Tracing Canadian Ancestors in the War of 1812
Canadians united against American forces to defend their country during the War of 1812. Here's how to research your War of 1812 genealogy in Canada.
The United States had designs on conquering Canada during the War of 1812, and assumed it would be an easy task thanks to Loyalist Americans who’d migrated there after the Revolutionary War. Former president Thomas Jefferson is said to have called the conquest “a mere matter of marching.”

But Canada’s English and French residents, local and volunteer militias and Aboriginal peoples united against American forces, galvanizing national pride—and giving the war a more-prominent place in Canadian historical consciousness than in that of her southern neighbors. Learn more about the war in Canada here.

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) holds muster rolls, pay lists, claims for compensation, certificates of service, medal registers, maps and more records documenting their efforts. (No military service records exist for 1800s Canadian service members.) LAC is digitizing War of 1812 records. Some of the digitized military records encompass soldiers in this war.

Subscription site’s War of 1812 records include an index called War of 1812: Miscellaneous Canadian Records, listing prisoners, individuals’ property losses, and some pay lists and muster rolls. You’ll also find some muster rolls linked at the Canadian Military Heritage Project.
From the July-August 2012 Family Tree Magazine  
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