loans

Hudson’s Bay Company Archives
Provincial Archives of Manitoba Tel: 204-945-3744
Fax: 204-945-4261
Toll Free in North America: 1-866-MANITOBA (1-866-626-4862)''''

TTY: 204-945-4796
Internet description of holdings:

Hours: Monday to Friday8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. CST

For more records, see the Locality Search of the FamilySearch Catalog under headings such as: